Street Team: My Recommendations

Street team

The Candle and The Flame Noor's Chosen graphic

Hello everyone! As apart of #TheCandleAndTheFlame street team I am going to recommend you some stuff! I decided not to recommend novels but instead other forms of media such as tv shows. Based on different aspects that are present in The Candle and the Flame. I won’t be including any links. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Three images were taken from Google images. The last one is from GR. A few of these may have some triggers. I’ll list the triggers. I would also suggest looking into triggers as well.  

Muslim Protagonist:

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Ms. Marvel follows Kamala Khan a Pakistani-American as she navigates super powers, high school, family, religion, and friendships. Throughout the series Kamala is tested in ways she does not expect and learns how to cope with the consequences of her decisions. 

Marvel fans will recognize some of their favourite superheroes making appearances. Captain Marvel and Iron Man make the most appearances. 

I love this series! Kamala is so relatable and sweet. Islam plays a major role in the series and it is done so beautifully! It means so much as a Muslim to have books with an accurate portrayal of Islam amongst teenagers!

Kamala’s family aren’t the only Muslims, there’s also her best friend Nakia and the Imam of the Mosque. Each play a vital role in the series and are very different Muslims. Other characters with different ethnicities and faiths are present as well. All dealt with beautifully!

The comic book series is ongoing. The latest release being Ms. Marvel Vol. 10: Time and Again

Trigger warning: Islamophobia, racism, discrimination, and bullying.   

Family:

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The Quintessential Quintuplets follows Futaro Uesugi who is top in his class, as he tutors a set of quintuplets. Much to his agony said quintuplets refuse his help at every chance they get. Along the way he befriends these quintuplets. And succeeds in getting them to study. There is also a bit of a mystery with flashes in the future.

The Quintessential Quintuplets has such a beautiful focus on family! Specifically sisters. Each sister is so unique and their relationship to one-another is the strongest part of the series!

I also really love that Futaro’s family plays a huge role! And while I really didn’t like him in the beginning he really grew on me. He grows from his relationship with the quintuplets and vice versa.

There is an ongoing Manga series as well as an anime. The anime has been renewed for a second season. Probably releasing in 2020.

Trigger warning: Grief. 

Strong Women:

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Violet Evergarden follows Violet who is coping with PTSD after the war has ended. Violet is described as a ‘doll’ by people. She’s very beautiful and doll like, but has no concept of people or emotions. Despite her doll like appearance Violet played a vital role in the war. Realizing that she needs to work on herself Violet gets a job writing letters for people.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Violet Evergarden! Despite it being a very sad series (there wasn’t an episode where I didn’t cry), I found quite a bit of it relatable. I liked that Violet needed to work on her emotional problems and PTSD after the war. She realized that she had a lot to work through and found a good way to do it. 

It’s really nice that by the end of the season, Violet also doesn’t fit into the typical ‘strong female’. She is away from the war and therefore not having to fight. Too many people (mostly men) consider ‘strong females’ to either have a superpower or amazing fighting skills.

Violet can fight really well, and throughout the season she realizes that there’s more to life than the war. That she can live a happy and accomplished life away from the war. It doesn’t define Violet let alone proves her worth as a person. 

There are multiple women in the anime and each one demonstrates tremendous strength! Violet works in an all female office, some of the episodes are narrated from her coworkers point of view. Which gives you each of the characters’ backstory along with their relationship to Violet.

The anime does such a excellent job portraying each of these women! None of them are perfect and they know that. All the women grow to be better from the relationships they have with one-another. Especially Violet.

The anime is available on Netflix. The light novel series is finished. There are going to be two films released. One in 2019 the other early 2020. 

Trigger warning: PTSD, grief, death, depression, and trauma.    

The Setting:

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Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic follows Aladdin as he asks a Dijinn for a wish. Aladdin is then transported to the real world where he meets Alibaba. The two become fast friends and vow to be by each other’s side. Along the way they meet a slave whose name is Morgiana. 

With the help of Aladdin and Alibaba, Morgiana is sent free. She chooses to follow the boys as a way of making it up to them. The three venture into different lands and find themselves in the presence of a power struggle.

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic utilizes it’s setting very well! The culture, the food, the language, etc. was done beautifully! There are so many different countries and people that make’s it enjoyable to watch. It also helps to give you the full picture without black or white.

It’s also so much fun that some of the characters are based off of The Arabian Nights! Others are based on tales sometimes from religious texts. As a Muslim I didn’t find any of this to be insensitive. Rather I felt that it was dealt it well! There are of course several differences from the actual stories the author used as an influence. I found that to be apart of the appeal.

There is an anime. Which is just two seasons and ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Plus there is a prequel anime series. It’s one season and also ends on a cliffhanger. The manga series is complete.

Trigger warning: Slavery, torture, abuse, trauma, death, and grief. 

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Street Team: Why Own Voices Matter

Street team 2

The Candle and The Flame Noor's Chosen graphic

Hello everyone! As apart of #TheCandleAndTheFlame street team I am talking about why I think own voices stories matter. Let me know in the comments what you think!

Why Own Voices Matter

When I first heard about the Own voices I didn’t think much about it. I didn’t really understand what that meant and what the entailed regarding books. It wasn’t until there were some own voices books coming up on my feed that I started to take notice and pay attention.

I saw quite a few books being published under own voices. That people were loving and raving about! There were a couple that sounded fantastic based on the representation alone.

It wasn’t until I heard about Salaam Reads,  an imprint whose primary goal is to publish various Muslim stories, that I became truly invested. And begun actively looking for own voices stories.   

I really love the whole idea! I think it’s wonderful that authors are being given a space and a title to write their stories under. While also bringing forth amazing and much needed representation!

I think these stories matter and important for the future generation. I see so much hate and ignorance that could really be avoided by educating the youth. Adults now have much more material to work with in educating the youth about different cultures, races, circumstances, disabilities, mental illnesses, and so much more!

I truly believe that if we can do that we really could be saving a lot of people. Now of course I know this won’t work for everybody and we have such a long way to go, but it’s still a start. And that’s better than nothing.

It also helps for children to see themselves represented! I an adult was overjoyed to see a Muslim book imprint! With that in mind imagine how a child would feel to see themselves.

I do hope that we as people continue to get better with own voices! And not just with books, but all other forms of media as well.

Overall, I believe that having own voices stories can help pave the way to a better future.       

Guest Post: Storytelling

Guest post

The Candle and The Flame Noor's Chosen graphic

Hello everyone! As apart of #TheCandleAndTheFlame street team Nafiza has come on my blog to talk about storytelling. Hope you all enjoy this post!

On Storytelling, the City of Noor, and Points of View

This post is in part a response to the reviews of The Candle and the Flame that do not understand the many points of view utilized to tell the story of Noor and in part an exploration into the politics of storytelling and their function apart from the obvious.

As I said on Twitter, I am from a culture that places primary importance on the collective compared to the importance of the individual as pervasive in Western culture. It may surprise you but until I moved to Canada when I was seventeen, I hadn’t thought that I could have a favourite colour, or food, or anything that pointed to my existence as an individual. While growing up, it was always what we liked. You understand the emphasis.

The Candle and the Flame is the story of the City of Noor. While Fatima is the protagonist, she is but one person who lives in the city. You cannot tell the story of the sky from the perspective of one star. Similarly, I couldn’t tell Noor’s story without using multiple POVS. 

For example, Fatima and her sister, Sunaina, speak lovingly of the apartment building they call home but when Bhavya visits the place she is horrified at its dilapidated condition. Multiple points of view, for me, create a richness and texture in the narrative that I wanted to impart in Candle.

As diverse stories become more common in YA literature, I believe we will find that diverse ways of storytelling will also become more popular. Maybe it is because I was raised to value the collective over the individual that I tend towards multiple POVs versus one. Or maybe it is because the story I wanted to tell demands multiple POVs. It also behooves us to beware of the rich tradition of cultures other than our own. Stories are more than an escape, especially for kids. People have written multiple papers on the subject.

Storytelling and stories are also a way to connect the old to the new. They are a way for people to find and celebrate their stories. In difficult times, stories are hope and in happy times stories are a caution not to take the happiness for granted. The Candle and the Flame is a celebration of people and their differences; it is also an ode to a city that is possible in real life. It is also a love letter to my readers from me.

Thank you so much to Nafiza and the street team for this wonderful opportunity!

   

Holiday: Ramadan

Ramadan

Ramadan Mubarak to all of my Muslim friends! May we all have a blessed month and achieve all of our goals. May we gain strength, become closer to Allah and become better Muslims. Aameen  💕

Curated Post: Book Fairs

Book fairs

Hello everyone! Today I am doing a curated post all about book fairs. In this post I am featuring Karim at Kotobee. I’ll be talking about my thoughts on books fairs then will feature a link that you all can check out.

When I was a child I loved book fairs! It was an excellent way to get books in one place for a decent price. I would find tons of titles that I hadn’t heard about and more that I was interested in reading.

Book fairs happened a lot at my school when I was in seventh grade. I believe they were from Scholastic? Though I can’t be certain. Those fairs really fostered (along with other factors) my love for reading! And I felt that it made a huge difference the the other children in my grade. 

Karim is the head of Digital Marketing at Kotobee. Kotobee is a bookish website that has e-books. Karim is allowing me to share a link to a blog post which is written by Kotobee, regarding international book fairs. Readers can look at the website and source out international book fairs in their area.

International Book Fairs 2019

Click on the purple link to access the blog post. 

A huge thank you to Karim for allowing me to share this wonderful website!

Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2019

April 2

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be doing my monthly wrap-up for April. I read 8 books. Click on the title to see my reviews. Either from WordPress or GR mini reviews. I’ll mention which of the two. If I haven’t reviewed a book I will include the book GR link. Author links not included. Let me know in the comments what you read in April!

Book(s) that I DNFed (0-2 stars):

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  1. Journey Across the Hidden Islands by: Sarah Beth Durst
  2. The Girl Who Could Not Dream by: Sarah Beth Durst
  3. Eona by: Alison Goodman-Mini review
  4. Willa of the Wood by: Robert Beaty-Mini review
  5. Love from A to Z by: S. K. Ali-Due to E-ARC format

Book(s) that I Enjoyed (3-4 stars):

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  1. The Case of Study of Vanitas Chapter 36 by: Jun Mochizuki

Favourite Book(s) of the Month (4-5 stars):

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  1. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Vol. 2-3 by: Izumi Tsubaki-Series link

Book Haul: April 2019

April 1

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be doing my book haul for April. Book Haul is when you share books that you bought from the bookstore, ebooks/kindle, borrowed from the library or a friend, books you won through giveaways, and books for review purposes. GR links for (only) the book titles. Let me know in the comments what books you hauled in April!

Library:

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  1. Journey Across the Hidden Islands by: Sarah Beth Durst
  2. The Girl Who Could Not Dream by: Sarah Beth Durst

Ebook/Kubo/Kindle/Audible:

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  1. The Case Study of Vanitas Chapter 36 by: Jun Mochizuki
  2. Defy the Fates by: Claudia Gray, Kasey Lee Huizinga (Narrator), and Nate Begle (Narrator)  

Netgalley/Publisher:

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  1. Seeker by: Kim Chance

Bookstore:

April books

April books 2

  1. Love from A to Z by: S. K. Ali
  2. If I’m Being Honest by: Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
  3. Descendant of the Crane by: Joan He
  4. My Hero Academia Vol. 18 by: Kohei Horikoshi
  5. Baccano! Vol. 10: 1934 Peter Pan in Chains: Finale by: Ryohgo Narita and Katsumi Enami (Contributor)