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. 

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.

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.

Obsession aka Teenage Girls Need To Chill; Little Monsters Book Review

Little Monsters Book Review

Obsession. The story little Monsters is told from the point of view of Bay and Casey. Bay’s story is told through her diary since she is missing or dead. While Casey tells us what’s happening now Bay’s diary tells us what happened leading up to her disappearance. 

Bay is clearly obsessed. With her best friend Jade who she calls her person and declares that she couldn’t lose or else she would die. 

With Casey who she seems to seriously hate even though she struggles to figure out how she really feels about the girl. She waffles back and forth admitting that she doesn’t know anything about her feelings regarding Casey except that she would like to punch the girl in the face. She’s only pretending to be friends with Casey because of her unrequited love of Casey’s stepbrother Andrew who is the true object of Bay’s obsession.  In addition to befriending Casey and hanging out with Andrew’s other sister who is only 13 years old, she does things like sit outside of his house at night watching him through his windows. 

While Bay tells us her story of what happened leading up to her disappearance Casey tells us the after and the lengths she goes through to find her friend. She continuously places herself at harm and makes herself look guilty while she searches desperately for Bay.  Even after someone tells her the truth about how Bay was never really her friend. 

I love a story with a strong plot twist and even though I figured out who done it pretty close to the end of the story the author did an amazing job of putting a new twist on this murder mystery and keeping the audience guessing about what really happened to Bay and who did it. 

I rated this book 5 Stars and recommend that you always know who your true friends are. Also, If you’re a teen, I know the person you think you love seems to be the most important thing in the world. I also guarantee that there are better things to be obsessed over like coffee, yoga, and loving yourself. It gets better. Just chill. 

Book Review: The Case by Kianna Iman

I love a good mystery. Make the characters look act and feel like me or people of color like me  and I am alllllll the way about that. Kianna Man does just that in her novel; The Case.

Mya Martinez is a Los Angeles Police Detective following in her beloved father’s footsteps. Mya wants nothing more than to be just like her father. He was an amazing and well respected Detective, a great provider and Mya’s Idol. So when he’s killed she vows to seek revenge for his death.

Mya turns out to be a great detective and following in his footsteps she quickly moves through the ranks of the police force. 

She falls in love with her captain Gary and is living the life that she’d always dreamed of; saving the city from criminals and building a future with Gary. Everything is going well until a young girl is kidnapped and the same people who killed Mya’s father seem to be behind the kidnapping. 

As Mya gets too involved and focused on the case her life begins to spin out of control. She’s letting everyone down and becomes withdrawn from all of her friends and squad mates. 

While Mya goes rogue and tries to figure out who done it and why the audience is taken on a wild ride chasing after dangerous suspects, each one having solid reasons to be behind the kidnapping. Just when we think we know who’s done it another more believable suspect is introduced including one that Mya could’ve never seen coming in her wildest dreams. 

I enjoyed this book and would be interested in reading the sequel if one is ever written. There were a few plot holes that a second book could tie right up. I can’t really speak to them without some spoilers but there are just enough unanswered questions at the end of the story to keep the readers invested in more of this storyline. 

I gave it 3 Stars for being a solid story with a few too many unanswered questions.

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The Rooster Bar a WHOLE ass SPOILER ALERT!

I finished reading John Grisham’s The Rooster Bar a week or so ago and honestly I don’t even know whether to give it one star or five or to throw it in to the corner or light it on fire. Whether to tell all of my friends to read it or to act like I never read it a day of my life.

Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.

     But maybe there’s a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they would first have to quit school. And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right?  Well, yes and no . . .
Pull up a stool, grab a cold one, and get ready to spend some time at The Rooster Bar.

That’s what Amazon had to say about this book and maybe that’s where I was lost I don’t love stools, at 34 they make my back hurt unless they have a good supportive back and arms and a cold one? A cold what? I think that beer whether it be cold or warm tastes like what pee smells like. *shrugs*

So probably at that last line I should’ve back away cued Randy Jackson, Not Micheal’s brother but this one:

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and backed away from the book. But I didn’t because no matter what people say about John Grisham and his formulated writing method I actually enjoy quite a few of his novels. But this one…

The premise of the book is that Zola, Mark and Todd’s friend Gordy  realizes that their law school is a scam. The owner of the law school is a shister who is also behind the banks that supply the loans and some of the law firm mills which pretend to hire some of the students of the school so that they can have a propped up hire rate. After a tragic event th duping them and others into borrowing thousands of dollars for law school of which they won’t likely be able to pay much of it back sense neither of them is likely to either pass the bar or get a job.

So, what do they do? They quit law school, go into hiding in the same city as their law school, and began to practice law. Ya’ll these fools quit law school  the last damn semester to practice law??? In the same city as their law school friends who could graduate in a semester and easily see them running around practicing law all Willy Neely.

And that’s where I got stuck. Even though the author keeps having the characters address the stupidity of quitting law school in your final semester and illegally practicing law, none of the excuses that they give make any sense to anyone with a brain.

I did sort of enjoy the close calls that the three illegal attorneys get themselves in and out of throughout the novel and how Grisham weaves a multitude of current events and issues including the serious look at immigration but overall I left the book feeling underwhelmed and confused.

If you came here to figure out whether to read The Rooster Bar or not I’m sorry I can’t help you. After all of these words I still think the best thing to do with this book is to throw it into the corner.

200w-4.gif  FYI: This is my face 95% of the story.