A Tale of Two Cities A Halloween Novella By Alexandra Warren | Book Review

Synopsis:

When people think of a holiday for love, they automatically come up with Valentine’s Day.
But who’s to say that’s the only one?

A trip to sin city for a Halloween-themed joint bachelor-bachelorette party is all it takes for Savannah and Lincoln to learn this the… not so hard way. 😉

A Tale of Two Cities Collection:
Cute & Sweet Millennial Meets Over a Holiday,
All With One Thing In Common; Cities.

Note: This is a short novella with a happy-for-now ending.
If you prefer your stories longer, I’d recommend checking out another Alexandra Warren project. 🙂

Book Review:

I found this to be funny especially when Savannah and Lincoln where at the Haunted House, lol. 

Savannah and Lincoln and their friends all go out to Vegas for their best friends bachelor & bachelorette party. This is where you see just how Savannah and Lincoln are into each other.

This was had ome funny moments and I like that this took place around holiday. I liked the story cute and sexy.

I read this for black author readathon 2021

Rating: 3.75⭐⭐⭐

The Office Party By Whitney G. | Book Review

Synopsis:

I can’t believe that I pulled my boss’s name for our company’s annual Secret Santa tradition…

As the devil incarnate, this infuriating, cocky bastard never gives us the holidays off, and he honestly expects us to be grateful for his generous alternative: The Office Party.

It’s a mandatory, all-expenses trip for two weeks at a surprise luxury resort—where we still have to work twelve to fifteen hours a day.

I’m so over this…

So, I put zero percent effort into his gift. I tear the tag off whatever my sister gifts me, add a five-dollar amazon gift card, and hand it off to him.

It’s not until my sister sends me a text that I realize how terrible of a decision that was.

Georgia: Why haven’t you sent me a ‘LOL’ about the brand-new vibrator I got you? I really do hope that you use your boss’s face as a muse, like my note says. 🙂

If that’s not bad enough, this year’s “luxury trip” will be in my hometown–the place I’ve avoided for years. At the resort that my grandmother owns…

If the universe gets me out of this, I will never ‘regift’ anything ever again..

Book Review:

I enjoyed this, I liked the banter between Savannah and Garrett. Savannah works at a big company with a stuck up boss. Savannah just deals with it because Garrett is her boss but she feels she doesn’t have to like him.

It’s around Christmas time and savannah has Garrett’s name for a secret Santa. And she feels yet another yet she is tied to this man she doesn’t care for, she just wants to do her job and go home. 

Garrett is basically sending so many messages to savannah that he wants her and will be with her. But savannah still sees him as her boss. Even though she starts to feel some of the same feelings as Garrett later on.

This was my first book by this author and I liked her writing. I read this for the black author readathon 2021.

Rating: 4⭐⭐⭐⭐

Black Girl Unlimited By Echo Brown | Book Review

Synopsis:

Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic . . . everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor. Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything she’s worked for.

Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age.

Book Review:

This won’t be a standard review like I normally write but more on my feelings towards the story. 

Echo Brown has gone through so much, so much I can relate to. I feel Echo’s mother in the beginning just gave up and didn’t want to deal with life anymore. I felt upset with her mom because of what Echo had to go through at an very early age. But reading more into the story it makes sense. 

I was upset to read that Echo was raped at a young age and she had to deal with this basically by herself. In the black community when it comes to sexual violations people in the community sweep it under the rug and it’s never to be dealt with. It’s one of those things as if saying “yeah it happened get over it” or “don’t say anything no body will believe you”

Echo had to be the strong one in the family while still trying to go to school and get into college. It was hard for her. I enjoyed the magical realism through the story especially during Echo’s younger years. It shows how young children see tough situations and it flowed well into the story nicely.

Reading about Echo’s life, there were times I didn’t want to stop reading. It was a real life well written memoir and now I want to read more from Echo Brown. I’m glad I chose this for black history month and for buzzwordathon. I’ll definitely be re reading this again soon.

Rating: 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Whatever Happens By Micalea Smeltzer | Book Review

Synopsis:

Violet Page is having a rough time. This former popular girl is lost. Her parents uproot everything after her younger sister’s suicide, moving states away to escape the lingering pain of loss. She doesn’t fit in anywhere, but finds herself strangely drawn to the boy she watches view the world through a telescope.

Finnley Crawford isn’t your typical boy next door. Being autistic has always set him apart from kids his age. None of them quite knows how to approach him or interact, leaving him only one friend in the form of his support dog. His lack of friendships lead him to a unique love of space and aspirations of one day reaching the stars. For in the stars, he sees a peace and beauty he can’t find on Earth.

The more time these two seemingly opposite teenagers spend together, the more they learn it isn’t what’s on the outside that counts. So much can be found on the inside if you only care to look.

Book Review:

This was cute story that followed Violet and Finn. Violet is going through a lot she lost her younger sister to sucide, and she is still trying to cope with it all. Finn is dealing with a lot too, he has autism and uses a service dog for help especially when at school. He gets bullied because the other kids at school don’t understand him.

When Violet meets Finn for the first time she feels she needs to be determined because she sees a good guy in him when others don’t. Over time Violet and Finn become good friends, they are there for each other and seem to understand each other’s pain.

I enjoyed the ending this story it was sweet. I do kinda wish this story had a little bit more background on Finn and his autism and how he chooses to cope with it. This is the first book I read that had a character with autism so I find that to be cool that the author wanted to highlight and bring awereness. 

Overall this was a cute story I’m glad I chose this book to read first by this author now I will be picking up others by her.

Rating: 3.75 rounding to 4⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson | Book Review

Synopsis:


In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Review:

So I had to DNF this @ 62% I really didn’t want to but continuing on to finish this was making me fall into a reading slump that’s when I know I have to give up reading this.

So this isn’t a bad story at all it’s just all over the place for me. I picked this up for two reasons because I assumed there will be a story about witches and magic and also because of the bookclub I’m in.

Immanuel is basically shunned because of her mother’s sins. There’s talk about a plauge and Immanuel is trying to uncover more about it. Very little talk about witches, and when you do hear from them it’s much later in the story.

I wanted to like this, but this didn’t work for me at all. I didn’t really care for the style of writing. Maybe …just maybe I might pick this back up in the future but for now it’s a 2.5 star

I know a lot of people love this book but when a story is making me dred reading I know I have to stop what I’m reading. Once again not a bad story, it just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 2.5 ⭐⭐

Claudia and mean Janine Baby sitters club # 7 by Ann M Martin| Book Review

Synopsis:

Claudia’s participation in the Baby-sitters Club is curtailed when Grandmother Mimi suffers a stroke and Claudia finds herself “Mimi-sitting” and fighting more frequently with her sister.

Review:

This year I’m going back to my childhood reading some of the babysitters club books. I always enjoyed Claudia she was one of my favorite characters, she always seemed so much older and mature for her age.

The babysitters club # 7 is basically about Claudia taking on more responsibility caring for her grandmother Mimi after she had a stroke. Her big sister Janine always looks down at Claudia and doesnt think what she does as far her job being a babysitter and things she does after school is worth it.

I listened to this on audio book and the narrator did a great job with all the characters. I’m glad I decided to listen to the books this time around for my re read.
Good story. 3 ⭐

Rating: 3 ⭐⭐⭐


Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham| Book Review

Synopsis:

Some bodies won’t stay buried. Some stories need to be told.

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past, the present, and herself.

One hundred years earlier, a single violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what’s right the night Tulsa burns.

Review:

Dreamland Burning is a story that I didn’t know about. This story is told in two perspectives Rowan (a mixed black girl) and Willam (white guy living in 1921 Jim Crow era) Both perspectives live in Tulsa oklahoma. William side of the story talks about a lot racism during his time and the riots in Tulsa. William has to go along with his friends and family because where he lives it’s a very racist town. Blacks are treated unfair and even are killed.

Rowan perspective is present time she found human remains in her back shed behind the house. For the most part of the story she is trying to find out who the body is and how it ended up around her house.

I have to be honest I was excited to read this but about 20% in I realized I didn’t like how the book was written or set up. It became confusing at times. I did listen to this on audio and at one point I wanted to DNF it but it’s fairly quick especially listening on the speed I listen to it at. I think overall the idea behind this story was great now I want to know more about the Tusla riots. But this was just okay not amazing at all. Maybe at a later date I may re read this but for now this is like a 2.75 star rating. 

**January Buzzwordathon read – theme dream**

Rating: 2.75 ⭐⭐⭐

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Synopsis:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. It’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, but basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in fifteen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives. New next door neighbors. I look out the window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. I want to learn everything about him, and I do. I learn that he is funny and fierce. I learn that his eyes are Atlantic Ocean-blue and that his vice is stealing silverware. I learn that when I talk to him, my whole world opens up, and I feel myself starting to change—starting to want things. To want out of my bubble. To want everything, everything the world has to offer.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Review:

(Re Read December 2020)
I enjoyed re reading this book. I decided to re read this story because it show cases disability representation. I love how Maddie and Ollie are together it’s very cute. What I didn’t like is Maddie mom. Although she is a nurse she feels she can just diagnosed her daughter with anything. Maddie’s mom shows symptoms of  munchausen by proxy and I felt this way the first time I read this. The only difference with Maddie’s mom and someone else with these symptoms, she really wanted to protect Maddie and not hurt her I don’t think her intentions were to hurt her but to help. Maddie’s mom wasted so much time trying to protect her rather then be there for her.

Maddie did what any normal teen girl with this disability would had done, test the waters. She just wanted to be a normal teen girl with a crush on a boy. 

I still enjoyed re reading this story and this starts my journey with reading more disabled representation in books all in 2021. Great story and I liked how everything worked it self out for Maddie.

(October 2016)
I started reading this over the summer when I was going through a really bad reading slump. For that reason alone it took me much longer to get through the book. after my slump was over I went back to try and finish this novel because I didn’t want to dnf it simply because it was something I was enjoying, so I’m happy I finished it and I have to say I really enjoyed reading this story.

Maddy is sick, very sick anything out in the world can cause her to became seriously sick which is why she is bound to her house at all times. Maddy’s life is the same everyday with the exception that she doesn’t leave the house. It’s not until a new family moves into the house next door to Maddy and she notices the son (Olly) that is her age. Seeing Olly makes Maddy think about life outside of her home and meeting people for once.

Maddy soon develops a friendship with Olly over emails and IMs, One day Olly comes over to Maddy’s house while Maddy’s mother is at work. From that first visit Maddy knew she liked Olly – a lot. Later Maddy takes it upon herself to see the world without her mother’s consent and of course Olly goes along for the ride. They both travel to Hawai a place that Maddy visited when she was much younger. During their trip Maddy experiences some ups and downs and finally understood what love is.

I loved reading this book! It was fast paced yet full of secrets that you as the reader needed to find out more about. I love the diversity within the character Maddy, she is not your typical YA teenager. This story made me smile and made me feel hurt and sadness. This is such a beautiful story I think anyone who are fans of YA contemporary novels will love. The writing style is perfect for this novel it made reading it fun.

I know that this book is being made into a movie and will be out sometime next year, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the movie a well as reading Nicola Yoon’s new novel The Sun is Also a Star next month.

GREAT BEAUTIFUL 5 STAR READ!

Rating: 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quitting Time: Nights Like This by Ashleynicole

Synopsis:

It’s raining, it’s pouring– Wait, nobody’s snoring. They’re in the bed, or on the couch, or maybe the counter… and will definitely have a good morning.

After five years, Aleigha has walked out of her job. But then her ex-boss gets stuck at her house because of the weather, and thunder won’t be the only thing clapping.

Review:

This is the second book in The Nights This series. This story follows Aleigha and her ex boss Brent. Brent is a supreme asshole and treats Aleigha like shit while at work.

Aleigha had enough and quit her job so she wouldn’t have to deal with Brent anymore. On a rainy night Brent and Aleigha worked out their issues and sexual frustrations. 

This was a good story and I enjoyed the sex scenes. Now I know why Brent is a dick in the workplace, all because he wanted Aleigha.

Rating: 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Synopsis:

This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
 
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.


Review:


Between the world and me is very well written. It’s a letter written to the author son. In this letter the author talks about growing up in the hood of Baltimore Maryland and seeing kids his age with guns. He also talked about the injustice system against black people in America. 


In this letter the author also talked about how hard it is being black in America and how life is rigged for a lot of black men. Reading this made me think about about my own son and how having this talk is very important. 


This letter set the stage for young black American kids to learn and understand that being born black is a automatic crime and there’s really nothing to do about it. But I plan to  instill this same knowledge to my son that you are black first before anything else. 


Be proud of who you are yet live life definely. I enjoyed the writing this was also an emotional read for me because everything stated in this letter is true. Definitely a 5 ⭐ star read and I’ll will be re reading this again soon.

Rating: 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐