Five Reasons to Read: Partly Cloudy by Tanita S. Davis – A Slice of Life MG Novel about Loneliness, Starting Over, and Extended Family

Synopsis:

Lightning couldn’t strike twice, could it? After a terrible year, Madalyn needs clear skies desperately. Moving in with her great-uncle, Papa Lobo, and switching to a new school is just the first step.

It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, though. Madalyn discovers she’s the only Black girl in her class, and while most of her classmates are friendly, assumptions lead to some serious storms.

Papa Lobo’s long-running feud with neighbor Mrs. Baylor brings wild weather of its own, and Madalyn wonders just how far things will go. But when fire threatens the community, Madalyn discovers that truly being neighborly means more than just staying on your side of the street— it means weathering tough conversations—and finding that together a family can pull through anything.

Cuddle's review:

The end of summer is a time filled with transitions, especially for kids and teens who are returning back to school. For Madalyn, a Black seventh grade girl, there are even more transitions, as she moves in with her great-uncle, Papa Lobo, as her parents who are geographically separated are doing their best to provide for their family. She starts at a new school where she is the only Black student in her class, has to become reacquainted with Papa Lobo and his neighbors, and fears the wildfires that threaten the landscape of the Pacific Northwest yearly.

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Book Review: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon – A Heartwrenching Contemporary Novel about the Definition of Love and the Power of Dance

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon. The book cover depicts a Black girl and Black boy dancing with one another in white, both smiling while dancing. Reviewed by Joce at The Quiet Pond.
Synopsis:

Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance Studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?

Cuddle's review:

I’m going to be honest here. I was on a time crunch with multiple writing deadlines, and needed to choose a book I could finish quickly, so I turned to a tried and true author whose books I have previously flown through: Nicola Yoon. Her newest release, Instructions for Dancing, seemed like the perfect candidate for all of my requirements, but I did not see the humongous wave of feelings coming that was about to steamroll me within these 300 (or so) pages.

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Book Review: She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen – A Sapphic Hate-to-Love YA Contemporary Romance with the Perfect Amount of Angst and Fake Dating

Synopsis:

After losing spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend in their first game since their break up, Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, the incredibly beautiful and incredibly mean Irene Abraham. Things only get worse when their nosey, do-gooder moms get involved and the girls are forced to carpool together until Irene’s car gets out of the shop.

Their bumpy start only gets bumpier the more time they spend together. But when an opportunity presents itself for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex (and climb her school’s social ladder at the same time), she bribes Irene into playing along. Hijinks, heartbreak, and gay fake-dating scheme for the ages.

Cuddle's review:

She Drives Me Crazy opens with our protagonist Scottie Zajac having a rough go of it. She is a basketball player for her high school in her small town of Grandma Earl, Georgia and has played a terrible game against her ex-girlfriend Tally, who she still loves, and who has transferred schools to rival Candlewick. Then, amidst her distress, she is involved in a car accident in the parking lot and the other party is her sworn enemy, beautiful and popular Irene, who once played a mean prank on her at a party.

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Mitali Perkins, Author of You Bring the Distant Near – On Writing a Multigenerational Story, Coming of Age and Trauma, and What’s Next

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

There‌ ‌are‌ ‌very‌ ‌few‌ ‌books‌ ‌on‌ ‌my‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Favorites‌ ‌shelf,‌ ‌but‌ ‌a‌ ‌book‌ ‌that‌ ‌will‌ ‌always‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌place‌ ‌on‌ ‌that‌ ‌shelf‌ ‌is‌ ‌‌You‌ ‌Bring‌ ‌the‌ ‌Distant‌ ‌Near‌ ‌‌by‌ ‌Mitali‌ ‌Perkins.‌ ‌This‌ ‌novel‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌YA‌ ‌multigenerational‌ ‌masterpiece‌ ‌that‌ ‌focuses‌ ‌on‌ ‌women‌ ‌in‌ ‌each‌ ‌generation‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌Bengali‌ ‌family‌ ‌who‌ ‌immigrated‌ ‌to‌ ‌New‌ ‌York‌ ‌from‌ ‌London‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌1970s‌ ‌and‌ ‌follows‌ ‌their‌ ‌story‌ ‌to‌ ‌present‌ ‌day.‌ ‌I‌ ‌remember‌ ‌listening‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌audiobook‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌car‌ ‌and‌ ‌wanting‌ ‌to‌ ‌befriend‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Das‌ ‌women,‌ ‌from‌ ‌independent‌ ‌feminist‌ ‌Sonia,‌ ‌to‌ ‌fiercely‌ ‌protective‌ ‌Ranee.‌ ‌ 

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Clarissa Goenawan, Author of In The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida – On Trusting the Writing Process, Grief, and Mental Health

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

The minute I heard about Clarissa Goenawan’s Rainbirds, it went on my TBR as one of my most anticipated books of 2018. The relationship between mental health, mystery, and a quiet slice of life intrigued me immediately. Rainbirds and her next release, The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, exist within the same community of people, and give a sense of closeness, but also vastness, considering the tone and subject matter. While reading both, I loved the feeling of intimacy gazing upon these characters’ lives, but also the broad philosophical questions woven into the story.

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