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: 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: 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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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.