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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Book Review: The Home For Unwanted Girls

Book Review: The Home for Unwanted Girls
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“In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility–much like Maggie Hughes’ parents. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy the next farm over. But Maggie’s heart is captured by Gabriel Phénix. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents send the baby Elodie to an orphanage where she receives horrible treatment. Seventeen years later, Maggie, married to a businessman eager to start a family, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon, and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. As time passes, the stories of Maggie and Elodie intertwine but never touch, until Maggie realizes she must take what she wants from life and go in search of her long-lost daughter, finally reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.”

Throughout history in every country if you dig deep enough you will uncover some horrible atrocities. The Home for Unwanted Girls tells the story of what happened to the daughters of unwed mothers in Quebec. Some were sold to Jewish families who were unable to adopt in the US. Many more were given to orphanages run by nuns where they lived humble lives that revolved around school and church. Until a law was passed that offered more reimbursement for mentally ill patients than the orphanages were paid to take care of children. So almost over night the children were evaluated by physicians and diagnosed mentally ill. 

This story is told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Maggie, who spends her life searching for her daughter who was taken from her at birth and sent to an orphanage, and her daughter Elodie, who thinks that her mother is dead.

As Elodie and Maggie’s stories unfold we’re treated to a history listen on the the abuse and atrocitites of the orphaned children which continues for many years until a new law is passed denouncing the previous law. After the new law frees the older girls back into a society that they are not prepared to live in many of the younger girls remain in the orphanages. Confined back to a life of education, church, cleaning, and being reminded that they are there because of the sins of their mothers.

This is a vibrant story about family, a mother’s love, and a young girls unending fight for her life. I love fictional stories that educate me on true historical events and rated this book 5 Stars. 

The Village; My Newest Love.

My new favorite television show is The Village. I have a tendency to fall in love with stories about humans loving other humans in the midst of it all. And The Village has it all. (so far) *fingers crossed like a mug*
 
I’m on episode three and BABAY When Lorraine Touissant’s character tells her man how heavy it is to have to deal with Cancer and the heaviness that is the sadness and despair of the people who love you, I near bout fell out of my chair.
 
It’s a conversation that I have with Sheree L. Greer frequently acted out on the screen in such a way that I never imagined was possible.
 
I’ve been waiting forever for someone to acknowledge this. To talk about what it’s like to be sick or fighting for your life and to also be burdened with the feelings and emotions of all of those around you in addition to every other horrifying thing you’re going through.
 
“It’s more work for me Ron, being in charge of your pain and mine I don’t have it in me.” Has got to be the best line on a television show this year. At least for me whose Mama and Mama’s Mama are both fighting cancers.
 
“You’re an organ in my body woman. You fail. I fail.” has me on the floor rolling around with something in betwixt glee and heartache.
 
It’s like… Grey’s Anatomy… That feeling that I had when I fell in love with it all those years ago and I’m so here for it.
 
Especially this love and those dance breaks.
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Matchmaking for Beginners: Book Review

2 Stars

I wanted to love this book and while I loved things about this book in the beginning my love quickly went downhill.

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What did I love about this book: The plot setup was amazing. I LOVED Blix the entirety of her story. If the whole story was about Blix then this would have been a five star review. Enter in Marnie and the story goes sideways. Without spoiling the story I can tell you that Marnie’s primary goal in life is to get married and have a life so simple and boring it would make the average person’s head spin.

The story had so much promise. I would have loved to read more about Blix who was a fresh breath of air of a character and her magical spells that brought people together in life and love but unfortunately the story is really about Marnie. Blix sets the story up for Marnie to have an amazing life but she’d not interested in that.

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Even when Marnie is given the opportunity to explore and build an incredible life she only accepts the opportunity so that she can hurry up and get back to her hum drum of a life which wouldn’t be so horrible but she’s an unlikeable and boring character which makes the book a drag.

Read the story for Blix and the magic of matchmaking. Try and ignore how annoying and bland Marnie is.

The Unlikely Tale of the Royal Elite Squad: Book Review

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The Unlikely Tale of the Royal Elite Squad is a story of an average group of teenage girls who develop super powers during a science project and use them to try and save the world, or at least parts of it. Someone else was in the school during the incident and they’ve also developed super powers which won’t make it so easy for the heroines to save the day.

Adeema super fit and athletic comic book lover, Libby Gray creative social queen , Janais the nerdy smart only child, and Kenzie

As the girls learn to use this their super powers they develop the best power a girl can have, friendship. “We all have our issues… and we may not fit in all the time, but I can assure you that you don’t have to go through life alone anymore.”

I love the diversity of the book which represents most normal parts of America, there’s the type A cheerleader, the spunky Spanish girl, the muslim, girl, the nerdy comic book lover and ——I love when books teach you something and this book teaches you about different religions and customs without even trying.

Overall I really liked this book and would recommend it for most teenagers and any other adults, like me, who enjoy YA novels. I gave it 4 stars.

Book Review: The Collector -Nora Roberts

 

 

 

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Let’s talk about the time I read a book and rolled my eyes the entire fucking time. To be fair, I read a lot so I run into this eye rolling thing pretty frequently but for some reason this eye rolling session really annoyed me. The Collector by Nora Roberts is the first book of 2018 to get thrown into the corner. And that’s only because the window was closed and I didn’t want to shatter it for such a stupid novel.

Actually I changed my mind. I’m not going to talk about it. I love Nora Roberts. She is a phenomenal writer so I refuse to even discuss for any more seconds how horrid The Collector is. I’ll just say read at your own risk. 1 Star because it’s impossible to give 0.

Sold on a Monday: Book Review

4 Stars

Sold on A Monday was a great read although at times it was a little slow. I love a story that keeps you entertained while teaching you things. During the pages of this story I was reintroduced to the way that women were treated in our history. How no matter how smart or talented they were they had to fight twice as hard just to be a secretary and how unwed women with children could be treated so badly that they would lie to protect themselves.

I’m always curious about where the idea for a story came from so I loved where the author told us all about that at the end.

The Girls at 17 Swan Street: Book Review

The Girls at 17 Swan Street by Yara Zgheib deserved every single one of the 5 stars that I gave it.

Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.

The Girls at 17 Swan Street is an amazing read and should be read by everyone, those going through similar situations with eating disorders so that they can finally see themselves in a story and feel seen, and those who don’t suffer from eating disorders. I think the story would be especially helpful to the family members of eating disorder sufferers so that they can actually see what it’s like to feel like you have to force yourself to eat every bite to make others happy and to look in the mirror everyday and no matter how thin you are still feel fat.

Typical books about ED show one side of the story, either they show the eating disorder suffered perspective or the perspective of the family and friends who are forced to witness their loved one suffering from this horrible disease. The Girls at 17 Swan Street does have the lense on Anna for the entire story but we’re able to see clearly how her husband and family are effected as well and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. Anna and Mathias’ love story had my clutching my chest in fear.

Yara did a fantastic job telling this story. It had me thoroughly invested from the moment I began to read up until the final page. I loved the different emotions that the story invokes by showing you different parts of the women’s lives. I rooted for everyone in this story and would love to read a follow up to find out if any of the women beat the disorders and to see what their lives would be like after treatment and returning home.