Turn the Page: Children of Blood and Bone
It’s the third Friday, so you know what time it is. Turn the PAGE!!! This week’s book is Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Yall. When I heard about this book. When I heard the title. When I heard the authors name. When I saw the book cover. I. HAD. ALL. THE. FEELS! As a Nigerian-American, I was super excited to see and hear about this book. I was even more excited (and anxiety filled) when I started reading the book. Now, I got this book when it came out. I was reading it way back then. The question is: why has it taken me so long to write this Turn The Page for it? The answer is really simple: I have not finished reading the book.
This book was so great, right up to the point where I put it down. That’s why it has taken me so long to write this review and relation back to mental/sexual health. I figured that since I didn’t finish the book I shouldn’t review it. BUT, I since I am grown and I can do what I want, I am writing this review!
WHY I STOPPED READING: basics on being an introvert
Now, let me tell you why I stopped reading. I am a book lover by nurture and nature. Psychologists and other mental health professionals generally talk about nature versus nurture as a competition of what makes you into the person that others meet and experience. For me, I know that my reading is a product of both. Some people would never believe it, but I am an introvert, generally shy, and slightly misanthropic. These things gave way to my mother taking us to the library for the first time. I loved it! I loved the idea of buying books temporarily, like you owned them, and bringing them back for a perpetual exchange. I loved that you could read in the library without anyone scolding you to make a purchase. I loved that libraries were quiet places, where generally, talking is discouraged. When you are an introvert, constant social interaction can be very draining. Being an introvert does NOT mean that you are not good or great at social interactions. It does not mean that you are necessarily awkward or that you must be shy--I am generally shy but not because I am an introvert. It simply means that you require time alone to recharge your batteries. Knowing myself, has been a part of my journey. My introversion and proclivity to reading gave me many opportunities for self-reflection. As such, I learned that I don’t like surprises. I like being in “the know.” Not knowing can cause me to experience some low levels of anxiety. I notice it more with certain types of books, tv shows, or movies. I learned that there is generally a script people follow when writing entertainment pieces. When they fail to follow that general formula, I start feeling slightly anxious and wonder where this is going.
I stopped reading this book because I was getting slightly anxious, but not about the content. I loved the general direction of the book. (And I may, or may not have skipped forward to the end to take a small peek at the literal last 2 pages). My real problem is that I remembered how books and movies can work. They give you something good or great to start. Then they leave you hanging FOR A YEAR! This book will clearly be part of a series. So I needed to stop. I was reading it way too fast and there is no second book coming yet. Have I not suffered enough? Why should I now wait for this book on top of waiting for Game Of Thrones and the Second Infinity War? I need someone to cut me a damn break. Either give me the tv show or movie or give me the manuscript of the next book! Knowing that there was no next book to fully resolve some of what was brought up in this book stopped my reading. It caused me a bit of panic. I was reading too fast for sequel that isn’t coming for a year. I needed to slow down.
Mind you, I will finish the book, just as soon as I am sure of the date for the release of the next book...maybe even earlier
The BOOK & Real Life Parallels
This book for me had such beautiful resonating ghosts. It has the ghost of fears that have not come to pass, but that it has been pondered, if only by white folk. Allow me to explain, the idea in Children of Blood and Bone is that the monarchy has taken magic away from everyone, and has been ruling with oppression ever since. Magic wielders have been killed, and those who would grow to have powers are heavily oppressed. They are called "maggots" and treated as second class citizens, easily identifiable because of their white hair. They are more likely to live in poverty as are those who would continue to associate with them closely, family included. It breaks generations of families apart as some families sell off their once loved ones to the monarchy to secure a certain level of freedom from tyranny for themselves and the rest of their family. Does this sound familiar? Not all of it should, but some of it. It reminds me of Black people in America. Being heavily oppressed and mistreated, sanctioned and supported by the government. As the “maggots” of Tomi’s book are known by their hair and are systematically oppressed and degraded accordingly, so too are Black people living in America and other countries around the world. There is generally a correlation between melanin, texture, and opportunities. The darker you are, the more (visibly) kinky your hair, the less likely you are to have opportunities.
The other ghost for me was basically how the monarchy lived in fear of the maggots. Hoping they had crushed them thoroughly--financially and mentally/emotionally--to avoid an uprising. Then they discovered that one of the artifacts that gives magic was intact! There was a sense of fear regarding what could happen if the “maggots” were to get their magic back. It parallels again, what sentiments seem already to be here in America. There seems to be a fear of what people of color PoC would want to and would actually do to white people, if given the chance. It’s like, remembering the history of violence that white people have exacted against everyone else, and wondering if that same violence will come home to roost.
The Doc's Recommendation:
This book is definitely worth a read, maybe several reads! BUY THIS BOOK! As an avid reader, I can tell you that though there are many books, there are not many like THIS book. I would also warn you that you will only be partially satisfied because you will not be getting the next book for a while. Prepare yourself for that.
My secret to getting through it: Have another book series (that is finished) that you can read after. So, read this book and enjoy it. Feel all of your feels. Then when enough time has passed, read another book (with only one book) or read a completed series. It will take your mind off what is not finished here. Then re-read this book about 2 weeks before the second comes out and you will be freshly up to date for the sequel. Just, don’t move too fast through the book. I will actually be finishing it before this blog post comes out, but I wanted to share my pre-ending thoughts. Feel free to learn what I think after I finish :)