Review: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

TITLE: Persepolis Image result for persepolis book cover
AUTHOR: Marjane Satrapi
SUMMARY: Marjane tells the story of her childhood and teenage years living in Iran in the midst of the Islamic Revolution.
GENRE: Graphic Novel | Memoir | Coming of Age | Non-Fiction
RATING: 4/5
NOTE: I read the The Complete Persepolis which has all the volumes in one book.

Persepolis shows why it is important to read about authors from different cultures from ours. Thanks to Marjane’s graphic memoir, I learned so much about Iran’s history and it’s people. In all honesty, I knew very little about Iran, Iranians, or the Islamic Revolution (or that there even was an Islamic Revolution). But after reading this I know about these things a lot more than I did before.

I think it’s an important read especially today that there are so many misconceptions about Muslims (although I think it’s changing… hopefully). Living in the US we’re so used to “othering” Muslims and this book more than anything shows that we’re more alike than we think. They care about their families, about their country’s future, and… Madonna (this was the 80s). It debunks the stereotype of the meek Muslim woman because the heroine of the story is strong, independent, intelligent, with her own values and political views. I would even go further to say she’s a feminist. Unfortunately, we don’t associate any of this with Muslim women, and thankfully Marjane Satrapi is changing that with this book.

Image result for marjane satrapi persepolis

Although the story talks about Iran’s history, it is heavily intertwined with Marjane’s life story. She is funny and candid in telling her story, making her quite relatable. She talks about growing up in a war-torn country and the helplessness feeling she got as a result. She also tells stories about her family, friendships, and boyfriends. There is something everyone can  to relate to.

The art is simple and exclusively in black and white, however I really liked it. I also enjoyed the writing and the way she told her story, but for some reason or the other it didn’t captivate me a 100%. The only reason I didn’t give it a 5 is because I got bored halfway through and it took me a long time to finish it. I can blame this on school, work, reading slumps, myself, but I never felt that need to put aside everything else to read this (and trust me, I’ve had this happen to me before).

Image result for bored reading gif

Other than that, I would still recommend this book because everything I mentioned before.

Follow Me On: Instagram | Goodreads

The Problem With 13 Reasons Why

I’m not going to take back my opinions of how good the show is, because it is, but I do have one issue that I can’t get past from.

Image result for thirteen reasons why show

Last week I was working on on a post about books and shows that portray characters dealing with mental issues. Initially, I had 13 Reasons Why on the list, but then it dawned on me that it also didn’t belong on that list (sort of like Clay). The other books on the list talked about mental health and how debilitating and problematic it can be to live with them, but they all had one thing in common. Their protagonists received the help they needed. None of them died. For those reasons, I found myself removing 13RW from that list.

On a post that’s about dealing with mental illness, I didn’t want to include a story whose character dies in the end. I wanted it to be more positive, to let people know that there can be an issue, and more importantly a solution to it too.

I know that in the real world it doesn’t always end on a happy note, and 13RW reflects that, but shouldn’t we also be able show how people can overcome it? In the show, Hannah doesn’t get help. She only talks to one person who fails to see the problem, and then she gives up. She could have talked to her parents or friends, but chooses to give up easily. That’s not the right message to show people already struggling with similar thoughts.

What’s even more mind boggling is that the show never addresses the possibility that Hannah might have been suffering from some type of mental illness. In my opinion, this a failure on part of the show because most suicide victims also suffer from mental illness.

Everyone is talking about how great the show is and how it’s raising awareness on serious topics, but without someone saying there is another way to cope with these hardships, it’s hard to get past this glorification of suicide. I’m afraid people aren’t going to see the message the creators of the series originally intended to show its audience.

Moving forward, I hope 13RW remedies this problem by having other characters get the help they need, like Jessica. Because more than anything, people need to hear the words, It will get better.” 

As someone who has experienced issues with mental illness, showing how other people get through it, can motivate others do the same.

 

Review: The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill

TITLE: The Cat King of Havana Image result for the cat king of havana
AUTHOR: Tom Crosshill
SUMMARY: In the hopes of impressing his crush, Rick Gutierrez takes Ana to Cuba to learn Salsa dancing, but he soon learns he’s getting more than he bargained for.
GENRE: Young Adult | Contemporary
WARNING: Profanity in Spanish
RATING: 4/5 Continue reading

Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files_02) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

TITLE: Gemina Image result for gemina book
AUTHOR: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
SUMMARY: When Jump Station Heimdall gets attacked by BeiTech, it’s up to Hanna Donnelly (the captain’s daughter) and Nik Malikov (member of a notorious crime family) to put a stop to it and save their home.
GENRE: Young Adult | Action | Sci-Fi
RATING: 5/5
NOTE: This is the second book in the Illuminae files trilogy Continue reading

Review: Every Day by David Levithan

TITLE: Every Day Image result for everyday david levithan
AUTHOR: David Levithan
RATING: 4/5
SUMMARY: A 16-year-old literally changes bodies every day, never being the same person twice, and never staying longer than one day.
NOTES: This is the first book in a trilogy. The second book, Another Day, tells the story from another character’s point of view.

For today’s review, I want to start off with the one thing I disliked about the book before telling you all the reasons why you should definitely read Every Day by David Levithan. Continue reading