by Gayle E. Pitman
E-book, 224 pages
Expected publication: May 14th 2019 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
This book is about the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement. The author describes American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, and includes her interviews of people involved or witnesses, including a woman who was ten at the time. Profusely illustrated, the book includes contemporary photos, newspaper clippings, and other period objects. A timely and necessary read, The Stonewall Riots helps readers to understand the history and legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement.
I received an e-ARC of this book through Edelweiss Plus in exchange for an honest review.
In many ways, my country is pretty conservative and we don’t really study history outside of our country, so Stonewall Riots is something I found on my own while I was browsing the internet. I was fascinated by it as it is part of civil uprising that swept up USA in the 50s and 60s. It is also a landmark event in terms of LGBTQ+ movement but sadly, due to the situation at the time, not many accounts available and those that made the news are biased against LGBTQ+ group.
The Stonewall Riots is the perfect book for me and others who want to learn more about the event. It is very comprehensive, starting from the beginning of the inn back in the 1800s and the situation for gay people at that time. It then proceeds to examine what happened at the night of the riot, the key players, and what happened after. Of the groups and activism it inspired. The writing is very easy to read and flows really well as I think it was written for younger audience.
The before and after part are actually the longest in this book, as there are no reliable source on what happened on the night of June 28, 1969. While some people might complain, I actually don’t mind as I got to see how the movement gained momentum and the collective tiredness against the discrimination they endured led to the explosion that was the Stonewall Riot. I also got to know more about the early groups such as the Mattachine Society and amazing people such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. The Stonewall Riots is also very visual as it has many images and photographs of figures, logo, and events.
My only complain is that my review copy has many blank pages that cuts the narrative and caused some images to disappear. Aside from that however, I really enjoyed this book and I highly think that this book is perfect if you want to know more about the Riot.
by Kristy McKay
E-book, 338 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire
T.A.G. You’re It…
“It is 4 a.m. when they come for me. I am already awake, strung out on the fear that they will come, and fear that they won’t. When I finally hear the click of the latch on the dormitory door, I have only a second to brace myself before-“
At Cate’s isolated boarding school Killer is more than a game-it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “killed” during a series of thrilling pranks-and only the Game Master knows who the “killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join The Guild of Assassins, she knows it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.
But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save The Guild. But can she find the real assassin-before she’s the next target?
I received an e-galley of this book through Edelweiss Plus in exchange for an honest review.
I remember when the book was first released in 2016, I was excited to read this because it sounds perfect. Boarding school, exclusive clubs, giant “prank” war gone wrong, intriguing mystery… what could go wrong? Fast forward after reading this book, a lot of things gone wrong for me in this book.
Despite having a unique premise, the execution was really disappointing. The setting was your typical “boarding school in secluded area”, full of rich and whiz kids and eccentric rules. The club doesn’t feel mysterious nor awe-inducing, in fact, it feels silly that I felt secondhand embarrassment for them. The plot is extremely boring, nothing really happened until 60% of the book other than cringe-inducing teenage drama. And no one dies! The stakes was low from the beginning but this is really disappointing.
The characters are also very one dimensional, they are very predictable and cardboard cut-out from “typical YA main character” template, without any backstory and growth. Especially our main character Cate, it seems like she just exists within the story instead of acting actively. Not to mention, the romance is just terrible. There’s like 3 love interests and all of them are equally creepy.
The only good thing that I can tell you is I’m genuinely enjoyed all the creative ways the killers do their killing, along with the effort and lengths they go to do it. And yeah, I’m also looking forward to know who the killer is. But other than that, I didn’t enjoy this book at all.