What up my channel? welcome back to another video, I’m Jesse and you’re watching… Today I have a video that was highly requested. I’m very excited about it And that is my top 10 worst reads of 2019. If you are used to following along on my channel, you’ll know that every month I make a video titled spilling positivITEA where I partner with sips by, a brilliant tea subscription company and for every tea nd I unbox I shout out a booktuber that I absolutely Adore. This is probably going to be the last month you’ll ever see a sipsby box on my channel because they are totally going to cancel me and Terminate our partnership after this video!!! since I’m spilling a lot of scalding tea in this video, I thought it would be fun to unbox my Sipsby box in this video. So I’m going to be unboxing and then I’m going to be picking a tea to make and I will sit down and drink that tea as I rant about these 10 books and of course because I just have Horrible luck with hyped books, all of them except for maybe one all hyped books. So there’s gonna be a lot of faves on this list. I’m sorry, you know I’m going to give you my honest opinions about books no matter what. it could be My mama’s favorite book and if I had issues with it, I’m a tell her! What’s in the box? what’s in this box!?! Let’s see what’s in the box. This is my January sips box. There’s a nice spoiler card as always and the spoiler card is nice as it tells you like what temperature to keep the tea’s at and for how long and such. so the first tea that I see is this Organic chamomile lavender. These are really fragrant. It smells so good. I absolutely love lavender tea. So that is a very strong contender. What else is in here? Okay, so we have our muslin cloth bags… These are what you pour who steep teas into in order to steep them safely in your cup. the next tea that I see oooo this is by Tea kitten. They sent me a lime Tea by T kitten early this year And I really really loved it. This one is pink citrus magic. It’s a low caffeine green tea. I Really want to try this right now. There’s two more teas left. This one is a matcha latte. It’s a matcha green tea with spices Oh I wonder if this has a lot of caffeine because I can drink this in the mornings when I’m running around and on the go. does it have caffeine? Okay, so it’s got medium caffeine which is going to be really really nice and the last tea in this box… Oh, this is from David’s tea David’s made that s’mores tea that I was fuckin obsessed with a couple months ago. I finished that package so quickly. So I’m really excited for this. This is called candy crane. candy Crane? Wow. candy cane crush! minty holiday, classic black tea, white chocolate, vanilla, peppermint candy, peppermint oil, snowflake candies…. Okay, all of this sounds amazing. I think I’m gonna save this for one of my reading vlogs because it sounds very very cozy. This video is going to be very emotional, that’s gonna be a lot of feelings that are going to get shared. I think I’m going to go with the chamomile tea just to help me stay calm because you don’t know once I get going… It’s it’s on like Donkey Kong. Okay, I’m gonna be right back after I make my tea Also huge shout-out to Alexia for the bowtie that I’m wearing this is a t-rex bowtie! I just think it’s so adorable and in case you’re wondering why I drink my tea through a straw it’s because tea stains your teeth More than coffee does so I drink my tea through a reusable metal straw in order to minimize any staining to my teeth. Oh my god, I am stalling because I know this video is gonna piss a lot of people off. So we might as well just get into it so I can lose all my subscribers. Number 10 on this list of books that wasted My time is none other than the Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. this was my first read of 2019 and I couldn’t have been more excited about it because people on bookstagram were just raving about this adorable Love story between a black female lawyer and a white male doctor. it was described as really cute and just enjoyable and so contemporary and I was really really Excited to see a black girl fall in love. and also the premise of the book I found to be absolutely intriguing and hilarious. It’s about these two business professionals who get trapped in an elevator together and the doctor whose name is Drew decides to ask Alexa– the lawyer– if she would accompany him to a wedding and so through the goodness of her heart and a lack of a social calendar Alexa says yes. And it’s about the wedding itself, the events leading up to it, and after it and about the relationship That buds between the two of them. I had to start my reading year on this note… I was trying so hard to complete it by December 31st. But I just couldn’t make it work cuz I had so much to do. I had a feeling… I had I Had a feeling it was gonna be a big disappointment… and I Was right. the miscommunication trope runs rampant with this one! I’m able to suspend my belief for a lot of stories, but I just I just didn’t believe that a fucking lawyer… Somebody who argues and communicates for a living …would allow a miscommunication to run so wild between her and the person that she was dating and I said this earlier on in the year and somebody commented and said like “yeah you but you’d be surprised about how often miscommunication happens between adults” and that is 100% true so my issue the miscommunication Trope in this story could just be my own personal problem because it is so opposite to Who I am. if I have an issue With you, I will tell you immediately! I will tell you up front and then we will address the issue and I will move on with my life. I absolutely do not dwell on miscommunications or issues that have arisen between me and a friend as long as the issue gets addressed… I move on and it’s the same way in my partnerships. If my partner does something that I’m uncomfortable with I will tell them immediately And it will get addressed and then we will move on …and so I just really didn’t enjoy that the miscommunication Trope was used in place of an actual potential conflict. the story itself read as incredibly juvenile, I also didn’t like that Drew and Alexis start having some very very rough sex and They never once discussed how they were going to have sex safely. They didn’t discuss consent, Drew didn’t ask Alexa if she was comfortable with him doing some of the things that he was doing and vice versa And I just believe that we need to see safe sex normalized a lot more in our books. And I’m not gonna lie, Drew really got on my nerves – I didn’t like him. I thought that he was very ignorant and his jealousy was depicted as something that was romantic and attractive. I didn’t think it was cute at all. you and your jealousy can head right out the door! There is no level of cute a person can be for me to put up with jealousy. I ended up giving the wedding date 2.5 stars. The next book is the everlasting rose by Dhonielle Clayton. This is the sequel to the belles, the highly anticipated Sequel to the belles that I was so excited about. if you’ve been keeping up with my Favorites Videos, You’ll see that the belles made my top YA books of 2019. Unfortunately, this did not. In case You don’t know, the Belles is a New Orleans Inspired world in which people are born gray except for the belles. Now if you are a belle you have the ability to use Arcana in order to manipulate The world around you. you can give people’s skin color, you can make them taller, you can give them any amount of features or customization as long as they have the money to pay. And our main character, Camille, wants nothing more than to be the top belle in The palace. her name is camellia But she also goes by Camille. Book one is about her finding out that Palace life is not all that It seems. there’s something very nefarious going on and happening to the Belles and book two is basically her on the run Just trying to survive. like its predecessor, there were such gorgeous descriptions in this book. And that is what really kept me going. I absolutely love Dhonielle Clayton’s writing. I think that she is a wildly talented wordsmith and her craft truly shows in this book. the character development is really excellent – in book one you see how Curious and fascinated Camellia is with the palace and with everything that’s going on in her environment. And in this book, you see all of her curiosity turned to anger because of the things that have happened to her. and so I really liked that transition. a big theme in both of these books is about angry girls and how valid it is to be an angry girl and the reasons that girls have to be… angry in society. It also shows that you don’t have to be a hyper masculine girl in order to be a freakin badass Many y-a fantasies have a big issue with depicting only masculine tomboyish girls as the strong one. there’s a lot of girl hate in Y a fantasy ,there’s a lot of femmephobia in YA Fantasy and so one of my favorite things about this book is that it stands in complete contrast to a lot of those toxic attitudes. I absolutely loved the theme in this book of how it takes not just one or two of us to stand up to oppression, But all of us have to make a stand in order to change. “We can’t expect one person or even two to take the entire burden of resisting on their shoulders We all have to stand up and say no” but i was so frustrated with Camille in this book! I thought that Camille was putting herself in danger, making Incredibly unwise decision just for the sake of creating drama and action and I felt like there were better ways To have written drama and action and danger into the story without the main character losing all of her foresight! She was basically just challenging head-on into very ill-advised situations and I just felt it wasn’t at all in line with the wonderful character that we got to meet in book 1. the worst part about it is that I can’t even discuss the Things that she did because they’re all huge spoilers and then there’s a big part of the book where she starts to experiment with magic in a way that’s never been experimented with before and I found it…. I found it kind of hard to believe that no Bellle before and the history of belle-dom has EVER tried to experiment with their powers!!! Ok share Jan, I gave it 2.5 stars. And it upset me more than it should have because I was just so so excited for the sequel. the belles felt as if I were climbing a mountain and I got to the top ready to cheer about My incredible victory and the sequel was me just getting KICKED off the fucking Mountain and Plummeting to my death. book number three is Priory of the orange tree by Samantha Shannon. Now this is on the list because it was so heavily hyped and I went into it wildly Excited about it and it just it was just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t bad per se but for a book that was 700 pages… I should have left it feeling a little bit more satisfied than I did. You know what I’m saying? Priory of the orange tree. Is this really complex YA fantasy that has dragons and I feel like that’s pretty much all the synopsis we need. it’s got dragons, It’s got dragon writers, it has Palace life.. and we get to follow a myriad of characters as they try to navigate assassinations and betrayal, falling in love, and each of them have to band together in order to defeat this ultimate ancient evil . now, I absolutely friggin loved the normalization of queerness in the story. It was just so SO gay. I loved Sabran. Sabran was the queen, she was my favorite. I thought that Sabran was so badass, so misunderstood, but complex. I thought that she was full of herself and stubborn and pigheaded but also cared so deeply about her people and about doing what she believed was right. the fight scenes in this book were freakin awesome. Okay, I really really enjoyed the fight scenes. I was very very invested and entertained by them. and I think the strongest point of this book by far is the world building. The world building is so intricate and so lush. it’s Lavish! definitely felt like a world that you could fall into once you opened the book and I see so clearly why so many people loved Priory of the orange tree. my problem with it was that… those things in and of themselves were not enough for me to hype and endorse this book. some of the sentences and descriptions were just very very clumsy. It felt like the author was trying a little bit too hard to use unconventional language and then they were just… Teleporting!!!! characters would be in one spot and if you look at the map, they would have to cover HUNDREDS of miles and then in the blink of an eye they would be at their destination and I was just like when did Nightcrawler pop into this book to help y’all out? Where has Kurt’s been? Apparently this book is set in the Marvel Universe and when Kurt disappears in the comics, he reappears in Priory of the orange tree in order to act as a chauffeur to help the characters get around. It was ludicrous. And the convenience issues, oh my god that was… Where– the– where the– was the convenient writing Okay, there would be an impossible situation that a character would be put in and you’d be asking yourself as the reader “Oh my goodness! However, is this character going to escape their current plight?”and then all of a sudden something would appear to save them from the situation and that something was completely new to the story and had never been built up or established. I will give you an example: one of the characters. I don’t remember who it was. One of the characters is trapped.. I think at the top of a mountain and all of the sudden a magical bird appears and gives them a ride to safety. Now this species of bird. Maybe it’s not even a bird I don’t remember what it was… this species of bird had not been mentioned at all in the book. Its existence hadn’t been established. so it was literally like the writer was writing the story and she was like,” oh How was the character going to survive? I know Magical flying bird” and she created it on the spot. next we have the Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala. I actually don’t know if this is considered a hyped read or not. But I definitely saw it going around, I was really really excited about it. Non-western centric fantasies are definitely my jam and I was freaking so thrilled from the synopsis alone! It’s about two characters Esha and Kunal. Esha is this legendary teenage badass assassin named the Viper and she decides she’s going to sneak into the palace and murder this general that has been oppressing people and causing issues for A long time.There is Kunal who is the nephew to the general. He’s been raised in the palace, He is a soldier who follows orders without question, and always does what he’s told. This book is described as a cat-and-mouse game between Esha and Kunal and Kunal is tasked with unmasking and killing the Viper but not if the Viper kills him first! the strongest part of the book for me was the lore and the culture. so beautiful. and that’s what kept me going throughout this story, but the cat-and-mouse game got old…. Real quick! It was as if the author decided that every 50 pages Esha would capture Kunal, there would be a lot of strange sexual tension, Kunal would escape, she would go hunting after him, The two of them would fall into some sort of trap and then have to rely on each other to get out of the trap, And then they would go their separate ways only to repeat it all in the next fifty pages. There was a lot of telling instead of showing which I might have been able to look past if the characters weren’t so Cookie cutter! you have the outlaw assassin and you have the law-abiding soldier. These are characters have been done a thousand times before and that itself isn’t a problem. But unfortunately, they followed the mold of their characters so specifically without ever wavering. and can I just say I never once believed that Esha was the Viper? we are expected to believe that Esha is the World’s most lethal assassin despite the fact that it was never really explained how she got to be that way. On Goodreads, I gave it three stars, but honestly I think it deserves it two. book number five is To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Cristo. this is number five on my list because I read it from mythathon, the mythology centric read-a-thon that I hosted. I was on team earth because I am an earth sign and team earth was hosted by Brittany from Brittany the bibliophile, who I cast as the reincarnation of the goddess Aphrodite. Brittany picked this book because it fit really really well with the prompts and I personally hold Brittany responsible for making me fucking read this. Just kidding Brittany, you know, I love you. Love you a little less now, but I still love you. This is a dark ya little mermaid retelling where princess Lira collects the hearts of men. she lives under the sea, she is a siren who loves to lure men to their deaths with her sweet song. However, because her mother the evil sea Queen puts a lot of pressure on her. Lira can’t have just any man– She only takes the heart of princes. Enter prince Elian who is a prince that loves to be on the water. he spends his days with his ragtag crew on a ship going out and hunting sirens because sirens kill a lot of people and.. It upsets them. So, of course, this is two enemies to lovers YA fantasy about these two unlikely characters intersecting and falling in love. This Tea is not doing its job. I’m still wound up. God. I wish this was tequila. Oh my god. Here we go. I really really liked the writing, I thought the writing was pretty and it was lyrical and it is what really really drove this story. I really like books that are set under water. I am so fascinated by the sea because I am terrified of the ocean. I have a deep fear of being in a body of water when my feet don’t touch the ground. that bothers me. that’s an issue for me. and this fear is because I believe that there are Giant sea creatures in the ocean and there’s nothing you can do to convince me otherwise. as large as the ocean is, it’s improbable that there are not creatures who have adapted to survive its depths. the bottom It’s improbable! that being said, this book was just so… The villain. let’s first start by talking about the villain. I kind of went on a rant on one of my videos, I think it was the wrap-up where I discussed this book that I went on this rant, but I essentially was ranting about how YA fantasy needs better villains. a lot of the villains in YA fantasies are Just evil for the sake of being evil. They have little to no backstory, little to no characterization, and their only motivation is to cause chaos for the main characters. It’s just not exciting to read, it’s not interesting, and I need my villains to have the same level of characterization as the main characters. as the protagonist. on top of that this is a historical wya fantasy, this is prior to advancements in science and technology And there are lines that just don’t make any sense? One of the characters on the ship on Prince Elian’s crew once says” ever since we pulled down to skeleton crew There’s been too much testosterone on board” There will be oddly Modern language woven throughout the book that just kept bringing me out of the world that had been established. And I just love the cover. There’s something about a dark blue and orange cover that really pops for me. I absolutely love books that have serpent imagery on the covers… unfortunately every single book that I read this year that had serpent imagery on it was a Huge disappointment. and don’t even get me started on the romance between Prince Elian and princess Lira! First of all, I hated Elian on and I think that princess Lyra should have killed him long ago. I didn’t buy into their romance at all. started out so slow and measured and then it snowballed and I just… i think I ended up giving this book three stars. I could easily be knocked down to it 2. now We are down to our bottom three books. number four!!!! It’s number four! and this is where it gets really gritty. They’re all very well respected. It’s books that people love so much and… I’m not one of those people. I attended bookcon in 2019. And yes, I will be at book con again in 2020 and this book was being very very hyped at bookcon. people were damn near killing each other to get arcs of it. This is a very beloved authors second book But it is in an entirely new genre and I love when authors branch out of their genres. So I was really really excited to give it a try especially because the synopsis sounds amazing! It sounds like everything I absolutely want in a book and that book is Imaginary-Friend by Stephen Chbosky. the synopsis is the best part of this book. Okay? Do you see how thick this is? This book is 700 pages long. Why? why ?why? why? tell me why! This book follows Kate and her son he’s like 12 …13, how old is this child? Whatever we’re gonna say that he’s 12. This book follows Kate and her 12 year old son named Rhys. Wait, that’s not his name. Oh my god, my brain is trying to keep me from talking about this book! This book follows Kate and her 12 year old son named Christopher. Kate’s latest boyfriend has become abusive and she’s taken her son and decided to flee in order to protect both of their lives. So they moved to this very remote town in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods once in the woods. Christopher wanders off and he disappears for I believe three days and after his three-day disappearance… He comes back home with an imaginary friend. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again My kid not allowed to have no damn Imaginary friend! my child is not allowed to talk to anything that I can’t see! I will replace you with a puppy so quick. and that’s why I don’t have kids. The suspense, the thrill, the h.orror in this book is juicy and delicious I had absolutely enjoyed all of those elements. that was what I read the book for and that is the only reason why I gave the book as high of a rating as I ended up giving it. now if you take those elements away, if you take away my Sick love for being uncomfortable and for being at freaked out and creeped out. Then you realize that this book is just a big pile of “what the fuck” it ends up taking a turn. I’m not gonna tell you what kind of turn because I feel like it would be a spoiler. but if you’ve read this book, you know what I’m talking about and it was so ridiculous. it was So ridiculous! the turn that this book took it was like Stephen Chbosky got to page 375 and he was like “You know what? I’m gonna write a completely different fucking story” and that’s exactly what he did! The turn of this book takes is about a topic that I don’t enjoy reading about and in fact It’s a bit of a turn-off in books if I can be perfectly honest. Some of the reason that people enjoyed this book as much as they did is because Stephen Chbosky wrote it. He also wrote the Perks of Being a Wallflower And I know in my heart of hearts that if his name was not on this book y’all all would be like what the hell Happened at the end – pun unintended – my other critique of the book is that you can definitely tell that Kate’s character was written by a man. 1000% of her character development is a result of the men who have abused her. She does grow in this book, She does develop but only because of the ways that men have made her suffer. She doesn’t get any sort of development or growth that doesn’t involve a man. there’s literally a scene where a man punches her in the face, and she like spits out a lot of blood and goes “I’ve learned to take a punch long ago now I can throw one” and that was Supposed to be the height of her character development. I just.. also the men around her are so Sexist. they sexualize her so much that it just kind of felt. I don’t know I.. I can’t quite put my finger on it. But the way that women were treated in this story just it didn’t sit well with me. I ended up giving imaginary-friend 2.75 stars just because I love the relationship between Kate and Christopher and I absolutely loved the horror, but Wow, oh oh my god! and I almost forgot my buddy read this with Julia sapphire and I almost forgot to mention… Julia do you remember the plastic bag?! There’s a character in this book who is a plastic bag. And I don’t mean that like the plastic bag is a metaphor and I don’t mean that the plastic bag is Imaginary – it’s a real character. inside of a plastic bag. for Months after reading this book – probably about two months after reading this book – I could not look at a plastic bag without giggling. a thriller shouldn’t be so ludicrous that I’m laughing what I shouldn’t be laughing. “So Johnny, what do you want to do today?” Next up on this list is Themes Music by T Marie Vandelly. I Cannot express how excited I was for this book. This was in my top five anticipated releases of 2019. I never made an actual video for that But this was one of the five books that I was looking forward to the most and now I would do anything in my power to erase this book from my memory. This book is taking up precious space in my damn mind and I can never forgive it for that. Not only is the cover absolutely gorgeous But the synopsis is equally entertaining. 26 year old Dixie is just one year old her entire family is slaughtered. I don’t know why I was smiling when I said that, I’m so sorry. in this adult psychological thriller we meet Dixie twenty-five years later and the house where her family was murdered and goes up for sale and she decides to move into it- white people- y’all here’s what I Want to know: why are black people always dying in horror movies When white people out here acting like this?! literally moving into homes in hopes that they’re haunted! yo Okay, real talk: a light bulb shattered in my apartment. And I stayed at a friend’s house. Now. I know that there’s a perfectly logical explanation for that and it didn’t stop me from getting the fuck out of my apartment. moving on again this thriller did what I absolutely loved in thrillers. It was bold. It was unsettling. It was gruesome at times and I drank it the hell up. I really really enjoyed the unsettling the psychological elements, Dixie is definitely an unreliable narrator, And she definitely has mental instability you see her mental instability throughout the book and you know that that is guiding her actions. if You’re one of those people who enjoys thrillers from the perspective of somebody who is mentally unstable, Such as Joe from You by Carolyn Kepnes. I haven’t read that book yet – But if you enjoy that, you would probably enjoy this book. I did not! the reason that this book is on this list is Because I could not stand that Dixie was allowed to get away with some awful shit. I wanted to see some level of accountability for literally any of her actions! and while I can forgive that to some extent – there’s a scene in which She sexually assaults a male character after literally stalking him and the entire scene is just treated as a joke. It’s seen as a quirky part of her character. It’s seen as comic relief and that did not sit well with me. I I tried so hard but I just could not see past it especially because she suffered zero repercussions for her actions and I just feel like if that had been a male character who did that to a female character… Y’all would have called the police! This is 9-1-1. What’s your emergency? Hello? Yes, please. Hurry. Somebody who’s been attacked! Alright now I understand that you’re upset. Just please try and stay calm. No, you’re not listening, You need to come right now! I will send a dispatcher to your location immediately. Tell me when and where this attack place. It was on page 253 of theme music. Excuse me? Are you calling about events that took place in a fictional story? Yes, that’s exactly right and this dirtbag is getting away with it! I hate booktubers. Hello? Operator? Hello? I ended up giving Theme Music two out of five stars. Hi, it’s editing Jesse I’m sitting here editing this video and Enjoying this nice fireplace and I realized that I totally forgot to mention queen of the Conquered! That was the next book that came after this one. I’ve talked about this In my last black real magic vlog, I gave it like two stars. It just wasn’t good. But I love Kacen Callender with all my heart – But this book wasn’t good. Number two on my list of books that wasted my time in 2019–. I’m gonna need something stronger I Am NOT going to talk about these next two books without medication. now if you’ve made it this far in the video comment down below with your guesses, which two books are my top worst books of 2019? The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. “but Jesse, what happened to the book jacket?” I tore it off in a fit of rage. The Goldfinch is a book that takes place in 2008 and it follows a young boy named Theo who lives in New York City with his very beautiful and somewhat aloof mother. Culture and artistry is very very important to his mother and so one day they are at a museum.. I forget what museum it is, it honestly doesn’t matter – a bomb goes off killing Theo’s mother and leaving him having to go through a series through foster homes. Now. I was really excited about this book because of how heavily hyped it was. it won a Pulitzer in 2017 I believe? I think it was 2017. such such high praise for Donna Tartt’s writing. So I love books where characters have to kind of go through foster homes, That is pretty much the premise of my favorite book of all time, which is White Oleander by Janet Fitch. at the time that I read this I went on my Instagram and I Laid out in exquisite detail all of my issues with this book. There are screenshots. I’ve highlighted, I have shared why the things that I read in this book Upset me to the level that they did. that highlight is still on my bookstagram. It’s still really difficult for me to talk about this book, So if you would like a more cohesive review go to my bookstagram and check out that template. It’s called awful books. I give specific reasons as to why this book was not okay. I’m going to try to be articulate here, but I’ve been drinking! Oops, this is what happens when you drink and film. Wait, I’m not ready. Let’s talk about the white characters saying the n-word for comic relief. Extremely unnecessary. I need white authors to just leave the n-word alone. Leave it alone. It’s not yours to write about you don’t need to depict it in your story in order to show how bad racism is – leave it the F alone!!!! every person of color. Every person of color! was a maid or otherwise in a servile position. They were not only given minimal lines, But the lines you were given were used as opportunities for these characters to gush about how much they loved their jobs. It was just for fricken ridiculous. I can’t remember the specific scene because I’ve tried so hard to blot the details of this book from my mind But there’s a scene in which one of the poor characters of color offers to either come in on their day off for no pay or to do something for no pay in order to help one of the wealthy white characters out and it just it was fucking ridiculous. The only time that these people were given any kind of purchase to speak was when they were serving the white characters in some way shape or form. now the white people who have argued that Donna Tartt wanted to stick to reality is a bullshit racist excuse because Theo carries around a multi-million dollar historic painting in a fucking pillow case for most of this book; you expect me to suspend my belief enough to believe that that is an event that could plausibly occur, but it goes too far to imagine that we can have a well-rounded character of color that isn’t in a servile position?! like there were no people of color Who weren’t working for white people in 2008??? mind you in 2008 Obama had just become elected and there was so much rhetoric– I remembered this rhetoric very specifically as a black person because I kept hearing it from white people — that racism was over. that Racism was dead, that things are better now because we have a black president. People who read this book thought that it was set in the 50s because of how it depicts people of color. I will repeat that this book reads like it was set in 1950 and that’s just not OK. and then there were the people who Seriously expect me to believe that Donna Tartt was attempting some type of serious critical commentary about race and doing something truly Revolutionary by having white boys say the n-word with no consequence – zero Consequence for their racism– and the racism is never once challenged in the text. never once challenged through dialogue or through narration. It just is there and I’m sorry writing a racist character is not a revolutionary act. You’re literally just doing what racist white authors have done to people of color throughout history. I just honestly can’t believe that the bar for white people writing about race is so low that this book could win a Pulitzer Prize in 2017. I don’t think you all realize: Donna Tartt is rich because of this book and in case you believe that I’m exaggerating on page 358 we meet our first black female character who was given a speaking role and of course, she’s the bus driver. “Do you hear what I said?” She repeated with an aggressive side-to-side head tic, She was as wide as a prizefighter, the nametag atop her impressive bosom read ‘Denese’. ‘You can’t HAVE that dog on this BUS’ Then impatiently she made a flapping hand gesture as if to say ‘get him the hell back in that bag!'” Now the words that I emphasized are Italicized in the text to show the attitude in them. this is such a racist depiction of a black woman, a Caricature of a black woman, the way black women speak and act and behave and Its just..racist. it wouldn’t have bothered me So much if there had been people of color depicted in the book who weren’t caricatures for their race, who weren’t Servants, who had been given speaking lines that didn’t have to do with serving white people. when I tell you I was shaking with anger while reading this book, I truly meant it. the fact that there are so many white people who are willing to read this book and defend it over listening to the people of color who say that we’ve been hurt and harmed and enraged by this book just proves how prevalent that racism still is in 2020 it shows how racist our society still is and that we really don’t care about the concerns of people of color. Don’t get me wrong You can read this book and give it five stars and love it and make your favorite book of all time. That is totally fine but that doesn’t mean that this book isn’t harmful and racist. if this book were a Person their name would be RAY-SIST. Its RACIST. white readers: in 2020, I really need y’all to start paying attention to how people of color are being depicted in your books. I need y’all to start seeing and calling this out instead of just Relying on people of color to have to do it for you. I need you to start paying attention. I need you to start analyzing how people of color are being depicted. Are they being given speaking lines? Are they only being reduced to their race, are they being depicted in a way that is stereotypical? does the book read like it’s set in 1950 when it’s supposed to be set in modern times? I need you to stop depending on “own voices reviews” and start critically thinking about the way that people of color are being depicted. I know you’re not gonna catch everything but the racism that was woven throughout this book should have been picked up! It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. and if you want more receipts for the racism in this book go to my Instagram because I gave many. But I need to also really start seeing and paying attention to harmful representation for people of color in your books so that you can protect readers of color. Readers of color don’t deserve to have to go through this. I need y’all to like start actually being allies and look out for us. And I also need y’all to stand up for us when we say that the content of a book were harmful to us. I’m not gonna lie. Like this book made me feel so shitty and so not great about myself. I think a lot of white folks don’t realize that when we as people of color read shit like this it actually does hurt us. a lot of y’all just think that we’re being sensitive and that there’s no actual repercussions for writing a book with poor representation, but there is. now it’s time for me to talk about my number one worst book of 2018 the book that wasted my time the most. This glass is too low. I’ll be right back – and That book is serpent and dove by Shelby Mahurin. Now I swore I swore in a recent video that I would never talk about this book again. I unfortunately forgot that I had to talk about it again for the purposes of this video. I made an entire dedicated “book that wasted my time review” for this book. This is a witch- witch hunter love story that is based and I believe it’s 17th century France. Our main character Lou is a witch who has left her coven, She’s pretty much sworn off of magic and is just trying to survive but through a series of really unfortunate events, She is forced to marry Reid Who is this very …you know… law-abiding Chaucer citizen who supports the burning of witches and it’s about this hates to love relationship between the two of them. if you want to see my full rant review of this book, you gotta watch the dedicated video because like I just don’t have the energy to go into detail in talking about all of the ways that this book irritated me. I will say world building. Where was it? Who was she? where does she live? it didn’t make sense. What interesting thing about all of this though because this was such a hyped and beloved book, people were just absolutely raving about it, Which is why I picked it up because I wanted to rave and be excited with it alongside everybody else! I really really hated that the issues with it were so glaring that I couldn’t ignore them. I couldn’t move past them in order to enjoy this along with the rest of the reading community. There are just some things I can’t move past in my books. I can’t move past fat phobic comments. I can’t move past white characters getting whole pages of descriptions of their features and what they’re wearing and then black characters getting described as curvy and dark-haired and that’s it. I can’t get past black characters being referred to as the “ebony witch” while the white characters get a full-blown description. I can’t move past those things. I don’t have the privilege of being able to not be bothered by those things in my books. So I’m going to call it out when I see it. And what was interesting about me posting this review was that I saw the other side of booktube when I did. Welcome to booktube where we’re all about honest bookish opinions! Oh, oh my gosh, that is such a relief because let me tell you there’s this hyped book that I really just didn’t like. What is your problem you son of a — one side of booktube says hey, you know, you’re entitled to your opinion, You’re allowed to feel the way that you want to feel…. it was interesting because that same side once I said like “hey, this book is problematic and harmful” was like How dare you not like my favorite book?!?! and I was like “damn weren’t you literally just saying that people can like whatever they like And dislike what they don’t like like, can you just let me live??” you can love the book. That’s fine Do you boo! it’s a shitty book. But that doesn’t mean you’re a shitty person for liking it. the second thing that I found really interesting about how the community responded to my review was so many people were like “Jesse said the book is racist!” that I found really interesting because my review was like 30 minutes long and I didn’t mention race until the end and my issues with race Were PALE in comparison to all of my other issues with the book and it’s just really interesting How like what a black person critiques something about race white people kind of blow it up and make it Bigger than it actually is. It’s almost like some people can’t handle black folks calling out racism…. There’s one thing I can say for this book And that is– this is the book that convinced me that white people don’t need to have people of color in their stories. Look Look if THIS is how you were going to depict people of color just leave us the fuck out of it. Okay? write your all white casts, that’s fine. I’ll still read the book. I will read your all-white cast book and I will enjoy it – I would probably enjoy it more than if you try and write characters you know that you can’t write with any level of empathy. if you know that you are incapable of writing a Well-rounded person who happens to be brown – Don’t put a brown person in the book. look like I will just get my brown Representation from Brown authors at this point. if we are going to keep the bar this slow for white authors writing about race, then I’m not going to be criticizing white people for not having people of color in their books anymore. You will never hear me Say the words again. “Oh, this book was good but I wish the author had included characters of color” because I’ve seen what happens when certain authors include characters of color and I’m Fucking good. as I’ve said before This is the LAST time I will talk about serpent and Dove. if you want to watch that rate that review go for it. If you want to comment down below your opinion on the book and argue with me about why it wasn’t problematic –go for it I’m not going to respond and I’m not gonna read your comment because for my own self care, for my own healing, I need to put this book past me because it was harmful to me for me to read. whether you want to acknowledge the fact that I was harmed by it or not is your business, but I’m putting myself first. So yeah This is the last time you will ever hear me say The words “serpent and dove” on bowties and books. that is it for this video Yo that camomile tea did NOT help me. Thank you for watching another bowties and books production. Please like this video and subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already, I would absolutely love it If you become a part of my dapper family. All of my social media links are going to be in the description box below and I can’t wait to see you in my next one!


AlkemiReads · January 16, 2020 at 5:39 am

okay, WE STAN a Frida Kahlo artwork. THE TASTE.

AlkemiReads · January 16, 2020 at 5:49 am

"sure, jan."

Sophie Carbone · January 16, 2020 at 5:55 am

I really appreciate how in depth you are about why you dislike books! And you give awesome examples! You’ve saved me from reading a lot of really crummy books! Thank you so much! Also, totally agree about miscommunication in books!! ESPECIALLY romance!

AlkemiReads · January 16, 2020 at 5:58 am

we do indeed need better written villains in YA fantasy!!

stardusted reads · January 16, 2020 at 5:59 am

Priory of the Orange Tree was one of my favorite reads of 2019 but yeah everything you said is correct

Niki Pezzano · January 16, 2020 at 6:00 am

Oh my goodness! I also have a HUGE fear of deep water. For me, if I can't see the bottom, I'm not doing it. Even those deep diving pools give me heart palpitations lol For the EXACT same reason as you. I'm not getting eaten by any kind of megalodon or eldritch mercreature. We haven't begun to truly explore the ocean, you have no idea where anything is at any given time – I won't even go on a cruise lol I know I'm rambling but it's just so rare to find someone who has this fear

Ali Corvere Books · January 16, 2020 at 6:01 am

oof. that excerpt you read from Goldfinch was awfullllll.

overall i loved this video. you express your thoughts so well and i was CRACKING UP at all the memes and edits

a crimson daisy · January 16, 2020 at 6:05 am

damn katy perry wrote imaginary friend apparently

Bookish Linguist · January 16, 2020 at 6:07 am

Yes to the fem hate in YA and even in adult fantasy! So frustrating!! One of my biggest pet peeves. And now I will always imagine Nightcrawler popping into rando stories with a butler hat whenever insta travel happens XD

I love how you can find some good to say about (almost) all the books even if they were not for you. And again, thank you for your passion and your honesty- This really helps me because I have avoided almost all these because of the hype.

AlkemiReads · January 16, 2020 at 6:08 am


Carlotta Guacci · January 16, 2020 at 6:10 am

I absolutely love your green look 🧚‍♂️ I havent read most of the books you mentioned but I know what to be wary of

AlkemiReads · January 16, 2020 at 6:26 am

mate I finished Serpent and Dove recently and omg what a bloody trainwreck of a book. I would've included it in my worst of 2019, but I read it this year. I'm totally wanting to do a video about it like you've done – which imma go watch yours now – cause that shit was shit.

Jayy's Stength&Muscle · January 16, 2020 at 6:53 am

Waddddup my channel✊🏼

Basically Britt · January 16, 2020 at 6:54 am

I LOVE your mug so much!
Such a pity that you didn't enjoy Priory, it's actually on my 2020 tbr 😂I'm also not the biggest fan of convenience writing, but I hope I'm going to love it either way!

Sydney Stories · January 16, 2020 at 7:06 am

I've only heard good things about the goldfinch except from you and I think that's very telling.

Idk if it's just what i read but i feel like I don't notice much outside of slurs in books so either I'm reading the right ones or just I am that biased. definitely gonna work on this.

I think honestly if I look at most of what i read now has lacking is just wide rep in general.

moon book · January 16, 2020 at 7:15 am

The 911 booktube call is so funny

Chris Fine · January 16, 2020 at 7:15 am

Boom. Prob the most honest book discussion I’ve seen on this tube. Fair, funny, and faceted, like tea and tequila 💪 thanks

The Bookish Penbabe · January 16, 2020 at 8:14 am

Right before you poured more I was thinkin “nah bby. You need some more” 😭😂

ZanyAnomaly · January 16, 2020 at 10:04 am

Oh. My god, yes! Regarding Imaginary Friends, that TURN, I was TIRED. like, I'm sorry, I even saw that plot twist coming, but @Chbosly, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT????
it was just too long and I felt very unsatisfied when I finished it, even though I loved the character dynamics, especially Kate and Christopher mother and son relationship and how she cared for him – the rest of the book was just disappointing. I'm putting off writing a review of it cause I don't have the energy to rant about it right now 😂

Average Joe Reads · January 16, 2020 at 11:03 am

The Nightcrawler had me absolutely screaming 😂

Capri'sBookIsland · January 16, 2020 at 11:21 am

I definitely felt the same with priory of the orange tree . One of my favorite books is on here but that’s okay 😂

Inami · January 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm

I gave priory of the orange tree 2.5. I was so bored with it 🙄

Tipen Tipen · January 16, 2020 at 12:22 pm

when i saw goldfinch at number 2 i was like " what book is so awful that it didn't top this shit?" But when you showed what number 1 was i was like ohhhhh forgot about that.. GAHAH….. I loved the short skits, it made me laugh out loud.

Jay G · January 16, 2020 at 12:24 pm

I’ve only read Serpent & Dove 💀

Joe Kratman · January 16, 2020 at 1:36 pm

If you are looking for a GOOD fantasy book that also super normalizes queerness, you NEED to check out Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James. I will scream to the heavens how much I love this book until the day I die. If you do check it out though, be prepared for a very unconventional method of storytelling. It took me about 150 pages to really get hooked but once I did, I devoured the rest of it in a couple of sittings. Definitely my favorite read of 2019. 🙂 love your channel btw, keep doing what you do and you'll blow up in no time 💜❤🌈


Double Edit: thank you for sharing your gripes with The Goldfinch, I read that book when it first came out and loved it. At that point I never picked up on those issues but the past year or so Ive been reading more and more books written by people of color and the difference is immense. I am definitely trying to approach books by white authors with a more critical eye and I really appreciate your reminder of that.

Nicole Bookish · January 16, 2020 at 1:48 pm

10000000% agree with your thoughts on the goldfinch! It is a shitty book.
Also shittily written & needed to be cut down.
I have no idea how she won the pulitzer wtf.

Brandys Books · January 16, 2020 at 1:58 pm

I love sexy times in books and my absolute favorites involve communication. Asking if your partner will do something to you & vice versa is sssoooooooo hot! Miscommunication is damn annoying for sure.

We are some angry bitches but that’s bc society likes to tell us how we can & cant act, poc especially.

Kurt can teleport anywhere he wants *hinthint,winkwink

Henry the Writer · January 16, 2020 at 2:18 pm

I toootally agree with you about Priory of the Orange Tree!

Lydia Walker · January 16, 2020 at 2:40 pm

A reviewer I follow pointed out her issues with the language in To Kill a Kingdom. It's just Greek with improper grammar. Her review really opened my eyes to how lazy the world building in this book is.

aftin combs · January 16, 2020 at 3:05 pm

It is so cathartic to see Imaginary Friends on someone else's worst book list. I literally can't think about that book without getting angry that I spent time reading it that could have been spent reading like two or three great books. Every female character was just built up around being abused by the men around them(even the freaking children). Also, the turn in tone and content was just something else. It felt like I was being hit over the head with a bible and like I avoid that feeling at all cost when it comes to media I consume. I don't need Kirk Cameron up in my horror stories.

itsmonteprice · January 16, 2020 at 3:35 pm

initially i was going to come down here and say that at least the goldfinch had black people because the secret history was just full of white characters and then i remembered the extended sequence featuring some character not at all relevant to the plot of the book going on a racist rant against middle eastern people and we got to catch a glimpse at a middle eastern character trying to talk and being shouted down

Viper Elmo · January 16, 2020 at 4:02 pm

damn that intro tho 😍

Paola Mancera · January 16, 2020 at 4:47 pm

I never heard anyone discuss the goldfinch the way you just did, thank you so much for that!! I HATE when ppl say “slurs are used for historical accuracy” no, no, no. It’s a terrible excuse and daaaamn I didn’t know it won in 2017!!!! //:

Oooohhh what you just said about Serpent and Dove, I felt that. It’s so hard for me to talk about issues in the community bc I know white people are wayyy harsh on POC when we talk about race and it’s disgusting and discouraging. I’m sorry you were dragged into the discussion with white people being unable to acknowledge racism, but I thank you and applaud you for always standing up for yourself.

strange the reader · January 16, 2020 at 4:51 pm

i love the priory of the orange tree but she could’ve been like 300 pages shorter if samantha shannon would just shut up 😂

Jazzy115 · January 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Uh…I was gonna read “the goldfinch”, I don’t think I’ll be reading it now as a black person…😒.

biblioleah · January 16, 2020 at 6:57 pm

i hated to kill a kingdom too lol (i couldn’t even finish it ugh) i’m glad i’m not the only one.

biblioleah · January 16, 2020 at 7:04 pm

lmao i apparently had an imaginary friend when i was little and my parents love telling the story of how i got into a huge argument with them and practically dumped them. that’s right, i BROKE UP with my imaginary friend.

i still don’t think i’ll ever be cooler than my four year old self tbh.

biblioleah · January 16, 2020 at 7:11 pm

lmao when you grabbed the tequila i thought you might grab the eggos 😅

Makena Schmidling · January 16, 2020 at 7:24 pm

I would have to agree with you as a person of Color. I hate when white authors put us in a shitty light. I have at times to keep my mouth shut and not have to yell at them and sometimes I do yell at them because of what they had said in fount of me. I remember when someone Hawaii I great place to go on vication and I'm like bitch you don't know the damaged thats been done to native population my ancestors suffered because of United States taking are land away from us no thank you. Ok I'm going to get of the drama.

ReadingWithStardust · January 16, 2020 at 8:18 pm

Holy shit, thank you for this video. I had no interest in reading the Goldfinch but I am extremely grateful that you took the time to talk about it because I had never heard any of the racism mentioned anywhere I've seen this book talked about and I am glad to be more informed. I cannot believe that that is the kind of literature the book community is still considering award worthy.

Elizabeth Rater · January 16, 2020 at 9:03 pm

Thank you for actually explaining why you didn't like the miscommunication in The Wedding Date. I feel like people keep saying they didn't like a book because it had miscommunication but don't say anything else. For me, miscommunication can be done in a way I really like and connect to in certain books, but I don't like when miscommunication is used for no reason or is not consistent with the characters' personalities and the context of the situation. Just saying a book was bad because of miscommunication is not helpful. You always do a good job of explaining why you liked or didn't like certain aspects of a book instead of just listing reasons.

Also, that testosterone line in To Kill a Kingdom irritated me more than it probably should have when I read it. I actually didn't finish it because I got so bored.

Devon Munn · January 16, 2020 at 9:41 pm

Highly agree with you on the miscommunication trope. It is such a lazy way of conflict and since the characters can easily just say but choose not to makes it frustrating. I rather prefer situations like this when the characters have no control over it, when the plot moves forward because of a characters stupidity it makes it more aggravating

Thor Wants Another Letter · January 16, 2020 at 10:46 pm

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I did either, but I did have fun buddy reading the wedding date with you! My first buddy read of the year!

booksandcatsandnaps · January 16, 2020 at 11:08 pm

Starting the reading year on a bad note always sucks so much 😩 and you are hilarious and also so eloquent in your thoughts! Absolutely loved this video and your fantastic editing!

Irish Book Nerd · January 16, 2020 at 11:45 pm

I just found your channel and loveeeeee it and love your videos!

Jillian Marie · January 17, 2020 at 2:31 am

Guessing for your Worst Favorite Books… Serpent & Dove and The Goldfinch??? Also "TELL ME WHYYYYYY" I DIED

Mellissa Ann · January 17, 2020 at 3:02 am

I knew the moment that I clicked on this video that Serpent and dove was going to top this list. I want to send you some more tea to cleanse yourself of these bad books.

Krystal W · January 17, 2020 at 3:17 am

I truly enjoy you personality loved this video

Jamaicangurl81 · January 17, 2020 at 4:24 am

The Goldfinch looked just way too long for what it was… Didn't think I would like it.
Edit: omg.. As a person of color I don't want to read this even more

Kay K · January 17, 2020 at 4:38 am

I was one of those people who put Imaginary Friend on my TBR because of the author (POAW is one of my YA faves). I hate obvious "male writer" female characters especially when it comes to abuse survivors so thanks for saving my time lol!

I knew Serpent & Dove was gonna be #1 but had no idea about The Goldfinch. I haven't seen any reviews but that's simply because I was never interested in it lol.

Constance Young · January 17, 2020 at 5:15 am

Wow I love your Frida mug❤️❤️

ksj · January 17, 2020 at 6:54 am

Wow….no one mentioned to me goldfinch was that racist glad I didn’t pick it up

aptasi/competencefantasy · January 17, 2020 at 11:05 am

wait it wasnt set in the 50s? I have only seen the supporting materials and reviews but … when it it even set then?

Shinia Lambert · January 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm

“This tea is not doing its job, I’m still wound up!” LOL

Jade Meia · January 17, 2020 at 5:04 pm

You know what…I’m gonnA make some tea right now! 😁☕️ I'm terrible with communication but in a story I'd rather have the conflict!

Mariah Santos · January 17, 2020 at 11:14 pm

New subscriber here! Love your videos but I have a pressing question! That kettle!? What brand is it? Because I've never seen anything like it! Thank you! =)

MixedRogue · January 18, 2020 at 4:34 am

Loved this video! You’re entitled to your opinions just like everyone else. Everyone isn’t going to like the same things when it comes to books or take away the same stuff from them. It’s like have two people cook the exact same dish. The won’t exactly taste the same based off who’s cooking. I respect and love your views and if/when I read one of these books I can keep in mind what you’ve talked about. Keep being great.

LaBelleFilleModeling · January 18, 2020 at 6:50 am

I'm glad you feel the same way as I do about the water, like I'm not the only one. There are things down there…it's like the one horror story item that gets me every time. We don't know what's down there…Also, good on you for putting your health first. I enjoyed the book but doesn't take away the fact that it was harmful. I can't read that Me Before You book because I can't get past how they refer to the handicapped character since I grew up with a father who was in a chair since the age of 3. Never gonna argue with people about it, it was just a harmful book to me. Not giving it another chance.

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