Reviews tagging 'Suicidal thoughts'

Lark & ​​Kasim Start a Revolution, by Kacen Callender

10 reviews

charlie6's review

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emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

What a beautiful story! I loved this the more I read it. The characters felt real. I loved how honesty prevailed discomfort, making way for genuine connections. I loved that the novel created space for so many perspectives and voices. It felt authentic to read the conversations from opposing characters with conflicting viewpoints with neither of them being judged. This was really lovely. I loved reading such a supportive book.
I love Lark and Kasim and Sable and Asha and Jamal and Micha and Patcha and Mr S and Eli and Taye and Lark’s Mum…
Every character had such a unique impact and influence on Lark and on each other. It felt really special to experience their growth.
I loved Birdie and all they represented and meant to Lark.
I’m so grateful to live in this world at this time where authors like Kacen Callender can share their stories and hopes.
I feel like there is so much to learn from Kacen and from this novel. It is definitely one I’d love to revisit.

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dcypher_83's review

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challenging emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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dododenise's review against another edition

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challenging emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I went through this book thinking I wouldn’t be able to express what I think of it. But now that I’m here, I feel like it deserves me to at least try.

I think this book can be summarised as being about nuance. Especially in a world where there seems no space for nuance, the book tried.
This was surprising to see, as this book would probably be considered “woke bullshit” by conservatives. It very much is gen z through and through. It deals with the beautiful pain that is twitter. It deals with activism. Racism. Transphobia. Homophobia. Bullying. A lot of it is basically what it means to be a teenager in this day and age.

I saw a lot of myself in Lark. Although, Lark is a million times better at communicating their thoughts compared to me. And of course, there’s the very big aspect that I am white, and they are black, which, you know, creates very different experiences in and of itself. Still, our personalities are very similar. Add to that our queerness, both nonbinary and maybe probably neurodivergent, and I got a character which mirrored a lot of myself. It feels like a combination of me with 17 and me now. You can definitely some sprinkles of Kasim in there, who brought different perspectives in there and added to the question I ask(ed) myself.

There were so many deep conversations in this book. Maybe they can get a bit much at times, feel a bit tacky and pseudo deep. Idk. But really, I enjoyed all of them. A lot of the thoughts I have were talked about in this book and that was so interesting. Yet, they were still all teenagers and stuck in their heads. But who isn’t? 

And of course, I enjoyed the diversity. A black cast of characters. The mc being black, nonbinary, neurodivergent and polyamorous. The love interests being black, trans and poly too. This was the first time I read about polyamory this openly and I really enjoyed it! 

Overall, there was a lot of honesty and thoughtfulness in this book. I am glad I read this in on my break so I had the energy to let myself be pulled along by all those thoughts. 

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lettuce_read's review against another edition

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5.0


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feingartner's review against another edition

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adventurous inspiring reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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claracafetot1's review against another edition

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emotional informative medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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melaniereadsbooks's review

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reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for an earc of this one!

Lark is trying to get her twitter followers up so they can sell a book, and they miss their best friend and wish that they didn't always fight with Kasim now. But when he accidentally posts a status about unrequited love to Lark's twitter instead of his own, the post goes viral and Lark decides to lie and say it was their story. The lie spirals and things don't turn out the way they hoped.

This was so good! I love Kacen Callender so much.  This is super introspective and the writing style was really different from usual YA contemporaries. I think it really worked, especially as coming from Lark's pov and the way they described their own writing. Lark is a super interesting character and I really loved the way they saw and explained the world. I definitely think this different writing style worked within its context.

Okay I love Kasim. He is such a good side character/love interest and I really liked the way he acted as a foil for Lark. And Sable was amazing!

There is so much love for the societal "other" in this book. Queerness and Blackness and Neurodivergence. So good!

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betweentheshelves's review against another edition

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emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

 All Lark Winters wants is to be a writer. They know that part of that process is building a social media presence, so that's what they've been working on. After all, if they've got a big enough following, agents and publishers will have to pay attention, right? At least, that's what they thought at first.

Until Lark's ex-best friend, Kasim accidentally posts a Twitter thread about unrequited love on Lark's account. And it goes viarl. To protect Kasim, Lark takes the blame. But as Lark's social media stats start to explore, they realize that living a lie isn't as easy as they thought. Lark tries to be the person everyone thinks they are, but the costs of being perfect are high. Maybe, it might be better just to come clean. 

 
Thanks to NetGalley and ABRAMS Kids for an advanced copy of Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution to review! Kacen Callender is a favorite author of mine, so I'm always excited to see what they come up with. You're always sure to get a book with great characters and a strong message, and this book was no different!

While this might not be my favorite of Callender's books (Felix Ever After still holds that spot), there's so much to love about this book. Particularly, Lark's own struggles getting publishing and having an "authentic" teen voice. More often than not, the voice is what separates YA from adult books to me, and Lark is a literal teeanger trying to publish a book. But time and time again, they are rejected for being "too teen" or "not Black enough." Their process getting publishing triggers a kind of identity crisis for them, and I imagine it reflects Callender's own struggles getting published.

I can just imagine the Goodreads reviews now that say that Lark isn't the most likeable character at the beginning, but that's 100% the point of the story. It's about their journey realizing some of the stuff they were doing was problematic, and figuring out how to unlearn those things. Let teenagers just be teenagers in YA without criticizing the way they think. I'll say it again: THEY ARE TEENAGERS.

Anyway, the main reason this isn't getting a full 5 stars from me is because I wanted so much more of the relationship between Lark and Kasim. It's the title of the book, and yet not a whole lot of the book is dedicated to the two of them. They actually have very few scenes together. Their dynamic was one of the most interesting in the book, and I just wish we got to see more of that.

All in all, if you love introspective, character driven stories with a side of social media commentary, this is definitely the book for you! 
-----
Not my favorite Kacen Callender, but an important story nonetheless. Stay tuned for a full review to come!

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kayladaila's review

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challenging dark emotional inspiring reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

Lark & Kasim Start A Revolution was good! Lark is a 17 year old non-binary writer. They think that if they hit 50k followers on Twitter, they will get a publishing deal. One night, their friend Kasim accidentally posts a confession of unrequited love onto Lark’s Twitter, and then asks Lark to pretend it’s their own. The tweet changes Lark’s life in unexpected ways.

My expectations were pretty high because of how much I loved Callender’s other books. This one didn’t seem as well paced. Lark is neurodivergent so there were lots of tangents and rambling inner thoughts. The representation in this book was phenomenal and I think many adolescent readers will feel seen in this book. 

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halfwaytoaugust's review against another edition

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4.0

I have never read a book with so many trans and nonbinary characters. Has this convinced you yet?

Lark is an aspiring writer working on their first novel, when a twitter thread professing unrequited love is posted to their account that they did not write, and it goes viral. Pretending to take authorship credit of this thread, how will they affect those around them?

Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution is really so much more than that though. Lark is Black, nonbinary, and neurodivergent. We see so many intersections of their identities and we see them find understanding with the other Black, trans/nonbinary, and/or neurodivergent characters. We also see Lark make many mistakes, struggle to realize that they messed up, and grow and learn how to take accountability for their actions. We see this process through almost every major side character as well. It brings a very raw and real atmosphere to Callender's writing which I love.

There are so many amazing things this book does, which I'll summarize here:
• Discussions about race, racism, and the trauma lived by Black people;
• The high rate of misdiagnosis of Black neurodivergent people;
• Representation of neurodivergent people who do not conform to the ND stereotypes;
• Many important conversations about accountability, cancel culture, intent vs impact, gaslighting, and toxicity; and
• Usage of they/them pronouns for people who Lark does not already know pronouns for.

These are all done so very well, and are very simplified in order to avoid spoilers. In short, it's a book I believe everyone should read. Whether you can relate to any of Lark's identities or not, you will learn so much more than you could've imagined by picking it up.

It's also one that you should be in a good mindset to read. It gets tough, it gets real, and it does not hold back. Which makes it AMAZING. It's also low-key set during the pandemic, so if this is something you're not ready for in a book, I would recommend coming back to it. I say low-key because it's not the main focus, but there are mentions of masking, vaccines, and fear of the virus.

The only critiques I have are minor, and while they did somewhat pull me out of the story, I greatly enjoyed the book anyway. First is the way Lark talks about themself possibly being autistic. In every case where them or the other autistic character being autistic is brought up, it's written as "have autism" instead of "am autistic" when the autistic community says they prefer "am autistic." It happened enough times that it noticeably stuck out to me. Second is how a couple characters are mentioned as sometimes using multiple sets of pronouns, but are only referred to by they/them when multiple pronoun users say it's best to alternate pronouns unless the person tells you otherwise. The only sort of explanation we get is the character bios which say something along the lines of "they/them but sometimes [insert second or third set of pronouns]" which, after watching readers ask why Sunil in Loveless was only referred to by they/them after saying their pronouns are they/he, it left me thinking a better explanation could be used in Lark & Kasim as to why multiple sets of pronouns are introduced but not used.

Rep: Black, nonbinary, trans, bi/pan, polyamory, autistic, ADHD, anxiety, depression

CW: racism, gaslighting, manipulation, transphobia, toxic relationship, pandemic, panic attack, bullying, depression, suicidal thoughts

Rating system:
5 - absolutely love, little-to-no dislikes that did not impact my reading experience

4 - great book, minor dislikes that did have an impact on my reading experience

3 - good/decent book but for some reason did not hook me or there were some problematic things that just were not addressed or greatly impacted my reading experience

2 - is either a book I did not click with and did not enjoy, problematic aspects are not addressed and severely impacted my reading experience, or I DNF'd but think it has potential for others

1 - is very problematic, I would not recommend the book to anyone

Thank you to Netgalley and ABRAMS Kids for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected pub date: September 27, 2022.

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