Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley

Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley

Since this is not my first roll in the hay with Mr. Walter Mosley's writing I expected exactly what I got. What I got was a gritty, police procedural of an ex-detective, Joe King Oliver, making his way in life as a Private Investigator on the mean streets of Brooklyn. Let's refer to him as King from now on.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Review:Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me

When I was asked to read and review Sophie Kinsella's Surprise Me, I was bouncing off the walls with excitement. I loved The Undomestic Goddess and Confessions of a Shopaholic. Both novels featured a charmingly befuddled British female lead that begs the average woman to root for. Sure, I know they're a tad bit aloof, but it's cute. I'm no feminist so I can appreciate these characters for what and who they are: Fun!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Sing, Unburied Sing… What a beautifully written story of a family that I wanted to last much longer than the pages allowed. I was almost sad this one had to come to an end. I read much of this novel with anticipating the worse to come as Jojo travels with his mother, Leonie, to pick up his father, Michael, from Parchman Prison. Not only was I nervous for Jojo, but also the family left behind in wait, his grandparents.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Reviews:The Hush by John Hart

The Hush by John HartTo say that I was just plain ol' excited to see on Netgalley that John Hart had new material, then have the good fortune of being given the opportunity to read and review that new treasure would be a gross understatement. The Hush was calling my name for a while but I wanted to read it closer to the release date and especially when I had the time to dive in. I've had the pleasure of being acquainted with Hart's work and I can honestly say I've never been let down... until now... but only kinda, sorta, if that makes sense.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review: Poison by John Lescroart

Poison: A Novel (Dismas Hardy, #17)

Poison is the 17th installment of the Dismas Hardy series. I've been a fan of Hardy series for a while, and although Poison is entertaining enough, I didn't feel John Lescroart included the thrilling suspense I've come accustomed to in his other titles.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review:The Wife Between Us by Hendricks/Pekkanen

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks



WHOA!!! 

What did I just read?

I like to think of myself as a mystery thriller sleuth who's able to see the ending of most mystery novels a good mile and a half away. Well, Greer Hendricks and co author Sarah Pekkanen put my detective skills to the test with The Wife Between Us and I'm reeling at how they were able to get me. You clever, clever women...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: Unsub by Meg Gardiner

UNSUB by Meg Gardiner


Meg Gardiner has done it again. Unsub follows Caitlin Hendrix as she attempts to pick up where her father left-off (and failed), 20 years earlier in apprehending a serial killer that has the entire Bay Area on edge with fear. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Artemis by Andy Weir



When I found out Andy Weir had written another novel and I was granted the opportunity to read and review it, I was bouncing off the walls with excitement. Artemis was my chance to finally become acquainted with the author who was responsible for the explosively successful novel turned movie (starring Matt Damon), The Martian. So, The Martian has been waiting for me (patiently) to read in my Kindle as well as to watch on Demand. Suffice it to say, I've been hoping to become one of Weir's many fans.

Am I one of those fans after reading Artemis? Ummm... that remains to be seen. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: Higher Is Waiting by Tyler Perry

Higher Is Waiting

I was stuck between giving Tyler Perry's Higher Is Waiting a 3-star rating but I took a breath, listened to what I think he's referring to as the voice of God and had to be honest with my heart and self and give it a 4-star rating. I tend to rate books on emotion rather than what Book-snobs might because the world is full of authors. Some share amazing stories that stay with us until we die, encased in the perfect prose, while introducing us to remarkable characters who we long to share a beer with. And there are others who write in an uncomplicated manner, with forgettable characters yet, the ride they take us on is thrilling. Allowing us an escape from the humdrum of what we know as life.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Review:We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Where do I begin when reviewing We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates? I don't think... actually... I know I don't have the words to express how impressive this collection of articles is. I'm reminded of Zoolander 2 when Zoolander says he literally does not have the vocabulary to respond. I am in that moment. For those thinking what an idiot I am for throwing Zoolander into a review of Coates, who is a stunning writer, is absolutely correct. So...
For those familiar with Ta-Nahisi Coates are reintroduced to the ideas or experiences he had before writing said article during the eight years of Obama's presidency. For the rest of us, you need to read this and become acquainted with his brilliance. I put myself in the "rest of us" category because I was unaware he existed. In hindsight, I feel like I deprived myself for many years so it's imperative that I right this wrong and absorb all the Coates I can.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review:Guilty Minds by Joseph Finder

Guilty Minds by Joseph Finder

I'm a fan of Joseph Finder. He's never let me down when I'm in need of an in-between book. An "in-between" book for me is a quick read, not demanding of too many brain cells, and is a genuinely fun ride. First let me say, I mean no disrespect to Finder and I certainly don't want to imply he's not a formidable author, because he is. I just find that the work I have read of his is written (as I've said before in other reviews I've written for him) that his novels are similar to a movie plot. And accordingly so. I won't Google the list of his novels that have been turned into motion pictures because whoever you are reading this review, should do some work as well (heehee). I'm just stating in no uncertain terms that I can picture the scene in a movie as I'm reading this particular author.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Review: The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

Where has this Dean Koontz been the last 10-15 years (maybe more)? And Jane Hawk? I needed her in my life as well. The Silent Corner brings together all the things I grew up loving about Koontz writing and actually delivering on a plot that I didn't want to give-up on halfway through the novel. No iPad's or Kindles needed to repaired after reading 25 pages or so of how awesome dogs are. 

And yes, dogs are awesome but really... I mean really...

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: Don't Let Go by Harlen Coben

Don't Let Go

Ok, Harlen Coben. Since you insist I don't let go... I won't... but seriously I am able to let this one go. Coben tells the story of Napoleon (Nap) Dumas, who works as a detective for the New Jersey PD. He definitely is a rule-breaker but also has a soft spot.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Word or Two From Me..."Urban Lit" or Nah...

  So... let me begin by saying Thank You to anyone who reads my reviews here, on Goodreads, or after having clicked a link on my Twitter blasts. I am new to this book review thing, although I've been doing it for years. Simply, this blog came about because I read, a lot, and felt I needed to release my ideas or thoughts I had after reading a novel I've been gifted by publishers or authors. I appreciate friends who support me and know how serious I take reviewing novels. Sadly, I don't review as often because I work full time and am currently enrolled to finish my education, but I appreciate the few that take the time out to hear my voice.

My reason for this "editorial" is to say that I've been approached by authors who write in many different genres yet my personal go-to are mysteries or suspenseful reads. The type of books you'd find in the airport and frequent the bestseller lists. These books aren't difficult to analyze, summarize, or fall into any literary category. They are simply fun to read. I don't deny these works are "easy". Yet, I have been asked why I choose these novels instead of books written by people of color.

My ex-boyfriend and I frequently debate my inclination to act "white" or assimilate into "white" culture more than black. His argument is based on the fact that 85% of the shows I watch are cast with an all-white lineup such as The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, Monk, or even the B-Horror films I seek on Netflix. My response is always that the "black" shows or movies always seem to be lacking something. Their is a beginning, a middle, and an end.  There is no character development, scenery description, or an attempt to deviate from the black caricature we portray in film.

I could have easily suggested no people of color write novels like John Grisham or Stephen King. I like suspense, blood, crime, good guys finding the bad guys and prevailing. The literature that infests the "urban" market is littered with bad guys that only further glamorize thug life, or women who hate men.  Don't get me wrong, I love Terry McMillan, and I love that she continues to portray black women as unbreakable, I can't believe that none of the men in her works are just as amazing. Not every black male abandoned their family. I was blessed to know a few in my own family.

My point is this, I can't enjoy SOME black literature because it glamorizes the hustle life, making role models of women who are only famous after having a child with someone who put in the work to get where they've gotten, or the bitter single woman who's hellbent on proving her worth because of a man. I refuse to spend the previous little time of leisure I do have on novels written as Love & Hip-Hop scenes.

The authors I commend are the Toni Morrison's, Victor Lavelle's, Cynthia Bond's, Colson Whitehead's, and Gloria Naylor's to name a few. Their content is true to the Black American narrative yet thought-provoking and inspiring. Sure, I love a good raunchy title such as Kimberla Roby Lawson thrown in the mix, but she doesn't feed into the social bias Black Americans have been... forced into.

Eric Jerome Dickey used to be my favorite author as a teen. Milk in My Coffee was too hard to ignore. To this day, The Coldest Winter Ever haunts my mind. Although there have been followup novels (that my ex speaks highly of) I can't bring myself to read them. I outgrew Sister Souljah and her character "Midnight" because I no longer have space in my world for their lifestyle. I wish I didn't have to marry the two topics because they are rightfully two different issues but... after having been a victim and witness to the senseless killing and murder of people in the black community by others in our community and then... having to defend our worth to the recently emboldened closet racists or "alt-right"... or whatever they call themselves, I think back to what I've read in my 33 years.  And I have read a lot.  A LOT!!! Reading is my hobby. Some say that but their reading is limited to the latest Zhane novel or Dickey that has quite frankly turned to smut.

PURE UNADULTERATED SMUT...

The last title I picked up by him contained more sex than actual plot.

Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent.

My point now, and then with my ex, is that I don't read novels written by people of color (generally) because there's no depth, very little character development, an obsessive amount of drama or simply feeds into the image most white people think we are. The rapper, drug-dealer, the unruly vagrant that deserved the excessive force that has any black man assuming if they are pulled over, there is a greater their life will be ended instead of simply going home with a simple traffic ticket or citation.  I can't even express how many comments I've read that proclaim "if you don't resist you don't______" insert dumb-ass statement there.

No I'm not suggesting we conform to "white" culture, but I do suggest we as a people, a community, as a family take responsibility in giving the police and white American's reason to believe we're animals, murderers, guilty of contempt... We argue this system wasn't made for us yet we defend those who come in direct conflict with Common Law. Common Law? The basic right to live; To life... Children are being murdered on our streets... yet no one is outraged? The outrage only seems to surface when it's a cop that murders one of us.  AND YES! I know the inner-city crime is something else, I won't review favorably a novel that glorifies hustling, fucking up (having sex with an athlete or celeb as income), or Reality TV show reboots. Sorry,

I love my black people who have made their space in entertainment. My reviews are reserved for those who see past their "urban literature" audience and inspire their readers to grow. I hope I got my point across... if not... hit me up. I am happy to respond to any and all inquiries.