Skam Book Tag: The Boy Squad | Original

Guess who’s back, back again for round two because they’re still obsessing over this legendary Norwegian tv series called Skam… And this time around I can clearly point the blame of my fixation on the fact that the trailer for season four still hasn’t been released. Plus, filming for said season started recently, so I was bound to start all over with my profound love for the show.

Now, considering the fact that I’ve already created a book tag centered around my favorite girl squad, in this sequel/companion of sorts I decided to focus on the boys and highlight their characteristics. (AKA Skam has taken over my life Part II.)

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you want to buy any of the reads I mention in this post, just click on the books below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

  1. William Magnusson: your favorite “stop walking around like a fucking cliché” read.

As Noora Sætre likes to remind us, William is a walking cliché whose intentions aren’t the clearest at the start. Which is why I’m still unsure of what I think regarding those two together (particularly after season three). But regardless of that fact, I decided to go with Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David to fit this question. 

Like I wrote in my review, this is a YA romance set it in the Philippines, exploring one of my favorite tropes: hate to love. And it has so many Noorhelm parallels – with the addition of pranking one another – that I was practically giddy with excitement.

“She stared at him the whole time, a little smile playing on her lips. Upon catching her, he placed the spoon he’d been using on his empty plate and caressed her lower lip with his thumb. Because he could. Her lower lip felt soft and warm. He wanted to kiss it for the foreseeable future.
Her smile grew wider. “I like looking at you.”

Like, does this not remind you of William and Noora… And speaking of, I recently discovered this video edit of them, and I legit ended up having to wipe away my unasked-for tears (it was 3 a.m., but still).

Also, I couldn’t figure out for the longest time who Thomas Hayes, the actor who plays William, reminded me of until it finally all clicked when I recalled Andrew Garfield’s role in The Amazing Spider-Man. Now, I can’t unsee the resemblance:

2. Chris Schistad: your favorite fuckboy character.

To be frank, I don’t have any strong emotions concerning Chris. I mean, I do know that his whole fuckboy façade is just something I don’t click with it. However, since his name twin, Chris Berg, is one of my favorites, I loved him for a split second when those two met:

It really was one of the best introduction scenes.

But circling back, I’ve been thinking a bit about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, since the third book is set to come out soon. And I thought it fitting to put Lara Jean’s love interest, Peter Kavinsky, down for this question, especially since both Chris and he seem to be having quite the trouble with exes, girlfriends, and the like. My interest is peaked as to how their character arcs are going to come to a close.

“You’d rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.”

P.S. I have to laugh whenever Chris is referred to as “Penetrator Chris” because I’ll inevitably end up thinking of this quote: tumblr_mp6u8smnak1rcwz0co1_500

It took me ages to come up with a character as easygoing, enlightening and utterly lively as Eskild, but then thankfully Charlie Liang from Queens of Geek came to mind. She’s the queen of everything I love seeing discussed in books, from intersectional feminism to encouraging her friends to believe in themselves and standing up to anyone trying to erase her bisexuality. And I think the beauty of her character – in addition to bringing humor and light to any scene –  is that she can get sincerely supportive at just the right time, similar to Eskild.

“Like, sometimes I don’t think I’m being a girl right. I have an undercut and wear clothes I’ve bought from the boys’ section, and I don’t wear makeup or do my nails. I watch horror movies and play video games and burp and swear and don’t talk about my feelings or any of that crap. I’m like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, only before the makeover.”
“So?” Charlie shrugs. “Gracie Hart rocks. Besides, there’s no one way to be a girl, Tay. You don’t need to fit yourself into what society tells us a girl should be. Girls can be whoever they want. Whether that’s an ass-kicking, sarcastic, crime-solving FBI agent or a funny, gorgeous, witty, beauty queen—or both at the same time.” 

These are some serious friend goals right here.

So if you like the idea of strong friendships, diversity, swoon-worthy romance, or running through zombie mazes, participating in SupaFan contests and filming collabs…  you should definitely check out Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. 

4.  Isak Valtersen: your favorite angsty coming-of-age gay – or LGBTQIA – read.

tumblr_oik4mptxiz1r9zdazo3_400

To answer this question, I had to go with a recent favorite film called Moonlight, which I’m technically counting since I read the screenplay as well as watched it on the big screen. (And I just love it so much that I’m desperate to bring it up anytime.)

As the blurb of the film states, Moonlight is a chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

And since I’ve raved a lot about this brilliant game-changer in my review, I’ll try to keep it short and simple in here. Covering issues of race, discrimination, sexuality, m/m love, coming of age, and so much more. This character-driven film had me positively enamored in a matter of seconds, similar to Skam.

5. Even Bech Næsheim: your favorite straightforward read about mental illness.

Though it’s been a while since I last read it, I’ve found myself thinking about Hannah Hart’s Buffering a lot lately. You might recognize Hart from her wildly popular YouTube channel, but going into the book I didn’t have any prior knowledge about her save for that fact. But since I loved memoirs and nonfiction essays, I decided to give this one a go back in November. And the choice to read Hart’s essays remains to be one of the best ones I made that month; it leads me to a whole lot of other memoirs that I now consider favorites.

“Selfishly, I wanted to write this to feel less alone. Selflessly, I hope it helps you feel less alone too.”

This collection of narrative essays deliver a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she’s figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship and fame. But what stayed with me the most was when Hart talked about her childhood growing up with a schizophrenic mother and their relationship nowadays. Mental illness and mental health are two topics heavily and frankly discussed in Buffering, and I’m forevermore grateful for how she opened up her heart to the readers.

6. Magnus Fossbakken: your favorite character desperate to get some action.

I have only one read in mind for this question, but since it’s set to release in April, I’m still desperately waiting to have it in my hands. The book in question is, of course, Becky Albertalli’s second novel: The Upside of Unrequited.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

The blurb alone has my heart fluttering and my lips grinning from ear to ear. Plus, the promise of exploring sisterhood, humor, love,  Jewishness, and identity seems to be right up my alley.

7. Jonas Noah Vasquez: your favorite best friend character.

Honestly, I couldn’t think of anything more reassuring and unproblematic than the friendship in We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.

This contemporary read deals with both quiet and loud topics such as loneliness, grief, friendship, f/f love, heartbreak, and all things in between as you can read in my review. But at its core, this book is about the friendship, love, and compassion between Marin and Mabel. And their interactions were so honest, inspiring and achingly real, just like the ones we see with Jonas on screen.

“I look at her. I wish her everything good. A friendly cab driver and short lines through security. A flight with no turbulence and an empty seat next to her. A beautiful Christmas. I wish her more happiness than can fit in a person. I wish her the kind of happiness that spills over.”

I still can’t get over how the above passage manages to be both pure of heart and strong of spirit. I wholeheartedly recommend you give this book a go.

  1. Mahdi Disi: your favorite character with iconic one-liners.

Saving the best for last, Mahdi has uttered some of my favorite lines in season three. So when thinking of someone with a similar taste in humor, not a character sprung to mind, funnily enough, but Scaachi Koul’s dad. I recently read her hilarious collection of essays in One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, and whenever Koul mentioned something her father said, I cracked up laughing. And then later, upon recalling some of his comical quotes, I’d end up nearly in tears.

Take for instance this moment when her father was introduced for the first time to Scaachi’s older (by thirteen years) boyfriend:

“They shook hands. Papa led him into the kitchen, where all serious family matters tend to take place. He offered Hamhock tea. “You look good,” Papa said. “For someone your age.” 

There’s a lot more where that came from. And as I mentioned in my review, I would not mind reading a book solely about her parents. Speaking of, I don’t dare leave without having even talked about the mother, who’s one of the most inspiring ones out there.

“My dad first saw her at his cousin’s house—my mom was her friend—and was flustered by her beauty. Ask my dad and he’ll wax poetic about my mother’s cheekbones, her rich eyes, her long hair, how he needed to get to know her. My mom didn’t even know he was there.”

This is the level of cool, calm and detached I aspire to achieve.

On that note, however, I don’t think I’ll ever get over the scene where the boys™ are helping Isak text Even, and then proceed to panic when they realize he’s actually coming over.

THIS IS PURE GOLD. MY HEART IS SO FULL.


And that concludes the second part of my Skam book tag, thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed perusing this tag as much as I enjoyed making it. And funnily enough, I’m still not sure whether this will be the last part since season four is supposedly on its way soon… And I just need to know who the main will be.c7timmsu8aaeaf4 (I’m rooting for Sana Bakkoush!!)

As always, you’re more than welcome to answer this tag for yourself, and be sure to link me so that I can read your answers as well!! Plus, if you’re interested in reading more, you can check out my first part of the Skam book tag centered around my favorite girl squad.

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Review: Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 by Kate Leth

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 9-- bookspoilsThis graphic novel follows three young witches – Jolene, Claire and Andy, respectively – heading out on an East Coast road trip to retrieve their stolen belongings and track down the mysterious thief before he can do any damage to—or with—their magical possessions.

And this is now my second (favorite) read where the main character overthrows her jerk of an abusive ex boyfriend, who’s also coincidently called Nathan. I love it. Speaking of which, Spell on Wheels throws in so many of my favorite elements together:

  • diversity.
  • the occult.
  • witches.
  • f/f ships.
  • supportive and positive friendships between girls.
  • road trips.
  • notable humor.
  • feminism and calling out men on their sexism (!!!)
  • vibrant and colorful art. #aesthetic
  • JUST SO MUCH GOOD STUFF.

So I’m beyond excited to next share those cherished moments I mentioned above:
Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 2-- bookspoils

 

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 3-- bookspoils

 

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 4-- bookspoils

 

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 5-- bookspoilsClaire is #goals.
Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 6-- bookspoilsI included the above simply for the “H… Hi?” because it reminded me of that noteworthy Skam moment between Noora and Eva:

Which reminds me that there was another Skam moment in here that I absolutely adored: the usage of the ouija board.
Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 8-- bookspoilsIconic:

But circling back to the lively characters in this graphic novel, my favorite one remains to be Jolene Nguyen with her gorgeous name and tattoos:Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 7-- bookspoilsShe had some of the best scenes!!! Between handling her technopathic abilities, kissing girls and producing striking one-liners, it was hard not to get swept up in my love for her.

Plus, as I mentioned before, the art in here is just… so enthralling and fitting to the atmosphere. And I’m forevermore grateful that the style didn’t change throughout this volume.

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 10-- bookspoilsThese two eye-catching panels remain to be my favorite.

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 14-- bookspoilsThey showed that bastard Nathan exactly what they’re made of, just like they’d promised.

And last but not least, Claire hitting it off with a certain someone made me giddy with excitement when I realized just how much their budding romance reminded me of Scarlet and Wolf from TLC.Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 11-- bookspoils

 

Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1 12-- bookspoilsDiscussions on Beauty and the Beast is something I’m always up for.


All in all: Though it took me a bit time to get into the story because of some info-dumps at the start, I’m more than glad I stuck with it. Spell on Wheels is guaranteed to stay with me for awhile to come.

Also, I loved listening to this enthralling song while flipping from page to page:

Expected publication: June 20th, 2017 

4.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Spell on Wheels, Vol. 1, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Nasty Women by 404 Ink

“No one can do this alone and now more than ever we need each other.”

With intolerance and inequality increasingly normalised by the day, it’s more important than ever for women to share their experiences. We must hold the truth to account in the midst of sensationalism and international political turmoil. Nasty Women is a collection of essays, interviews and accounts on what it is to be a woman in the 21st century.

I’ve shared my immense excitement for this riveting collection before in my original Skam book tag, so I was beyond ecstatic to finally complete my journey. Full of inclusive, educational and politically relevant essays, this collection breaks all barriers. AND I LOVED IT.

Also, I’m beyond grateful that the triggering essays had warnings at the start. So I did end up skimming or outright skipping some pieces because my heart can’t handle certain topics. But, again, I’m immensely thankful for the mentions of trigger warnings at the start of certain essays.

Plus, I learned so much in the span of just 240 pages, and my mind is still reeling. Touching upon topics such as:

  • institutional sexism in the medical profession, along with contraception and women’s health.
  • the year 2016. It was… tough, socially and politically.
  • immigration. And the likes of certain people in their white, middle class bubble still believing that “Difference is bad. Difference is dangerous.”
  • female icons.
  • raising awareness of LGBTQIA+ rights.
  • racism, sexism and microaggressions being uttered in the same breath.
  • disability, faith, pregnancy, grief, underrepresented bodies, and so much more are also respectively addressed.
  • the reclamation of the phrase ‘nasty woman’ ‘a pretty glorious thing’.

There are also so many game-changing and mesmerizing quotes in here, I feel compelled to share them all in this review, instead of going out to shout it from the rooftops… It seems to be the wiser and more practical option, somehow.

“As a black woman in the Dirty South, can someone please explain to me how America was great, when it was great, and when it stopped being great?
I make ~70% of the salary of white male counterparts in my industry and specialty. Statistics show that I am significantly less likely to be married in my lifetime than any white female.The establishment of whiteness as normal and the impact of slavery negatively affects black women disproportionately to every other ethnic group in almost every aspect of American life. I’ve spent my entire adult life seeking the Greatness of America, but I’ve yet to find it. Can I find this Greatness with Google Maps?”

“You’re expected to feel grateful towards a country that has given you a better life than you would have had otherwise, but the idea of feeling grateful towards Britain makes me feel as if we’re in a host country, rather than our own.We have to give back more than those who aren’t a product of immigration.We have to earn our place here.We have to never give anyone a chance to say that we shouldn’t be here.”

“Success to me is no longer ‘passing’, but standing out. Making a measured difference. Changing attitudes, opinions, through being visible and asking questions that challenge oppression. Carving out a new space through the process of not accepting less than inclusion.”

“That being good means different things to different people and it’s impossible to please everyone.That pleasing everyone should never be anyone’s goal.That being good was not making me happy, in fact it was making me lose myself. A good woman is not necessarily a happy woman.And I choose happiness above all. Freedom.”

“‘Not everything is about race.’
‘Not everything is sexist.’
Perhaps not. But enough of it is for it to be an on-going problem that we simply cannot sweep under the carpet anymore. Being dark and female has made me hyperaware of nonsense, insults and abuse targeted at me and if I want change, I have to fight for it and write about it. Women like me are on the receiving end of both bigotries, so big congratulations for proudly proclaiming that you ‘don’t see race’ and that ‘men and women are completely equal in this day and age’. It’s great that you are privileged enough to never have to deal with both issues, so you can just speak it out of existence and deny misogynoir.”

“We need allies. We need support, we need you to acknowledge your white privilege and we need to be believed when we open up about the shit we’ve had to deal with our whole lives.
If all those things are too hard for you to accept and put into
practice, then you are not an intersectional feminist, wanting equality for all women, regardless of race, sexual orientation, class, etc., and if you are not an intersectional feminist then you are not a feminist at all. Remove your badge and hang it up for someone else to use because the battle for equality will only ever be but only half won.”

“The world is a dangerous place right now, but not as dangerous as a nasty woman with a pen in her hand and story to tell. These voices telling our truths cannot be shaken and they certainly will not be drowned out any more.
Why fear us when you can join us?”

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: March 8th, 2017

5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Nasty Women, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!