Book Style: Jaya and Rasa

Jaya And Rasa

I'm kind of obsessed with this book. Jaya and Rasa is the second book from author Sonia Patel. I'd seen her debut, Rani Patel in Full Effect, several times and was always drawn towards the cover, but I don't have a huge interest in hip hop culture, so I never picked it up. When I crossed paths with Jaya and Rasa and saw the Nirvana links, I knew I had to read this it. And am I glad I did! Here's my review from Book Riot's Best Queer Books of 2017
I rarely, oh so very rarely, appreciate non-fantastical YA. I fell head over heels for Sonia Patel’s newest, Jaya and Rasa, from the moment I spotted its stunning cover in the library. I appreciate so much getting to know these two wounded characters from pre-adolescence. Jaya is a transgender teenage boy, something his traditionally-minded Gujarati family would never accept. Despite not being able open up at home, he manages to find his own identity thanks to Nirvana, guitars, charity work, and a best friend who also doesn’t fit in well at his snooty prep school. Rasa has been forced to grow up too fast thanks to being forced to become provider to her younger siblings. When she thinks things might be looking up, despite CPS separating her from her younger brother and sisters, she finds herself trapped in the life of a high-end prostitute. Jaya and Rasa is less Romeo and Juliet in Honolulu, as it’s been billed, and more of a painfully honest look at what growing up “other” is like. Nothing is sugar-coated, the reality is bleak and honest, but Patel gives us just a bright enough glimmer of hope to keep reading, to keep going.
For this Book Style, I envisioned an evolved and more relaxed Rasa. A Rasa who is finally healing and not feeling the need to be overly sexualized 24/7.  A Rasa who loves, supports, and shares passions with her rock star boyfriend. A Nirvana tee was a must, of course. I paired the t-shirt with a pair of "Love Story" flares and "Oahu" platform slides. So, basically, I made this into my standard high school uniform. Class of 2002, baby! Woo! Anyways, I digress. I also gave Rasa the option of having a swimsuit handy since she loves to surf and free dive. I thought this "Teen Spirit" one piece was kind of perfect. It also makes me want sorbet. 

For the accessories I chose a neon pink "Sweety Charity" bag as a nod to Jaya's charity work and a "Munro Blossom Muse" scarf because I'm pretty sure Jaya wouldn't argue with me calling Rasa a Blossom Muse. Around the neck is a "Pimp Aigrette" stunner of a necklace, around the wrist is an "LGBT Pride Awareness" bracelet, and on the ring finger (or whichever finger) is a guitar wrap ring. For the earrings I decided on mixing two singles together: One ear can rock the "White Widow Leaf" ear jacket, which I chose because I prefer Rasa being a white widow instead of the black widow her mother conditioned her to be, and the other ear can rock a hoop with a chunk of molten rock, apropos of Hawaii, of course. 

For the final touches I went with cosmetics. Elizabeth and James' "Nirvana White" perfume is a floral, slightly exotic scent that is perfect for Rasa. She can coat her nails in a holographic and glittery "Crush on Lava" nail lacquer and coat her lips with "Shame" lipstick (to remind herself that she should never feel ashamed). Top off the look with a retro-tastic pair of "Classic 11 Surf" shades and Rasa's look is complete. 


Book Style: Dune


I haven't done a Book Style in forever and a day and my crazy ass decides to start back up with an all brown one. I just really enjoy the Penguin Galaxy Collection and it's the first Dune cover I actually liked! So here's a Dune Book Style for y'all. The general aesthetic is less related to the book and more of a modern desert traveler vibe. 

Let's start with the outfit proper: A Dune shirt designed by Daretown Kindling is a great base layer under a "Melange" open back sweater. I paired them with a pair of sturdy "Paul" chino trousers in a dreamy chocolate brown. Cinch the waist with a tiger-head belt and throw a pair of "Desert" chukka boots on your feet. On your head, a panama style hat will keep all of the elements out of your eyes. 

For the accessories I chose a tooth ring, a Muad'Dib (aka a mouse) necklace, centipede full-finger ring, and a pair of worm earrings. I added a Dune book cover pin and a Kynes' Imperial Teardrop Mark Of Rank pin (I like the idea of doing several of these). Add a pair of "Jessica" sunglasses and a couple of coats of this metallic "Sand" nail lacquer and you'll be all set to save the empire, or grab coffee with friends. 


Bookmarks Survey

I'm doing research for an article and would really appreciate it if you could answer this brief two-question survey. 



Link Love: 12.14.17

Good googly mooglies! It has been forever since I posted a Link Love. I mean, it's kind of been forever since I posted anything, but, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Let's not dwell on the past, shall we? Here's a round up of some of the best bookish things I've compiled for you over the past couple of months. 




Scratch And Sniff Books For Grown-Ups

This post originally appeared on Book Riot in 2014.

Every November I find myself getting incredibly nostalgic for the one Thanksgiving book I remember reading as a child: Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlín. The really great thing about this particular picture book wasn't the scruffy, gruff captain or the prim, uptight grandmother- it was the scratch-and-sniff aspect. In retrospect, I'm fairly certain our copy was a second-hand edition that probably mostly smelled like paper, ink, and mild mildew by the time it came our way, but I loved the interactive quality of the scratch-and-sniff. Scratch-and-sniff is an underutilized gimmick when it comes to books, but they do still exist, though mostly for children. But they're not all intended for the kiddos. I've rounded up some of the best PG-13 scratch-and-sniff titles for your olfactory pleasure.

DK has put out a their fair share of scratch-and-sniff board books over the years, generally aimed at the still-in-diapers set. But nine-year-old boys, and far more overgrown children will surely appreciate the grosser-than-a-bogey-flavoured-bean The Truly Tasteless Scratch & Sniff BookThis book is disgusting, fascinating, and nauseating. Scents include feces, vomit, halitosis, and gas and are all accompanied by the science behind their foulness. Proceed with caution with this one.

Backstage with Beth and Trina: A Scratch-and-Sniff Adventure by Julie Blattberg. Because who doesn't want a scratch-and-sniff representation of their bad decisions? These scents aren't all pretty; strawberry lipgloss and leather compete with stale beer, smoke, and vomit. No guarantees you won't experience a major, and possibly traumatic, flashback from this one.

My First Book of Smells and Colours: Garden by Orianne Lallemand might be intended for kids, but with clean, poppy design and authentic herb and veggie aromas, wouldn't it make a lovely gift for the home gardener in your life? The smells include rose, lilac, fir tree, onion, strawberry, lavendar, and mint. Other titles in this series are Fruit (strawberry, orange, cherry, apple, peach, banana, and coconut), and Kitchen by Zade Zade (chocolate, banana, onion, vanilla, grapefruit, mint, mango).
The Smelly Old History series by Mary Dobson takes an interesting approach to engaging the reader with history. The series includes Victorian VapoursReeking RoyalsMedieval MuckWartime WhiffsGreek Grime, Mouldy Mummies, Tudor Oudors, Roman Aromas, and Vile Vikings, among others. These books are heavier on text and actually history than on scratch-and-sniff panels, but the combo of history and grotesque aromas is so appealing in its weirdness.

The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That by Richard Betts is one of the most practical uses of scratch-and-sniff technology I've ever seen. This is just brilliant. You can learn genuinely useful skills from this book! It uses the scents to walk your nose through the basic noses: the woods, the fruits, and the earths allowing you to impress people right out of their pants at your next party.

Instant Touch: A Tropical Scratch and Sniff by Belly Kids features some stunning upcoming illustrators' interpretations of your basic fruits (grape, cherry, watermelon, etc.) along with the accompanying aroma. This is as much a piece of sweetly-scented art as it is a children's book. Whether coffee table or nursery bound, it's a multi-sensory experience worth having.

Finally, Harley Quinn Annual #1. It's been dubbed rub-and-smell instead of scratch-and-sniff for legal reasons, but I think it comes off as uber creepy, so I'm henceforth refusing to ever use the term rub-and-smell again. This reboot of Punkin's psychotic right-hand gal is centered around Harley attempting to jailbreak Poison Ivy out of Arkham when she is taken down by a powerful hallucinogen. An Ivy/Harley comic heavy on the nonsense and with scented, fourth-wall-breaking asides from the anti-heroine.


Nancy Drew Review: The Message In The Hollow Oak

It's time for another installment of the Nancy Drew Review project. The Message in the Hollow Oak was my third reread of the 64 original titles. For those of you intrigued by Carolyn Keene not being real, since I keep bringing it up, here's a nice chart that goes over the ghostwriting process for these 64 books. 


Side note: Anybody have any recommendations for me for easy-to-use video editing apps or software? Preferably free. Preferably. 


Nancy Drew Review: The Spider Sapphire Mystery

Okay, I'm back with another video in my Nancy Drew Review project. Apologies for the handheld shakiness, I wanted to sit in my comfy chair and still have good light. I'm going to be a pro at these videos by the time I finish all 64 books!


Nancy Drew Review: The Bungalow Mystery

Introducing the Nancy Drew Review Project. For the next few months - assuming it takes that long - I'll be rereading my way through all of the classic Nancy Drew stories.

I've decided to do a short(ish) video review following each one where I go ever my thoughts on the books, characters, and series as a whole. I'm a terrible rambler, so I'll apologize in advance for that. Below is my first video for the project.

Since I won't be creating a book style for each of these, you should really check out my Book Style for Confessions of a Teen Sleuth by Chelsea Cain.