review: Girl in Translation

21 April 2011

title: Girl in Translation
author: Jean Kwok
stars: 5+
summary from goodreads
review by Kirthi

When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life--like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

Through Kimberly's story, author Jean Kwok, who also emigrated from Hong Kong as a young girl, brings to the page the lives of countless immigrants who are caught between the pressure to succeed in America, their duty to their family, and their own personal desires, exposing a world that we rarely hear about. Written in an indelible voice that dramatizes the tensions of an immigrant girl growing up between two cultures, surrounded by a language and world only half understood, Girl in Translation is an unforgettable and classic novel of an American immigrant--a moving tale of hardship and triumph, heartbreak and love, and all that gets lost in translation.


I was thrilled to learn about this book. One of my most favourite books that I love to read are cultural books on Asian and South American culture, and historical fiction. I especially love books on immigration, that show struggle, endurance, and success. It's truly inspiring, but it's been such a long time since I've read such a book. Michelle Moran's Egyptian books showed as much impact (and you know how I rant on her books!) 

 Kimberly is a genius. She's those kids to whom math and science are as easy as breathing. She's a genius that can balance horribly hard work, terrible living conditions, and struggle to live, and yet still gets the best grades in her school and fully paid scholarships. She is a strong willed girl who I now strive to be like.

 Of course, the story touches on the bullying of kids on her. Kimberly barely knows English and is very poor, both gives her classmates reasons to punish her. I connected with Kimberly's situation through my parents. Kimberly once asked her teacher for an eraser which she called "rubber" and the teacher ignored her and her classmates laughed. I remember when my Dad was working on something and he called to me and said "Do you have a rubber?" And I, who was about 10 at the time, laughed and said, "Really, Dad? It's called an eraser" 
 I know, I was cruel back then, but I stopped picking on my Dad. In Asian families, you must always respect your elders and teachers. Kimberly shared those beliefs, so you can imagine the connection I felt.

 The entire story as a whole made a huge impact. It taught of the time period, the habits and behavior of the people, and more on Chinese family and religion (Buddhism) 

 I thought that this was a young adult book, but I think it's more mature for adults. Maybe.....15 to 16 and older?

 All in all, I thought Girl in Translation was one of the best books I have ever read. And I highly recommend it!

Awesome Giveaway!

13 April 2011

This is the hugest giveaway I have ever seen. My affiliate, Liz, from Cleverly Inked, is hosting her 2nd Annual Birthday Phenomenon giveaway!

Here's the massive list of all the stuff:

Katherine Erksine
The Absolute Value of Mike- 1 Copy ARC
Mockingbird- 1 Copy

Cyn Balog
Sleepless- 1 Copy (signed)

Becca Fitzpatrick
Hush Hush- 2 copies (1 copy signed)
Crescendo- 2 copies
Crescendo Bookcover Posters

Josephine Angelini
Starcrossed- 1 Copy ARC (signed)

Lindsey Leavitt
Sean Griswold's Head- 1 Copy
Bookmarks (signed)

Maria V. Snyder
Inside Out - 1 Copy (signed)
Outside In - 1 Copy (signed) These will go as a set

Jannie Lee Simner
Faerie Winter - 1 Copy

Gwendolyn Heasley
Where I Belong- 2 Copies (signed)

Beth Revis
Across the Universe- 1 Copy (signed)

Holly Schindler
Playing Hurt-
Book Mark (signed)
Book Plate (signed)

Holly Nicole Hoxter
The Snowball Effect- 1 Copy

Christine Brodien-Jones
Owl Keeper-2 Copies (signed)
Bookmarks (signed)
Business cards

Susane Colasanti
So Much Closer- 5 Copies

Lynn Messina
Little Vampire Women- 3 copies (signed)

Joy Preble
Haunted- 1 Copy (signed)

Caren Lissner
Carrie Pilby- 1 Copy (signed)
Post-It Notes

Holly Thompson
Orchards- 1 Copy (signed)
Bookmarks (signed)
Postcards (signed)
Cell Phone Strap
Mikan Orange Stickers

Jana Oliver
Demon Trapper's Daughter- 1 Copy (signed & personalized)
Demon Trapper Decals
Atlanta Demon Trapper's Guild Iron-On patch
Postcard (signed)
1 entry card to Jana's "Year of the Demon Trappers" contest

The Duff- 1 AUDIO Copy (signed)

The Gathering-

Thirteenth Chime-1 Copy (signed)

Beautiful Darkness- 1 Copy (signed)

Lisa Cach
Wake Unto Me- 1 Copy ARC

Lynn Viehl
After Midnight- 1 Copy

Alissa Grosso
Popular- 1 Copy

C.C. Hunter
Born After Midnight- 1 Copy
Note pad
Mirror compact

The Thing Called The Future- 2 Copies
The Confessional- 2 Copies

Bettina Restrepo
Moose and Magpie- 1 Copy
Prize Purse

Ann Aguirre
Enclave- 1 Copy

Ty Roth
So Shelly- 1 Copy

Lauren Destefano
Wither- 1 Copy ARC

Michelle Cooper
A Brief History of Montmaray- 1 Copy & 1 Audio Copy

The Summer Before Boys- 1 Copy

Kristen Hubbard
Like Manadrin-
Bookmarks (signed)
Postcards (signed)

Eilis O'Neal
The False Princess- 1 Copy ARC (signed)

Emily Franklin
Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance- 1 Copy

Suzanne Selfors
Mad Love- 1 Copy

Amy Holder
The Lipstick Laws- 1 Copy (signed)
E.L.F Lipsticks
Taffy Lip Lollipop
Bookmarks (signed)
Lipgloss keychain
Lipstick Pen

Danette Vigilante
Trouble With Half a Moon- 1 Copy (signed)
Bookmarks (signed)

Sophie Jordan
Firelight- 1 Copy (signed)

Jennifer Brown
Bitter End- 2 Copies ARC (signed)
Hate List- 2 Copies (signed)

Ruta Sepetys
Between Shades of Gray- 1 Copy ARC (signed)

Julie Kagawa
Iron Queen-

Melissa Walker
Small Town Sinners- 1 Copy ARC (signed)

Lee Nichols
Deception- 1 Copy
Betrayal- 1 Copy (these will go as a set)

Jeri Smith-Ready

Carrie Jones
Need- 1 Copy
Captivate-1 Copy
Entice- 4 Copies ARC

Carol Lynch Williams
Miles From Ordinary- 1 Copy ARC

Moira Young
Blood Red Road- 1 Copy ARC

Lara Chapman
Flawless- 2 Copies ARC

Christina Mandelski
The Sweetest Thing- TO BE ANNOUNCED

Alyson Noel
Shimmer- 1 Copy

Sherrilyn Kenyon
Invincible-1 Copy

I know, it's unbelievable! Enter here

Casting for The Hunger Games

09 April 2011

Josh plays Peeta. COME ON!!! Look at him! He's the worst Peeta anyone could have picked!!! WHY ALEX?!
I just didn't imagine him like this >_<

 So here's Josh.

And Liam plays Gale. He's not a good Gale either, but better than Josh.
HE looks better in that picture, right? Now look at this one:
I don't even know where to go with's awful. How can this be Gale?

Review: Percival's Angel

08 April 2011

title: Percival's Angel
author: Anne Eliot Crompton
stars: 3
summary: goodreads
age group: unsure

Lili, an apprentice of the Lady of the Lake, is the childhood friend of Percy, the boy who will become one of Arthur's greatest knights. But as they grow older, Lili begins to see their differences. She has otherworldly magic while he has the magic that lives within the Human Heart. Lili dreams of knowing human love while Percy dreams of finding the Holy Grail. Neither can succeed without the other.

my review: 

The writing was unique, I knew this. And it didn't occur in modern times, but rather when the actual story happened: not an incarnation, or rebirth or the olde characters: the actual story (well, it's fictional, but you know what I mean)
 And unlike most stories, the POV was from the faErie, who was kind of like a sidekick to PerCival. I thought at first this was kind of a child's book, with you know, the faerie on the cover and the gold circle and all the leaves, but there are some bits that are more mature (like, sex and all) so that's why I was unsure of what aGe group to recommend this to.

  I enjoyed the perspective of Lily, and her honest confusion about human nature, it was a very new look onto our behavior, or those of the people back then. 

 However, it was a very filtered book, and short in my opinion. It filtered only what I thought was the necessary parts of a good story, and nothing extra, and for that reason, it may that I didn't like this book very much. But the triumphs are remarkable, and the idea of the Human Heart really intrigued me. I don't know where I stand on this book, really.

Review: CSN Products

07 April 2011

I've been on vacation! My cousins came over and I took a long expected break (phew!) and now I'm back. I know it's been forever since I posted my "Upcoming Review" for CSN (I am so sorry!) but (finally) here's my review.
I'd also like to mention how wonderful CSN is. Most of you bloggers have gotten the chance to work with them and you know what I'm talking about. The shipping is always fast, the people in CSN are very flexible and kind, and the whole experience is quick and easy and rewarding. And so, without further ado:

Hemp Yoga Mat Sling:
4.5 stars
price: $12.05

  Although a mat sling offers less protection than a mat bag, it's far much cuter. I love how efficient and stylish it is. I can sling my mat on my shoulder, show off my mat's awesome green colour, and take the mat off the sling easily. The sling itself is scratchy and made totally of hemp fibres, and it has velcro to stick on to.
   The sling just barely fit on to my fat mat (haha, fat mat. say that five times faster. it sounds almost as cool as buttmunch) However, I'm sure it'll be able to fit most mat sizes.
 The sling is very affordable, and is easier to handle than a full on mat bag, so it's highly recommended.

Next up is a Tai Chi training DVD. Now, I've bought another DVD in the past and it was alright, but I really reccomend going to an actual class with a teacher that can help. There are all types of yoga out there now, like Power Yoga and Mind Yoga and all that. There's so much commercial stuff out there where yoga is a rigourous activity that's going to make you lose weight soon. Really, yoga is an ancient lifestyle practice that isn't about losing the weight. The DVD was a good guide, but some moves felt awkward and since it was a DVD, I couldn't really ask questions and get advice. I can recommend this, but I would also recommend a good teacher.

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