hi everybody welcome to my first ever
black girl magic vlog! in this vlog series I am going to be critically
analyzing and reviewing the way that black girls are portrayed in science
fiction and fantasy I’m going to be looking at backlist titles and new
releases! I started the series because there are so many fantastic science
fiction fantasy books coming out by black authors featuring black
protagonists which I absolutely love but it’s also important to analyze these
books and to look at how black people are being portrayed and represented, to
look at the world-building, the writing, the creativity, all of these wonderful
things, and I really wanted to be able to put out some ownvoices reviews because…
I myself am black. I’m so so excited and this vlog starts right when I got back
from book net fest I was home for a little bit and then I
flew off to New York if you kind of want some continuity you make sure to watch
my book net fest vlog because this vlog begins right at the end of that one.

So i took
the bus back home from the airport and I had to walk like three or four blocks
in really intense rain which I don’t exactly mind because I hated the heat in
Florida so it was nice to get back to Minnesota and be back to my like
comfortable fall, rainy, cool weather but then I got to my apartment and it turns
out that maintenance came… maintenance came and fix some things that were wrong
with my apartment but they locked my door so now I’m locked out. when I’m out
of town I usually leave my door unlocked, because my building is very secure and I
know everybody on my floor and I leave my door unlocked so that I don’t have to
carry my keys with me and risk losing them – but now I’m locked out so I had to
call it emergency maintenance and have them come and open my door and I’m
hoping that they don’t charge me the one hundred and fifty dollar fee because
I left my door unlocked and then maintenance locked it so technically I
shouldn’t have to pay the fee.. but we’ll see! anyway I’m on page 105 of kingdom of
souls, I’m absolutely loving this book as you can see I have tabbed it to hell – it
is amazing, I’m gonna give you guys more
details on it when I can get inside and get settled and tell you like all my
thoughts so far. hi friends so it is now September 10th
it is a Tuesday and I wanted to give you some *stumbles* mom? wow – I wanted to give you my
thoughts on Kingdom of souls so far I’m on page 305 I believe it’s about 11
o’clock in the morning and I woke up like about 45 minutes ago so I
definitely slept in and I needed that time just to myself to just hang out in
my bed because book net fest took all of my energy so I think my plan is just to
tell you what my thoughts are on Kingdom of souls thus far and then I’m going to
have breakfast get some reading done, watch some booktube, and I’m also gonna
show off all of the bookmarks and the photobooth prints that I got to take
home from book net fest – oh and I know I have a bunch of mail waiting for me in
the mail room so I’m gonna do an unboxing later for you too. I will say I
was not expecting this book to be so intricate, so far there are five tribes
and each of the tribes have their own like dialects and customs, they each look
different, they each have their own type of magic and kind of social norms, and I
love that. the tribes are called litho kes, zu, Mulani, and Atari. you get a lot of
information right away in the first hundred pages so I kind of got in the
habit of writing on the inside of the book kind of keeping track of all of the
different tribes and the specific terminology and nuances of the royal
families and the tribes in the kingdom just so I could keep it all straight. so
far my favorite tribe is the Zu tribe because they are described as the
Masters of written magic! they are heavily tattooed and they wear crowns
of antler horns – so amazing but I love that our main character, Arrah, is
bicultural she comes from a mother who’s of the Mulani tribe where the women are
pretty light skinned, they are curvy of body, and have looser curls and then she’s
also the descendant of her father who is of tribe Atiri where they are known to
be very tall and lean they have high cheekbones and they have this habit of
bowing with two fingers to their forehead and I think that is so cool!
like I just love all of the different culture and nuance in this book and I
love that the tribes even though they’re all black like they’re all African, they
have different skin colors and facial features and I feel like that was done
very intentionally by the author as a way to kind of subtly comment on the
fact that black and African folks can have different skin colors and eye
colors and different features… that there is a lot of diversity in the African diaspora so I’m really enjoying seeing the representation of how a group
within one culture can be ethnically diverse. I like that Arrah is very fierce
and independent and she kind of aspires to be so much like her parents but she
doesn’t have any magic unlike them and for me that is very symbolic of black
girls feeling like they don’t have any magic or place in society. like she lives
in the society where everybody, most everybody, has magic and is celebrated but
she herself doesn’t feel magical and so I feel like that’s also commentary I’m
like how black girls are treated and how black girls feel in society which is
really really cool to see. now the love interest there are –oh my gosh it’s not
steamy by any means, but the descriptions of like how much Arrah is into her best
friend and how much he’s clearly into her and the love is absolutely forbidden
so they haven’t exactly confessed it to one another but it’s so clear and it
just makes me so flustered and like starry-eyed and I really want them to
get together. I want them to just kiss already just kiss already!!! but I actually
have a hard crush on Arrah’s best friend who is from the zu tribe. there is some
nice casual queerness, there is a female female couple and it’s just really
casual it’s not made a big deal it’s just a part of the story there’s no
homophobia and I absolutely love that. I also like the cultural differences
between the Kingdom and the tribes people’s like the Kingdom celebrates and
honors the Orishas and the tribes people honor Heka who was known as like
the ‘one god’ so thus far a lot of the Orishas were killed many many moons
ago in a war with the demon king but i do like how the ones that are remaining-
i think there’s 14 Orishas left on the world- every now and again you’ll have a
chapter that is narrated by an Orisha… see if I can find one… this one, the Orisha
of the Sun, Re’Mek, is narrating for about a page or two and giving his
perspective on things and with the state of the world in the universe
and I think that is so cool it’s a way to introduce them into this story and
help the reader get to know them and also at this point in the story they are
becoming a big part of the narrative which I’m really
liking because God’s having characters in the story and actually being given
lines instead of just being lore is one of my favorite tropes… and speaking of
tropes I’m loving all of the Platonic and male-female friendships I’m loving
that Arrah is very close with her father. her father is her nurturing figure
instead of her mother while her mother is like the cold distant one so I like
seeing that stereotype of the nurturing mother being turned on its head. I’m
really enjoying that and also even though her mother is very early on
introduced as an antagonist in the story I like that her mother’s character has
nuance I have been so critical of ya fantasies lately because I’ve been
reading a lot of Ya fantasies where the antagonists or even the villains just
have no nuance. they’re either all evil we’re all good, and I love that nice
moral gray middle ground so I’m really liking that part of the story and the
last thing I’m going to say before I go and make myself some food because I am
so hungry is that there is some not only like really heavy elements of like
psychological terror and horror but also I think that there’s a lot of symbolism
for sexual assault. there’s absolutely no sexual assault on the page at all but
there’s talk about how magic can be used to invade somebody’s mind and to impose
somebody else’s will over another and then there’s talk about how very
prominent figures in the kingdom, very prominent trusted male figures that are
celebrated and looked up to, have secretly been invading the minds of
young girls and I feel like that is direct commentary on like the me2
movement and how we don’t believe like female victims of sexual assault and a
lot of the reason that we like to not believe them is because we’re like “oh
well the man accused is so beloved he couldn’t possibly do something like that”
so I think that you can definitely read this from the surface but there are so
many themes and like commentary that is applicable to our social roles and I do
not think that any of that is a coincidence. the only thing that I’m not
liking… and you can tell if I don’t like something because there will be an
orange tab… the only thing that I don’t like about the story so far is on page
49 it says “my mother is the definition of beauty her evany hair flows down her
back and loose curls” and this rubs me the wrong way because as black folks
y’all know that colorism is real y’all know that we have been hyping
light-skinned loose curly hair in our black communities for so many years and
our communities y’all know that like the lightest is seen as the prettiest and
the best so it kind of makes me sad to see that even in this African fantasy we
have a line about how this very light-skinned loose loose curly haired
woman is “the definition of beauty” that rubbed me the wrong way. we can still
talk about Arrah’s mother being beautiful and gorgeous and we can still celebrate
that kind of beauty without calling it the definition of beauty. that being said
ever since that line that was on page 49 there have been so many descriptions of
dark skin like kinky curly hair coily haired people as beautiful so again
maybe I’m reading too much into it but I did say in my announcement video that
I’m going to be reading these books very critically in order to examine the way
that blackness and beauty is represented. so that is one thing that I notice it’s
not a big thing, it’s not like I’m gonna take a star rating off or anything, but I
did want to bring it up. “SO far i’ve only seen scary movies that make me
laugh. I don’t know if that makes me a psychopath or something but yeah there we have it, just
smiles all around today, I’m gonna have been having a fantastic week.. I mean
certainly I have whirlwind of a week filled with terrible professors and a
lot and lot of homework. its weird but i’m grateful.” “There’s 5 dollars in here! what? When did i put this in here?! YOOOO!!!” okay so i have two boxes here. the first is from colour-pop which is the only eyeshadow
brand that I will wear and then the second one is just a bunch of self-care
goodies that I got from Amazon. now I always try and every single one of my
vlogs to unbox something for you guys– sorry I keep wiggling the tripod hold on
I’m gonna move the boxes so happening well to Amazon first and then I will
show you some swatches from the colour-pop products. this is a showerhead
filter, now I know it’s looks such a random thing but I have heard so many
stories about how showerhead filters get the impurities away and can lessen your
acne, inhibits bacteria even in hot water, and is helpful for skin and hair growth.
so this is from aqua bliss like I said I got this from Amazon so I’m really
excited to see if this helps the condition of my skin at all. then I got
these jelly toe pads, these were highly recommended to me by my massage
therapist. so these are like really gooey so these are called toe stretchers
and they are from “toe pal” apparently it’s really good for your toes to be
stretched? and it helps with like headaches and all sorts of things.
stretchers are also supposed to help with proper toe alignment, I don’t know if
y’all know but I am a dancer so my feet are jacked yo! so you’re supposed to wear
these anytime you have done a lot of walking or hard exercise just to help
your feet kind of relax. then I picked up my CeraVe lotion this is a
loschen that comes with salicylic acid and ceramides to help exfoliate your
skin and also smooth out the texture of it I swear by CeraVe products I used
very expensive Sephora brand cleansers and skincare facial care products for
the longest time and I found that the only thing that really helps my skin be
clear and not scar is CeraVe lotion Cerave makes the only facial cleanser and
the only facial moisturizer that i feel comfortable putting on my skin and then
the last thing that i got is a bottle of tea tree oil from sun essential. sun
essentials is deeper and then I get my essential oils from because not only are
they affordable but they also give you a really large portion like this bottle
was only nine dollars and then there are other companies that will give you
essential oils in like three ounces for nine bucks so I really like them. and in
case you’re wondering what tea tree oil is used for I use it to prevent
blackheads it fights bacteria naturally and I also use it on my scalp to fight
dandruff because I have sebbhoreic dermatitis which is basically eczema of
the scalp and it can get really flaky and ugly up there now. for the big hitter
which is my color pop stuffff, oh my god this is so cute! okay so the first thing
that I see is this card that says “you’re a peach” and in case y’all don’t know
color pop is a very very high performing but very cheap and affordable makeup
brand that kind of went viral a couple years ago and like I said they make the
only eyeshadows that I feel comfortable wearing. I wanted to try a bunch of their
jelly shadow so I got three… this is what the packaging looks like. tell me these
aren’t the cutest little packages ever?? I’m literally dying. so the first shade
that I got is called Foxes, its supposed to be like a gold. okay so it’s really
creamy and this is what the color looks like – look at that frickin pigment y’all
oh my god it goes on like jelly it’s like oh my god okay I cannot wait to put
that on my eyes!!! oh my god this is what it looks like on my finger… this this…
color is so pretty the next shadow is – okay I almost dropped
it- the next shadow is called strawberry jam this is what it looks like when you
open it. this is what strawberry jam looks like on my finger ,so it’s like a
very pinky rose gold color… okay I did a really bad job of swatching this one but
this is what it looks like on my skin. I think it’s so pretty. this name I think
is really clever, it’s called “once and Flor All” like once and floral. it is a dual
chrome eye shadow, this is the one I’m actually the most excited about, it’s
basically a blend of these two colors. okay so do you see like how there’s like
both bronze and pink in this? it looks like Trix yogurt. so this is what
it looks like on my fingertip, oh my god it’s so pretty! this color is frickin
gorgeous. you’re supposed to apply these with a brush because the application
goes on much more smoothly, so if they look really like textured and weird on
my skin it’s because you’re supposed to use a brush to apply these not your
fingertips. and this is how all three of them look on my arm and that’s it for
now! I have three more boxes but I’m going to spread out my unboxings so I’m
just gonna get back to reading I have to get to work in about 4 hours so this
might be my last update for the day – we will see. as you can see I am in New York City and
I wanted to give you guys a reading update I left kingdom of Souls back home
I literally only have like ten pages left of that book but I wanted to take
two more books on my journey so I brought SLAY and daughters of Nri and
I started SLAY on the plane. look how heavily I have annotated it. so
far y’all this book is it is life I’m loving it even more than Kingdom of
souls so far and that is a really big accomplishment because I’m loving
Kingdom of souls! the things I can say about it so far; I’m only on page I think
80, but so far there is gender neutral inclusive language, there is a character
in the Slay world who is black and non-binary which I love love that so
much! this book is such a celebration of black culture and vernacular, there’s
been so many really nuanced and fantastic conversations, I love all of
the world building that has gone into the creation of the video game SLAY, the
level of detail that has gone into the rules of the game, the atmosphere, the
graphics, and the setting .when Kiera is in the world of Slay you really feel as a
reader that you’re there with her and I read in the foreword that Britney Morris
was inspired by Black Panther and that’s what slay is! like slay is literally the
virtual reality realm of Black Panther and I think that that’s really freaking
cool – its getting so windy, it is about to rain so I’m about to wrap this clip
up, but the other thing I’m gonna say is that I was in the airport when I read
the foreword and tears instantly sprang to my eyes. I had to physically fight to
keep myself from crying because the foreword alone was so powerful. it’s the
most powerful forward I’ve ever read but so far this book is phenomenal and I
cannot wait to see where it goes. I love kingdom of Souls for all of the
reasons I’ve already stated and this book recently got picked up by Michael B
Jordan’s production company and made into a movie so I cannot wait for that to
come out. my criticisms for this book are that there was a the introduction of a
major character a character who’s very very central to the story and that
introduction felt very very rushed. I had a lot of issues with how this character
was introduced I can’t even tell you like the name or who this character is
without spoiling it… I just would have liked to see that character’s
introduction be a little bit slower, I felt like that character was introduced
and then suddenly the book was all about them they were such a major plot point
in the story and because of that I kind of felt really unbelievable that they
were introduced and then all of a sudden the book was totally about them. also
wanted just a little bit more flourish from the writing. the writing kind of
oscillates between being very hands-off and allowing their reader to really
imagine everything for themselves with also giving some really pretty poetic
descriptions at times and I just wanted a little bit more of that poeticism. now
y’all know that I love my flowery and lyrical writing so if you are one of
those people that really isn’t a huge fan of lyrical writing and your
fantasies I think that this will be a really great book for you. it definitely
isn’t without its lyricism ,there were so many really beautiful quotes that I
loved and so many really beautiful descriptions that I loved but I just
wanted a little bit more of that so it’s just a personal preference.
overall I’m gonna give this book four point two five out of five stars and I
think that the next books are going to be rated much higher by me because I’m
already gonna be familiar with the writing style and this major character
is already going to be introduced so I think the things that I disliked in this
book aren’t going to bother me so much moving forward but I highly highly
highly recommend and I enjoyed the crap out of it! and as y’all saw I finished
SLAY on the plane home to Minneapolis and…. y’all if you only ever buy one book that
I encourage you to buy please let it be this one. please. this is the only book
that has ever made me cry tears of joy, I didn’t think that that was possible from
reading a book. my eyes were just welling up with tears I had I just these fat
ugly tears rolling down my face at their leisure because this book– god this book
is everything to me. I have been raving about it on my bookstagram. i messsaged
the author, Britney Morris, and had to tell her how much that this book means
to m.e this book is literally a love letter to black girls and black culture,
it is absolutely clear that Britney Morris wrote this book for black girls
and it just it is a a celebration of blackness that I wasn’t prepared for…
that hit me so absolutely hard and moves me to this very moment
it’s incredible. I also really loved that Kiera is in a very sex positive
household, her parents talked to her about sex, her parents allow her to have
sex, and her own sexual agency, and she practices safe sex and I think that that
was really really special because so often a lot of like young adult like
under the age of 18 never talked about sex in their books and so for like young
adults who are sexually active or who began to be sexually active at a younger
age, it can be really alienating to read a young adult boos where, you know, sex
is just not discussed at all. so I really really appreciated that, I loved Kiera’s
family, the representation of Kiera’s family they are… definitely like
middle-class, her parents are both very career-driven and that was really
refreshing and nice to see because so many times when we have representation
for a black girl her… her whole family is just trash and in poverty and so it
was really nice to see a black family unit that had it together and fostered
open conversations and I just I really really loved everything about this book.
I don’t have any criticisms at all for it, so many conversations in this book
representing different opinions that black people can hold about various
issues like whether or not white people can have dreadlocks and I loved that
there was no one way of thinking that was depicted as the
correct way of thinking, it represented so many different black people’s
opinions on the same issues, and I thought that was great because it gave
us all an equal playing field it said “hey we’re a diaspora, we don’t always
have to agree on the same issues, we are unique, we are individual, and we cannot
be expected to speak for our entire race” and I absolutely love the way that that
was handled in the book. although Hotepery is definitely a
central topic in this book and I loved that Hotepery was examined– I
cannot stand hoteps, y’all I cannot stand hoteps. and so I absolutely loved
that the first of all that the word “hotep” appeared in a young adult fiction
book and second of all, that hotepery was examined and unpacked in a young
adult sci-fi book, that was really really awesome and incredibly well done. there’s
this line in the book where Kiera is sitting down with an affluent black
lawyer and the lawyer thanks Kiera for creating the virtual reality world of
SLAY and she says “thank you for giving my daughter and son a place to go after
school” and this part of the book really hits Kiera because she realizes that
even this wealthy successful black female lawyer who has a lot of class
privilege still can’t protect her daughter and her son from racism
and from the prejudiced way that white kids treat them at their affluent school.
and we have this idea in the black community that “oh once we make money
everything will be better for us… racism won’t be a problem once we’re
rich” and so I love that class issues were tackled in this. a lot of times we
believe that wealth will insulate us from enduring racism and that is not the
case, I just I love that there were so many different perspectives, wealthy
black, perspectives poor kids, trans kids, one of the main characters of the book
is a French black girl and she talks about her experience being not only just
biracial but also bicultural and I thought that that was really phenomenal…
I just I could go on and on about this book… this book is a tough act to follow.
how do I read another book after reading SLAY? you know I’m just gonna shut down
my channel because this is everything for me. if you only buy one book that I
asked you to buy, let it be this one. let it be this one. it’s been a couple weeks
since I actually finished SLAY and then I started this book, which
you all know I have been talking about for a couple months now, I’ve been so
excited but it took me a while to get into it… not because it wasn’t good, but
because my heart my mind was still in the world of SLAY. I am just under halfway
done with it so you’re gonna see me pick up reading this book and review it in my
next black girl magic vlog. the writing is stunning, it is absolutely stunning,
and it honestly reads to me like I’m sitting on the floor at my Abuela’s feet
and my abuela is telling me like ancient stories about our family through time.
it’s written in third person so it has this omnipotence about it and the wild
thing about this book even though it is a Nigerian fantasy is it feels like
something that actually happened. it feels like history. I can’t describe it
but it has this really magical feeling about the writing… like you believe it.
you believe in the lore and the gods and the world-building and the magic, it all
feels so real and vivid to me and I’m just completely enamored. I was talking
to Rachael from Rachael Marie about how this book reminds me so much of that
scene in the Harry Potter books and movies where Hermione is the three
brothers who meet death. it has that same type of voice – that voice that’s talking
about something that is very fantastical but that fantastical event feels real
because of the way that the story is being narrated. I don’t know if that
makes any sense the writing is just gorgeous, it feels it honestly this is
the only book that I think could follow SLAY because it is so completely
engrossing. this book is a perfect example of how to write dark-skinned
characters. y’all know how sometimes you’re reading a book written by a white
person and it will say things like “her skin was chocolate, her skin was the
shade of a mahogany tree ,she looks like a hazelnut” all the descriptions of black
girls have to do with food and being edible and it’s just really
uncomfortable? well this book doesn’t do that and it provides perfect examples of how
black skin can be described. “she was intelligent cruel and breathtakingly
beautiful, her large dark eyes glowed with formidable power. her striking broad
nose and thick lips captivated attention from anyone with a heartbeat”
I just absolutely loved it. like I love that this author is writing
additionally African features – you know dark eyes broad nose thick lips – as
beautiful and formidable as powerful and attractive to anybody and I love I love
that because it’s centering those features, it’s not apologizing for them.
“even with her eyes darkened from lack of sleep and her thick lips tightened into
a foul scowl she was breathtaking with her rich supple skin shining brilliantly
in the Sun”. just the way that African skin and features should be described!
that’s all i’ma say! I didn’t realize until I was reading this book that this
is the first time I’ve ever read a broad nose thick lips dark eyes and dark skin
as described as powerful and beautiful inherently. I am loving this book, I’m head
over heels , all the lore and the mythology in it is fantastic. the
language, the centering of afro culture… I cannot wait! so if you made it this far
in the vlog comment down below with the words “black is beautiful” all of my
social media links are going to be in the description box below. thank you so
much for watching and supporting this video and I will see you in my next one!

42 thoughts on “#BlackGirlMagic Vlog #1! /KINGDOM OF SOULS, SLAY, DAUGHTERS OF NRI

  1. Can you please spell the word you say at 21:33 it sounds like hoetepery? I am trying to educate myself but I can't spell it well enough to Google it

  2. Off topic, but what is that lip shade you’re wearing at the end??? It’s stunning! (Slay got me crying too, big sloppy boo hoo tears 😭)

  3. 🔮 Black Girl Magic ‼️🔮
    I love that you’re going to be analyzing so many of these books.
    Off-Topic but I’m loving your hair.
    I love that there is ethnic diversity. I’m glad that there is a lot of symbolism.
    This book sounds so good.
    I’m glad you brought up the definition of beauty line.
    I’ve hear amazing things about CeraVe. I’ll have to try it. That is a huge bottle of Tea Tree oil. I’ll have to try it.
    I loved the packaging. I love that golden eyeshadow. Strawberry Jam is so beautiful. The dual tone on was pretty too.
    Slay sounds so good.
    I love flowery words too.
    Wow, I want to checkout Slay now. A celebration a blackness. I’m sold.
    Yes! A regular black unit without black pain or struggle.
    😂 Hotepery examined. 💀
    Daughters of NRI sounds amazing. 😑 😩 Yes it’s annoying and creepy to describe black peoples as food. I love that description from the book. That brings me to 😭 to hear black skin and features described as beautiful and strong.
    “Black is beautiful!”

  4. Black is beautifulllll… didn’t know you were a dancer! That’s a fun fact! & I planned on getting Slay at some point but now I NEED IT ASAP!

  5. Your enthusiasm for these books is amazing. Listening to you gush about the positive ways that black women are being represented is honestly a gift. I can't wait to get my hands on all of these books. Thanks for starting such a great series!

  6. Black is beautiful. You are beautiful! And wow your enthusiasm for all these books makes me so excited to pick them all up! Thank you!!

  7. I loved your analysis of all these books, and how enthusiastic you are about all of these. I hadn’t heard of Slay but you have definitely encouraged me to add it to my TBR since it affected you so much. I love this series!

  8. Black si beautiful!!!
    Time for a rambling liveblog. (Maybe you like these comments, maybe you hate them. Never know until you try, yeah?)

    "I leave my door unlocked when I'm out of town." I'm going to literally die of anxiety. I can't leave the door unlocked when I'm /home/ because of how freaking paranoid I am. But I guess that's the difference in neighbourhoods? Or just levels of… comfort? I dunno. Props to you for being able to do that. Like that is some serious Big Dick Energy (in the most androgynous way possible).

    Your hair is on point throughout this vlog. Your hairstyles are some of my favourite parts of your vlogs. Just "ooh! What hairstyle will Jesse have today?"

    Kingdom of Souls being a world without homophobia just skyrocketed it up my to-read list. Also nurturing fathers are some of my favourite figures in fiction.

    Hey we have the same scalp condition! That's… really comforting? I've never met anyone with it who's willing to talk about it. I've always been made to feel like it's gross and ugly and my fault. So, thank you for mentioning it? Weird flex, self, but okay.

    BLACK NONBINARY CHARACTER WHAT. Time to buy SLAY immediately.

    This was a great start. Thank you for doing so much of this!

  9. Did you know it was Black History Month in the UK in october? I'm reading only black authors to celebrate. It's like a second Blackathon! 😀 Currently making my way through Flygirl by Sherri L Smith.
    There's one thing you said about Slay that made me want to read it even more: the fact that there's a bi-racial french character. It might not be much but the struggle to be mixed with 2 different culture is real. This representation also needs to be written about and I can't wait to read it now.
    Daughters of Nri is on my TBR, I can't wait to get my hands on it 😀
    Concerning Kingdom of Souls, I'm a little bit cautious about because I heard the romance is a big part of the book (which I don't like in general). I'll probably read it but I don't want to be disappointed like I was with Children of Blood and Bone.

  10. Black is beautiful 💕

    I pre-ordered Daughters of Nri a couple of weeks ago because one of your videos. Now it will be featured in one of my subscription boxes 😍

  11. Black is beautiful ❤

    Picked up Slay from your recommendation and I'm soooo excited to read it! Loved this and looking forward to more in the series!

  12. Loved this vlog! I read Slay last week, and it was soooo gooooood. Can't wait for more videos in this series. :0)

  13. Loved the vlog!!!! Definitely gonna put these books on my tbr list next month ❤️ oh and gonna try the cerve brand as well 🤪

  14. I just ordered from colour pop yesterday and got the strawberry jam eyeshadow too. It looks gorgeous.

    I love your enthusiasm for all these books and I’m looking forward to more of this series.

    Books that center around video games have been a miss for me in the past but Slay sounds fantastic so I’ll have to pick it up.

    Black is beautiful🌻

  15. Black is beautiful.

    I was already hyped for Slay and the fact that you loved it so wholeheartedly makes me even more excited to read it.

    Changing to a filtered showerhead was seriously life-changing for me. My eczema is still a hassle, but so much of it cleared up when I got that showerhead.

  16. These books already sounded phenomenal but your glowing reviews of them makes me want to read them even more! Black is beautiful.

  17. Black is beautiful 🙂 These books were already on my TBR, as you know, but now I'm even more excited to read them!!!

  18. Black is beautiful! I am here for all the YA books which feature black people as the main characters!!!! I love it!

  19. What a coincidence. I've recently finished reading a non-fic book that would be a good companion to your critical reading of #BlackGirlMagic called The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas which is a literary criticism of how 4 black female characters from YA fantasy/speculative fiction have been (badly) represented and it proved excellent reading. Black is beautiful TFS 🙂

  20. I'm SO glad that these books inspired such passion and happiness in you; you're absolutely glowing and joyful and I can't imagine watching this video and not IMMEDIATELY itching to pick up all of these!

    Kingdom of Souls sounds stunning both from an intricate fantasy world standpoint and a social commentary one, but especially from the WLW side!! Listen. Queer women? That's my whole brand. Add those family dynamics and I'm sold! Definitely picking that one up. I was a little wary when you mentioned sexual assault because reading it on-page can be super triggering, but the way you describe it makes it seem like something I can tackle with little problem. Thank you for the spoiler free review-ish, I'm so excited to read this now! AND TO WATCH THE MOVIE OMG!!!

    And if you liked KOS that much and Slay is even better? I can't think of a better endorsement! Anything that inspires such emotion so early on must be poignant as heck. It's on my auto-buy list right tf now. We love sex positivity + discussions of intersections of race and class, and we ADORE a love letter to black culture that demonstrates that it is not monolithic but varied and yet specific/shared all at once. I can't wait to pick this one up ahhhhh <3 <3 <3

    Ahh I can't wait for vlog 2 to get your full thoughts on Daughters of Nri! This was absolute perfection, Jesse, and I can't wait to see as many in this series as possible <3 Black is beautiful! And so are you, inside and out!

  21. I'm gonna get SLAY, 1000% I'm gonna get SLAY! Next paycheck that book is mine.
    Daughters of Nri is on my list, but wow, you sold me even more on it with the comparison to the story of the three brothers. Chills!
    Black is beautiful!

  22. I already wanted to buy Slay, but I'm definitely going to soon since Brittany Morris is coming to South Carolina in November. All of these books sound amazing. I've loved seeing your reactions to them

  23. I love this so much <3 I always want to get colorpop stuff but my ass already owns too many eyeshadow palettes 😩

  24. Black is Beautiful. Loved the analysis of how real world problems (like sexual abuse) were represented in Kingdom of Souls. SLAY sounds awesome, so I've added that to my TBR!

  25. I remember Lauren @ thenovelLush raving about Slay. I think it's one of those books that's going to remain one of the really impactful books for black people. Definitely one of those books I'm gonna pick up.

    I've loved fantasy books without poetic language but honestly I very much prefer that gorgeous all consuming prose, where I am just in awe of the words. Very much looking forward to daughter of nri. 

    HAAAAA that sounds like something Rainbow Rowell would write.

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