Book Review: A Sister’s Power

“Already reeling from betrayal, middle sister Coco is fed up with lies—including her own. If she has her way, someone else’s neck needs to be on the line for a change. But soon, Coco’s in deep trouble with the law, her future hanging in the balance . . . Now the only thing that can save her is revealing one last devastating truth.

Struggling with unthinkable loss, Coco’s sister, Burgundy, finds comfort in a colleague’s arms. But her eight-year-old daughter wants no part of him. She wants the life she enjoyed when her father was alive. As Burgundy fights to move on from the shocking tragedy of her marriage, she seeks a silver lining. And against all odds, she wants herself and all her sisters to win. In spite of secrets, lies, deception, and hurt, she will do whatever it takes to support and empower her family. Even if it means risking everything that’s important to her.

Now between revenge, grief, and forgiveness, these siblings will challenge themselves—and all they think they know about each other—in a showdown that may leave them united—or cause them to forever fall apart . . .”

Reading the above premise had me totally invested in this story. Maybe If I would have read the previous books in the series I would have understood the characters more but the story just felt messy for messiness sake. The main character’s sneaking around felt hollow and unbelievable. 

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I came away feeling like Burgundy and her sisters need therapy and possibly some Jesus. In real life I’m against corporal punishment but Burgundy’s daughter is one of those kids who make me understand why someone might reach for a belt. She was just way too much.

I really wanted to like this story but it dragged and seemed kind of all over the place. I gave it 4 stars for the premise and the promise. It just didn’t deliver for me personally.

Book Review: Robin’s Lake Road

“Asher Sullivan is a shy camera geek looking forward to graduation at Sagebrush High School in small-town rural Oklahoma, and she’s got a problem: she’s never been in love. But then one spring evening, everything she ever thought she knew about herself is turned upside down the minute she meets Robin O’Leary, a popular and talented newcomer from Texas. Despite being at opposite ends of the social spectrum, the two become close friends. And it isn’t long before that friendship morphs into wild romance. Only thing is, Robin carries a secret from her past that doesn’t keep well in the Bible-belt town of Sagebrush. Neither girl is prepared for the tragic chain of events that follows. And when a torn Asher learns the dark truth behind the O’Leary family facade, she has to make a very difficult decision about what’s really important in life.”

 

SPOILER ALERT! I gloss over some themes that may spoil the story for you below. 

Robin’s Lake Road is not the story that I thought I was getting. I thought I was getting a teenage lesbian love story which is what is typically being published these days. It seems like every story about teenage queer people that I’ve read lately is full of queer teens with accepting parents and friends who love them and allow them to be themselves. While that is a lot of people’s story it’s not everyone’s, so when I realized what Robin’s Lake Road really was, a nuanced look at what happens when someone comes out in a small unaccepting town and the lengths that some people will go to because of their Christian values, I screamed for joy.

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Ok, I didn’t really scream for joy I’m not happy about the hardships that the teens in this story face but as a lesbian who’s been a lesbian her whole life, I related to so many of the things that happened in the novel from the way your peers treat you when they find out that you’re LGBTQ, to parents who will do ANYTHING to make sure that you stay straight, to dealing with a closeted mate who behaves one way in public and another in private.

I gave this book 4 stars and advise queer people to beware when they embark upon this read. There are lots of triggering scenes and scenarios.

Read if you’re queer and love seeing yourself in books or if you’re not queer and want an intimate look of what life is like for some LGBTQ youth. A lot of the story was spot on for my friends and I during our high school days.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.

Book Review: The Shape of Night

Tess Gerritsen is one of my favorite authors. My love for her started with Rizzoli & Isles and now I’ll pretty much read just about anything she writes. So when Netgalley offered me the opportunity to read her standalone (thriller/mystery/ghost story/ghost sex story?) I jumped at the chance. Without knowing much about it except:

“After an unspeakable tragedy in Boston, Ava Collette flees to a remote village in Maine, where she rents an old house named Brodie’s Watch.

In that isolated seaside mansion, Ava finally feels at peace . . . until she glimpses the long-dead sea captain who still resides there.

Rumor has it that Captain Jeremiah Brodie has haunted the house for more than a century. One night, Ava confronts the apparition, who feels all too real, and who welcomes her into his world—and into his arms. Even as Ava questions her own sanity, she eagerly looks forward to the captain’s ghostly visits. But she soon learns that the house she loves comes with a terrible secret, a secret that those in the village don’t want to reveal: Every woman who has ever lived in Brodie’s Watch has also died there. Is the ghost of Captain Brodie responsible, or is a flesh-and-blood killer at work? A killer who is even now circling closer to Ava?”

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to read that? Apparently, I shouldn’t have. When I checked Goodreads the vast majority of the reviewers LOVED it.  I wanted to. I so badly wanted to love and appreciate this book if for no other reason than I too am a writer compelled to write in different genres. This book, however, is a hot mess and no matter how hard I try I just can’t make myself finish it.

I love reading too much to spend my Sunday yelling at a character “You in danger girl!” in my Whoopi Goldberg voice to make myself finish this book.

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2 Stars because Tess Gerritsen is an amazing writer, her descriptions make you see, smell, taste, and feel whatever she is attempting to portray on the page. This book just didn’t do it for me personally.

Read if you like genre-bending books and have ever fantasized about fucking a ghost. 43808355.jpg

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. 

Book Review: My Whole Truth

“Seventeen-year-old Seelie Stanton never wanted to kill someone. She never wanted to be invisible in her own family, never wanted to crush on her best friend Alyssa, and she definitely never wanted to know how effectively a mallet could destroy someone’s head.”

My Whole Truth is a well written emotional story with a very timely message. The opening scene grabs your attention and keeps you interested even when Seelie gets on your last nerve by not speaking up for herself. Even though I understand her reasoning behind it. The trial was very realistic and could have turned out much worse for Seelie.

4 Stars

 

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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Book Review: Something In The Water

Something in the Water; I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. Just felt a whole lot of meh which is disappointing because any story that starts with a character telling you how they went to Google to learn how to properly bury a body is going to grab your attention- but after the author gets you the story drags on until it shifts into a bunch of fantastical actions then slows then again.

At the end of the novel we are left with a lot of important questions unanswered. I gave this story  3 stars mainly because the story had so much promise and this is the author’s first novel.

Read if you loved Gone Girl and like books that try to do what Gone Girl did but failed, it’s the thought that counts isn’t it?

I reviewed this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley. 

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Book Review: We Were Killers Once

What I Liked:

Bridget Quin is a female private investigator, she’s middle-aged, ex-FBI, they describe her as small but mighty and no one’s fool.

The story is based on Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, which is based on actual events. There have always been rumors that there was a third person present at those murders and that there were additional victims in FL. This novel is a what-if of those murders, well researched and the premise is plausible.

Once the story gets going it has great pacing and some very interesting characters. 

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What I didn’t like:

The connections seem to come out of thin air and only hold up if you don’t think about them for too long while twisting your head to the side, looking over your glasses and squinting.

Also, Why would the Bridget Quin character care so much about her new husband’s deceased ex-wife? This feels believable and dumb. I know we want flawed characters but it annoys me when strong women waste their time and emotions on things that don’t matter.

Someone gets out of jail after so many years and decides to go and hunt down something that likely wouldn’t be found and implicate them unless they go and hunt it down.

I gave this one 3 Stars.

Read if you like badass women who take names, kick butt, and ask questions later.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.  

Book Review: In West Mills

West Mills is the story of members of a small fictional town in rural North Carolina from 1941-1987. During that time period we follow the story of Azalea Knot Centre; a young school teacher determined to live life on her own terms. She likes to read books, drink, dance, and take random men to her home for late-night fun.

Of course, Knot’s past times are frowned upon in her small community and in her home town where her Dentist father and disapproving mother live. Ostracized, Knot finds friendship from her neighbor Otis Lee and his family.

Full of life, love, family, and friendship In West Mills is a phenomenal story about a cast of relatable authentic characters that you could find in any town in the world. They felt like family and I wanted the best for each of them especially Knot who I wanted to simultaneously hug, shake, and scream “GIRL GET IT TOGETHER” at the same damn time.

I gave it 5 stars.

Read if you love Kelly from Insecure and I mean who doesn’t love Kelly from Insecure we all saw the Coachella Episode. 40653132.jpg

 

 

Book Review: What Remains True

What Remains True is the story of Jonah and his family; his mother, father, sister Eden, aunt Ruth, and their dog. The story is told from the perspective of Jonah and his family including the dog and tells us what happened the day that Jonah died and whose fault his death was. 

His death has inexplicably changed his family forever.  His mother Rachel spends her days in bed depressed, unbathed, and relying on medication to keep her sedated. She is incapable of doing anything aside from screaming and crying so parenting her remaining child, Eden isnt something that she even knows how to do anymore. Even though we learn through her children that prior to Jonah’s death she was an amazing mother. 

 Eden blames herself  for Jonah’s death like the rest of her family but she’s also annoyed that her family isn’t making any progress towards moving on. She doesn’t want to return to school and be treated like the sister of a dead brother. She wants her life to resemble some sort of normalcy where her father isn’t sleeping on the couch, her mother isn’t drugged out of her mind, and her aunt is living at her own house minding her own business. 

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Samuel, Jonah’s father is trying to move on. Trying to work and to take care of his family but how can he take care of Rachel if she can’t stand the sight of him and blames him for his son’s death? So he allows his sister in law Ruth, to reign supreme over the house. Someone has to cook breakfast and take care of Eden. 

What Remains True is beautifuly sad and hopeful. It’s a tale of loss and what comes next when someone dies at a very young age. I enjoyed this book especially the format of the story being told from everyone’s perspective including the dog and a ghost which felt fresh and interesting. 4 stars. 

Book Review: The Black God’s Drums

The Black God’s Drums

Creeper is a young orphan girl who spends her days creeping around New Orleans stealing what she can to survive in the Alternate version of America after the Civil War where New Orleans is a free state and the United States is no longer United. 

During one of her nights out she overhears that someone wants to sell a dangerous weapon. The same weapon that destroyed New Orleans in the past, a thunder storm so powerful it’s bound to knock New Orleans and all of its inhabitants off the face of the earth. 

Only one person, a female captain of an airship can help Creeper capture the man who intends to trade the fate of New Orleans for a precious Jewel. 

Using magic, wit, and the powers of the goddesses Oya and Oshun the two heroines save the day and forge a new friendship where they save not only themselves but the many different groups of people from Confederates, to Haitians, and a couple of mystical nuns, who reside in New Orleans. 

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the Black Girl Magic and the reimagining of a Fantastical America. 5 Stars. 

Book Review: We Were Mothers

We Were Mothers by Katie Sise

Mira Madsen has disappeared the night after attending the birthday party for the set of twin toddlers she babysits. Her mother Laurel is terrified that something horrible has happened to her. The woman she babysits for, Cora, is devastated by the unsettling secret that Mira told her prior to her disappearance which threw her seemingly perfect mariage in to more turmoil than she never imagined  was possible. 

As the police question everyone who was at the party we’re taken on a journey through the lives of some of the mothers and members of the town Ravenclaw. Whose wealthy inhabitants are guarding various secrets in their oversized lawns and behind their floor to ceiling windows. 

Sarah, Jade, Laurel, and Cora’s stories are full of secrets their neighbors would have a hard time believing are taking place in their perfect town from domestic abuse and rape to murder and insider trading. It’s pretty clear that this perfect town will be drastically changed once the police are able to locate Mira. If she’s alive she might have the answer to a few very important questions and if she’s dead her death would rock her town and the lives of those closest to her. 

I wanted to call this book review something like: Filthy rich white people are severely fucked up but I would have to acknowledge that all of the themes of this book are actually experienced by most people regardless of their race or their financial status. Which would have been fine because I could have also acknowledged that the difference between the filthy rich and most poor people is that poor unwed mothers are treated like a stain on society and while two young rich white men; (dear god they were men. White people ya’ll gotta stop treating your 21 year olds like children or ya’ll gotta acknowledge that everyone else’s 21 year old child is a child. You can’t have it both ways) could walk away from an accident in which someone died and a thorough investigation into the incident not be completed, that would never ever happen to poor or even middle class young black men. 

Katie’s writing takes the readers on a riveting journey and makes you question how you would respond to someone trying to hurt your children. Most mothers, no matter how weak they are, would fight to the death for their children. It’s what mothers do, we protect our children at all costs. 4 stars.

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