Reading Taste Test · Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Cousin Edition | Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Hello and welcome to the July edition of Someone Picks My Books! This month I reached out to my cousin to pick a book for me. She ended up picking Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami, but you probably figured that out from the title. I have read a few of Murakami’s books so I was thrilled when she brought this one up so I get to read it. I was able to get it right from the library on my ereader so I got right to reading!

Description

A dazzling new collection of short stories—the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

I really enjoyed the bite sized looks into the lives of those within the stories. I felt like the stories were well paced and the length of each one was perfect. I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything, but I also never felt like a story went on too long. A very difficult balance to maintain as a writer. I felt that while we got a snippet of each of these men, each was unique and I didn’t feel like a plot was recycled in any way.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the fact that these short stories has the same feel that I have previously loved in works I have read by the author. This is personally a worry for me when I am used to reading novels by an author, changing the type of fiction an author writes can at times ruin an author for me because they can loose a sense of what I enjoy about them. Happily that was not the case at all here.

What I Didn’t Like

As with short story collections there are some winners and some not great ones. I normally have this experience with collections, but I have to say I felt overall very positive about the collection and I didn’t outright hate or fully dislike one in particular.

Overall

This is a great collection of short stories and I am very glad that my cousin picked this for me to read. I was lucky enough to bring this with my on vacation and it was honestly perfect for that setting. It was bite sized chunks of great works by a very talented writer. The stories didn’t go to fast or drag on in any way. If you love Murakami or have been wanting to give his works a try, but 1Q84 is overwhelming I think you should look into this collection.

Up Next

Next month I am reading a book picked by the lovely Minna, where you can find them on twitter as @bookishminna and on their blog bookishminna. I really love their combination of book content and life where their personality shines through as well as their passions.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Whit Reads Lit | Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon

Hello and welcome to the second Someone Picks My Books within the past week! If you are are new to the blog, this is a series where I have other book lovers pick a book for me to read and I give it a try! I love it because I always end up reading books I might not have read otherwise. This month Whitney, who you can find on both twitter as @whitreadslit and over on her blog, whitreadslit.com picked a book for me to read. As someone who loves historical fiction, I was thrilled with her choice!

Description

Told in interweaving timelines organized around the four code names Nancy used during the war, Code Name Hélène is a spellbinding and moving story of enduring love, remarkable sacrifice and unfaltering resolve that chronicles the true exploits of a woman who deserves to be a household name.
It is 1936 and Nancy Wake is an intrepid Australian expat living in Paris who has bluffed her way into a reporting job for Hearst newspaper when she meets the wealthy French industrialist Henri Fiocca. No sooner does Henri sweep Nancy off her feet and convince her to become Mrs. Fiocca than the Germans invade France and she takes yet another name: a code name.
As LUCIENNE CARLIER Nancy smuggles people and documents across the border. Her success and her remarkable ability to evade capture earns her the nickname THE WHITE MOUSE from the Gestapo. With a five million franc bounty on her head, Nancy is forced to escape France and leave Henri behind. When she enters training with the Special Operations Executives in Britain, her new comrades are instructed to call her HÉLÈNE. And finally, with mission in hand, Nancy is airdropped back into France as the deadly MADAM ANDRÉ, where she claims her place as one of the most powerful leaders in the French Resistance, armed with a ferocious wit, her signature red lipstick, and the ability to summon weapons straight from the Allied Forces.
But no one can protect Nancy if the enemy finds out these four women are one and the same, and the closer to liberation France gets, the more exposed she–and the people she loves–become. –goodreads

What I Liked

This historical fiction novel is both a story of a really awesome woman, but also a love story of sorts as well. I really like this balance that is was not one or the other, but we got two stories working side by side. I would have to say that throughout this book there were times that were lulling a bit, where other times there was so much tension I had to actually get my muscles to relax. This was an interesting thing to be because when I read a book it is usually one or the other. It really shows how this book is almost two stories in one.

I thought the author did a great job when it came to really sharing the characters with the reader. I felt that I really knew their motivations and why they did things. I was really connected to them and was emotionally invested because they were written in such a way that made them feel real. This is especially apparent when exploring Nancy and her husbands relationship, but really apparent throughout. Can I just say here and now that Nancy was just a total badass? Because I can’t think of another word to describe her. She was/is a badass.

What I Didn’t Like

While I really loved exploring the role of Nancy in her relationship as well as her role as being a spy, at times I felt like it was in the way. It was not that I didn’t enjoy these aspects, but I found myself wanting to get through them because I wanted to read more about this very strong female protagonist in the context of her espionage.

Overall

Overall, this was a really engaging read. I read it quite quickly because I was sucked into the story when I did pick it up. This surprised be because it is not on the short side with almost 500 pages. Sometimes historical fiction can be long winded and at times I did feel this, it was not a constant in my experience. I felt like this was a very well done historical fiction set against the backdrop of WWII. Not only did it highlight that atrocities, it also showed the story of female spies that helped get many to safety and the dangerous choice that some made to put their own lives at risk to safe the lives of others. With this there is discussion of violence and other dark themes, here is a full list of trigger warnings compiled by Book Trigger Warnings.

Up Next

The next round of Someone Picks My Books is actually picked by a family member who doesn’t have a blog or anything, but we often talk about books so I thought it would be fun to read a book picked by my cousin! I am really excited about her picked because I have read a book by this author in the past and really enjoyed their style.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | JJ Clapton | The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Someone Picks My Books where I ask for volunteers to pick a random book for me to read and see if I like it just as much as they did. This past May I had the wonderful JJ Clapton, who you can find over on twitter as @JJClaptonWrites as well on her website jjclapton.com. Yes, I am sorry I am late to posting this because I have been rethinking my blog a bit, but this series is one I truly love and wont to continue into the future. Anyway, I really excited to share my thoughts on this adventure of a book!

Description

For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob — a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing.
There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality. –goodreads

What I Liked

First and foremost, I absolutely adored the imaginative aspect of this book. I mean, the ideas of book characters jumping off the pages is something a lot of us book lovers say as a figure of speech and most likely has been around for a while. The thing is, the author actually made this figure of speech seem like a reality and created a whole book around it, amazingly I might add.

This book opened up the readers in such a great manner it was a mixture of explaining and showing that was balanced really well. I felt like the author explained just enough that the reader isn’t lost, but we are thrown right into the action of the story. The writing really was just wonderful throughout. The plot was well done, the atmosphere was great, and when I read it felt like I was falling into the book just as much as the characters in this story were coming to life because of Charley’s abilities.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, I really enjoyed this book and I can’t think of a single thing I did not enjoy about this book.

Overall

If you couldn’t tell, I loved this book. It was imaginative and unlike anything I have read personally and on top of that was executed amazingly. I was honestly shocked to see that this was the authors first book, but very happy too see that they have others out and another one in the works. This review was hard to write because all I wanted to do was gush about it and say, how much I loved it. I will say that there are a few scenes in the book that depict a few dark things that could be triggering to some such as violence, if curious here is a list of trigger warnings. If this is something that does not affect you, I highly suggest giving this book a try. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I could not be more ecstatic that JJ Clapton picked it for me to read!

Up Next

The next installment that is coming very soon was picked by the wonderful Whitney, who you can find on both twitter as @whitreadslit and over on her blog, whitreadslit.com. She is a very kind individual and her content is amazing!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Book | Tees Book Reads | Curse the Day by Annabel Chase

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! This month I read a book picked by Teeana, who you can find on twitter as @teesbookreads and they also has a redbubble called Tee’s Shop! I was so excited to have Teeana pick my book for this month because she picked a genre I don’t normally read too often, cozy mystery.

Description

“The only magic Emma Hart believes in is caffeine and the power of the dryer to lose one sock per load. A public interest lawyer buried under a mound of student debt, Emma’s whole life has been one turn of bad luck after another.

Her streak seems to continue when she gets lost on the way to see a client in the remote Pocono Mountains. A chance encounter with a suicidal angel lands her in Spellbound, a town where supernaturals have been cursed to remain for centuries–probably not the best time for Emma to discover that she’s actually a witch.

Between the recent murder of the town’s public defender, a goblin accused of theft, remedial witch classes, and the attention of one smoking hot vampire, Emma struggles to navigate this unfamiliar terrain without losing her mind…or her life. ” goodreads.com

What I Liked

First thing off the bat that I really enjoyed was the touch of magic in this book, I always love a tale with some magic in it at any level. It can be a high fantasy novel or magical realism, either way I am going to love seeing it in the story. On top of that, this book just felt comforting in a way, I guess that is why they call it a cozy mystery. While, there are a few things that were not totally fluffy etc., but the overall feel was just that.

I have to say, I had a really enjoyable time reading this book, I laughed and was a light read. I honestly think I read it at the best time because I felt like it was a great break between larger or more serious reads. I also feel like I would love to see more tales happen in this small town, I feel like it would have been a ton of fun. But, the great news is this book is part of a series that has a ton of books, 10 in fact at the time of writing this.

What I Didn’t Like

While I loved the overall feel and the setting of this book, I kind of felt like the characters themselves were not fully worked out. I enjoyed them, but I felt like I didn’t really know them while I was reading.

Overall

I enjoyed the feel and setting of this book a lot, it was a great fluffy read. It opened up the world of cozy mysteries to me and I want to explore this series as well as this genre even more. If the description interests you at all I suggest looking into this!

Next month I am reading a book picked by JJ Clapton, who you can find over on twitter as @JJClaptonWrites as well on her website jjclapton.com. She is very kind and I really enjoy her updates on her writing, life stuff, and everything else she posts! I always love seeing her popup on my feed.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Book | Annelies from Annelies Explores | The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary by Catherine Gray

Next month I am reading a book picked by Annelies, who you can find on twitter as @AnneliesExpl or on their blog called Annelies Explores. I am really looking forward to reading the book they picked for me, it just sounds grand!

One Sentence Review

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Description

We’re told that happiness is in the extraordinary. It’s on a Caribbean sun lounger, in the driving seat of a luxury car, inside an expensive golden locket, watching sunrise from Machu Picchu. We strive, reach, push, shoot for more. ‘Enough’ is a moving target we never quite reach.

When we do brush our fingertips against the extraordinary a deeply inconvenient psychological phenomenon called the ‘hedonic treadmill’ means that, after a surge of joy, our happiness level returns to the baseline it was at before the ‘extra’ event.

So, what’s the answer? The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary theorizes that the solution is rediscovering the joy in the ordinary that we so often now forget to feel. Because we now expect the pleasure of a croissant, a hot shower, a yoga class, someone delivering our shopping to our door, we no longer feel its buzz. The joy of it whips through us like a bullet train, without pause. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

As someone who loves crochet and reading, the authors point of view now in life aligns quite a bit more to me. I really enjoy the quiet moments that are small and meditative in a way and those truly give me joy. The author really wants to share this with others, which I think is wonderful. Small things really can give you true joy and comfort, but everyone needs to find out what they is to you.

I felt the format of this book lent itself in a way that was great for the reader to make connections because it changed up perspective and time frames often. Talking about their own personal past and experience with the constant chase of happiness, and how they have found happiness now when they are not chasing it. I did also enjoy the lists in this book, I felt like it was a great model of sorts for those who are trying to find the small joys in their life or rediscover them.

What I Didn’t Like

Some of the things mentioned in this book that the author viewed in the past as things that would make her happy, I never wanted in my life honestly. So, this made it a bit hard to relate to the author in a lot of ways. Which, made it a bit harder to “buy in” in some sense. I seem to already be more on the side of already finding joy in the ordinary, but it was an enjoyable way to rediscover the idea and reflect to see if there are any other “ordinary” things I find joy in.

Overall

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I feel like it is a great example of finding joy in the places you can without always thinking about something giving you joy that a dream or something that will happen in the future. It is also a way of being mindful and in the moment and finding joy within that, which I think is important personally. I think this is a wonderful read and I think the lists and such would be a great way to explore the ordinary in your life that you enjoy. If this sounds interesting to you, I suggest picking it up from the library or your bookstore!

Rating


Next month I am reading a book picked by Tee, who you can find over on twitter as @teesbookreads. She is very kind and her timeline on twitter is a mixture of her life and her love of books. It is also good for a good few laughs and reactions to her reading.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Nicky from @cre8ive_nicky | This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks my Book! This month my book was picked by the lovely Nicky who you can find on twitter as @cre8ive_nicky. As you can see from the title, she picked This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch, this is a thriller which I have not read as much as I once did so I was both nervous and looking forward to reading their pick. Now, here. we are I read this picks and here are my thoughts

One Sentence Review

A long winded dark tale told through letters that jumps around in time.

Description

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust. – goodreads.com

What I Liked

This was a very interestingly set up thriller, one of the main things I liked was that it utilized written letters throughout. This is one of my favorite things found in a novel so I was glad to see it here. It is nice to see an author play with this.

Other than the utilization of letters, there was not a ton I enjoyed about this book. That is not to say it is bad, just nothing specifically stood out or made an impression on me to the point I feel the need to point it out. The writing was okay, the plot was a bit jarring, but interesting. I thought the author had a very interesting imagination.

What I Didn’t Like

This was kind of a confusing read, it jumped around in time quite a bit. On top of that, the chapters were quite annoying, they were VERY long and I need natural breaking points in my books otherwise I get worn down while reading. I hate just stopping in the middle of a chapter so this was a bit frustrating.

Overall

I am really not sure about this thriller. I didn’t hate it, but it was not my favorite either. I thought it did some fun things with writing letters and it was dark and kept me on my toes. Sadly, the actual formatting of the book really took away from it for me personally. Like I said I was confused a lot because it jumped in time abruptly and the long chapters made it drag for me. I feel like if this sounds like an interesting read and long chapters and jumping around in time a lot doesn’t bother you, I feel like this would be a win for you.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Annelies, who you can find on twitter as @AnneliesExpl or on their blog called Annelies Explores. I am really looking forward to reading the book they picked for me, it just sounds grand!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Misty @ Misty’s Book Space | Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Hello and welcome to the first installment Someone Picks My Books for 2021! This year I am starting off by reading a book picked by Misty where you can find on twitter as @mistymichelle30 or on her blog called Misty’s Book Space. This is the second time Misty has picked a book for me, you can see the first book she picked for me on the post called, Someone Picks My Books | Misty’s Book Space. Misty decided to pick another book by Ruta Sepetys, so without further adu, here is my review and thoughts on her pick!


Salt to the Sea ebook on iPad placed on bed.

One Sentence Review

This novel gives light to all the horrendous things people had to deal with during WWII outside of the horrible concentrations camps, mistrust rampant and anxiety high while the reader follows well written characters.

Description

While the Titanic and Lusitania are both well-documented disasters, the single greatest tragedy in maritime history is the little-known January 30, 1945 sinking in the Baltic Sea by a Soviet submarine of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise liner that was supposed to ferry wartime personnel and refugees to safety from the advancing Red Army. The ship was overcrowded with more than 10,500 passengers — the intended capacity was approximately 1,800 — and more than 9,000 people, including 5,000 children, lost their lives.

Sepetys (writer of ‘Between Shades of Gray’) crafts four fictionalized but historically accurate voices to convey the real-life tragedy. Joana, a Lithuanian with nursing experience; Florian, a Prussian soldier fleeing the Nazis with stolen treasure; and Emilia, a Polish girl close to the end of her pregnancy, converge on their escape journeys as Russian troops advance; each will eventually meet Albert, a Nazi peon with delusions of grandeur, assigned to the Gustloff decks. –goodreads


What I Liked

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit. As I said in my one sentence review, I felt that this was a great topic to cover for WW2. A lot of the stories I have come in contact with mainly deal with the jewish perspective, those trying to get jewish people out of occupied areas and those in concentration camps. I felt that this highlights another experience that was sadly common during WW2. You could not trust anyone, even if they were the allied forces. Many people operated out of fear and self preservation, it was rare to find a stranger to help and trust.

The writing was done well for the most part, I thought it was a good idea to give this novel multiple perspectives to tell the story of many more people and their experiences. While this is a fiction novel, it does draw a lot on true events and overall I think the author did a good job of this. The characters were well done and I thought the author did a good job of highlighting their motives and feelings while being in these horrible situations. I will say, I was kind of surprised that I was invested as much as I was because of an issue I will talk about in a bit. I think the fact I had such a reaction to events was the story telling ability in creating an atmosphere more so than the characters.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, the one thing that really was difficult was the frequency of the point of view switching. It took a while for me to easily be able to switch between them and get the characters straight. This led to their voices and stories being jumbled at first. I did eventually figure it out, but at the start I feel like the switches needed to be less frequent.

Overall

Overall, I am really glad that Misty picked this book for me to read this month. It was a heart breaking read because of its content, but I also think it is important to understand and see what these people had to endure, not just these characters. The content was good historically speaking and the author ability to create an atmosphere so quickly pulled me in is a talent that not all writers have. I think if you have the chance to read this novel you should give it a try, but keep in mind that difficult topics are dealt with that are common themes in WW2.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Nicky, who you can find on twitter as @cre8ive_nicky. I am a bit nervous, but also looking forward to reading the thriller she picked for me. I either love a thriller or it falls flat so I am curious to see how this is going to work out!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | 2021 Reading Bujo Set Up

Hello and welcome to a post where I share some of my spreads from my new reading bullet journal for 2021. In the past I had my life and reading in one place, but this year I decided to use a planner for my life, but I wanted to continue to use a bullet journal for my reading. I really find it a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see what books I will be adding to it this year!


The Spreads

This time around I wanted my year long or bullet journal long pages to be pretty neutral for the most part so I used a black pen, torn up tan paper, and a few blank tags and cut outs to decorate the pages. I also wanted to tie all the pages together so I decided to put a black boarder on every page. The first page on the left is 10 books I want to read in 2021. I putt bullet points to add the books later on. On the right I put a place for random book recommendations I might get. I decided to add a little bee because these books will most likely have some buzz around them.

On this pages I continued to use the tan paper and boarder to just have some type of continuity. On the left I have a space for a favorite book of each month. I need to measure so I can properly print the covers as the months pass. On the right side I decided to list the three series I want to read in 2021. I want to read The Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Traders Trilogy and The Hobbit and Lord of the Ring Series. I just listed the books under their series title and I can put a check when I have read them.

Continuing with the same theme I made a page to track more of my 2021 reading goals. On the left I listed my use the library monthly goal and placed 12 circles to color in, twelve non-fictions with 12 circles as well and lastly for this page read 50 books and I added 50 circles to color in. On the right I made 6 rectangles for each book of the International Booker Prize where I have the title listed and I can add my rating and date read later on. I also added a ticket that was mostly blank and put the title on that.

I wanted to continue to track quite a few stats that I tracked last year so I made a single place for all of them on this page called monthly stats. I am going to track number of books, number of pages, fiction/nonfiction, library/owned, DNFs, 5 star reads, hard cover and soft cover. I left the page on the right empty incase I end up wanting to add more or I end up needing more room.

This year I really want to keep my TBR in check, last year I actually got my TBR down to 0 at one point and I really want to keep it reasonable from now on. I decided each month I am going to keep track of the books I have at the start of the month that are unread, how many I hauled, how many unhauled, and then what I have at the end of the month. Somewhat similar to the series Balancing the Books by Drinking By My Shelf on youtube. Each month has a rectangle and then within that each stat has their own box.

Last and one of my favorites is my Someone Picks My Books spread. Last year I just kept a simple list, but since I love this series I have been doing over a year now so much I wanted to give it a really awesome spread. I decided that I would make a bookshelf for each month and doodle a book on each of those shelves and then label the book spine with the book I am reading that month. I also drew some doodle arrows from the month and name of the person who picked my books to the book. I have the first half of the year already set, huge thank you to those who helped me! I will probably look into getting more help around may of this year.


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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Erica @The Broken Spine | Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! This month I am reading a book recommend by the wonderful Erica who you can find on twitter as @2020hines_sight or on her youtube channel The Broken Spine. I was so excited when she picked Lovecraft Country for me to read for a few reasons, first I have been hearing a ton about the adaptation and secondly, the book just sounds amazing!


Picture of book on pillows.

One Sentence Review

A wonderful collections of historical horror/science fiction that show cases the “typical” horror and the horrors faced by American Americans.

Description

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, twenty-two year old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned Atticus’s great grandmother—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of one black family, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

I have to say, I was looking forward to this book ever since Erica picked it for me and it did not disappoint. In fact, I liked it more than I thought I would. I typically love horror and read it all year, so that alone set this book up for being a winner in my book. On top of that I really liked how the author blended in historical facts. The author picked to follow an African American family around the 1950s. In doing this the author was able to bring attention to sadly very common racism that took place during that time, but also made this horror novel feel even more realistic.

The writing itself was done very well both from a grammar stand point, but it also had a very sturdy pace. Personally, pace needs to be consistent when it comes to reading. I don’t mind a slow burn book or a fast paced book, but I really dislike when it is all over the place. The author was able to keep it consistent and I actually ended up reading this book from cover to cover in a single setting. Not only that, I also enjoyed the nods to Lovecraft and how the author built upon them to build what this family goes through. On top of that I really liked how the author wrote all of the characters, they felt real.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, not a single thing and I feel like this is one I want to reread again in the future.

Overall

Overall, I feel like this is a really wonderful books that not only has supernatural horrors, but also real life horrors as well. I think if either of these topics are something you want to to read more about this is a book you should look into. The mixture of historically accurate context, great writing, and a great story really has a lot going for it. Now, I can finally watch the TV adaption!


Next month I am reading a book picked by Misty from Misty’s Book Space, you can also find her over on twitter @mistymichelle30. This is the second time Misty is picking a book for me and I am so excited because it went so well the first time.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Olivia’s Catastrophe | Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! For November I was lucky enough to have Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe pick my book for me. She is very active over on her youtube channel, which is amazing, and twitter @oliviascatastro. I was so happy when she picked Clap When You Land, I heard nothing but amazing things and she even said she gave it 5 stars. I felt like this month was going to be a huge win.


One Sentence Review

A beautifully written exploration of the complexities of relationships and people, on top of that it explores the life of two half sisters that have no idea existed until they experience a life changing tragedy.

Description

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive. -goodreads.com


What I Liked

Just a warning, this review is just going to be me gushing about a book I loved. This book is so beautifully written. I am actually surprised that I am saying this. Going into this book I had no idea that it was written in verse before I actually went to read it. I normally don’t do well with books written in this manner, but Acevedo really made it count in this book and not just a gimmick. The words were powerful, meaningful, and beautiful. You can see the authors care when it came to constructing each sentence and picking each word.

As for the two main characters, I really felt that the dual perspective worked wonderfully and we really were able to explore the lives of Camino and Yahaira. I really appreciated the fact that the author didn’t just tell us how different these half siblings lived, but showed us. I felt like while exploring the grief they had the author really opened up their worlds and made them dimensional. I really loved their personalities and I really enjoyed following them both. Normally when I read a dual or muliple perspective book there is one I am not too fond of, but in this book, I really enjoyed them both. I would not be sad to see another book with these two, I would love to see how they are doing. When I put down this book initially, I was thinking of all the possible situations they could be in now.

I also want to take a moment to appreciate that this author talked about a very difficult topic that in my opinion was very respectful, but also did not shy about from the difficult aspects as well.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. I really enjoyed reading this book and I am so happy that Olivia picked this one for me. I can see why she also gave it 5 stars.

Overall

Overall, I loved and adored this book so much. I have already recommended it to a few people in my life and will continue to do so. This book is a beautiful exploration of relationships, people, and family.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Erica who you can find on twitter as @2020hines_sight or on her youtube channel The Broken Spine. I am beyond thrilled to read her pick, I have been holding myself back from reading it too early for months!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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