Blanche’s Book Club: ‘Watch Us Rise.’

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I’ve had a bit of a rocky few days and, as far as I know, it’s not for any particular reason other than that we are still in a pandemic and I’m tired of being at home. I’m planning on writing a post later this week as I approach a whole year in quarantine, but I’ve noticed over the past few days that I’m easily irritated, much less-motivated, and decisions are impossible to make.

When this all started, I thought, if I can just keep things as normal as possible — meaning, still work from home, still do yoga (only on Zoom), and still eat healthy meals at home. Well, nothing is the same. Zoom yoga is definitely not the same, and I haven’t been to the studio in almost a year. Sure, I’m still cooking at home, but I’m 100% relying on food that’s delivered and it doesn’t always arrive on time and frankly, it doesn’t always sound that appetizing.

Over the weekend, nothing even sounded fun to do. Normal things that made me feel better — a hot bath, a good podcast, watching TV — all of it sounded drab. I am getting a little bit more work which is good; it’s been almost an entire year since I lost most of my clients because of COVID and have been juggling funds ever since.

Obviously, I need money to pay my bills and eat… but there’s hardly anything fun to spend it on. Clothes… for what? Makeup… why? Travel… nope. I know these things are trivial. I am just waiting for the feeling to (hopefully) dissolve. If you’ve hit a pandemic wall, you’re not alone!

Anyway, I did read quite a bit this weekend and I finished “Watch Us Rise” by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan. This is a YA novel that shares the story of Chelsea and Jasmine.

Chelsea is a poet while Jasmine is a writer and an actress. The pair are best friends and they are heavily involved in clubs at their art-focused high school. But, they notice some behavior in school that doesn’t align with their feminist views, so they decide to start their own club that celebrates women’s voices.

When they start speaking up, people notice, and things start happening — good and bad. Will the club survive? Will the girls make a difference?

This book was so sweet and honestly, incredibly educational. There were also lots of poems throughout the book, blog posts, and even drawings from the characters, which I loved. There was so much in this book I could relate to — including a parent with cancer — and I’m putting that there because I think books should have trigger warnings, including terminally ill parent.

If that’s not your trigger, then I’d definitely recommend this book if you are a writer/poet/activist… and just want to be taken back to high school for a few days 🙂

What are you all reading right now?

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks.

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