Thursday, January 14, 2021

One Of The Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

The Hate U Give meets Get Out in this honest and powerful exploration of prejudice in the stunning novel from sister-writer duo Maika and Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.


When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.

One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there's a twist to Kezi's story that no one could've ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

my thoughts:

Wow! What a book! One Of The Good Ones is a must-read for everyone. It's a gripping story about family, relationships, activism, religion, and race. This book has it all - top notch writing, interesting and unforgettable characters, and an unputdownable story that will haunt you for days after. It is simply put, terrific. I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - you won't want to miss out!

Written by sister duo, Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, One Of The Good Ones, focuses on sisters, Kezi, Happi and Genny. Kezi is the activist - she's popular on Youtube, gets great grades and is set to attend a top university. Unfortunately, Kezi's life is cut short when she dies at social justice rally. Reeling from such a huge loss, Happi and Genny decide to honor Kezi' life by taking a road trip. Apparently, Kezi had mapped out a trip following a guide set out by The Negro Motorist Green Book. Of course the trip turns out to be more than a just a trip - the sisters wind up learning about so much about each other, themselves, and Kezi.  And, I just LOVED reading all about their journey through grief, self-discovery, and what it means to be family. Such a great story!!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

The USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair returns with another delicious, twisty novel--about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.

1988. Beth Soames is fourteen years old when her aunt takes her to stay at Raven Hall, a rambling manor in the isolated East Anglian fens. The Averells, the family who lives there, are warm and welcoming, and Beth becomes fast friends with their daughter, Nina. At times, Beth even feels like she's truly part of the family...until they ask her to help them with a harmless game--and nothing is ever the same.

2019. Sadie Langton is an actress struggling to make ends meet when she lands a well-paying gig to pretend to be a guest at a weekend party. She is sent a suitcase of clothing, a dossier outlining the role she is to play, and instructions. It's strange, but she needs the money, and when she sees the stunning manor she'll be staying at, she figures she's got nothing to lose.

In person, Raven Hall is even grander than she'd imagined--even with damage from a fire decades before--but the walls seem to have eyes. As day turns to night, Sadie starts to feel that there's something off about the glamorous guests who arrive, and as the party begins, it becomes chillingly apparent their unseen host is playing games with everyone...including her.

my thoughts:

Love, love, love! The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous was fantastic! Mystery, suspense, and thrills - talk about a must-read book! I absolutely LOVED reading all about Raven Hall and the many twists and turns involved in its history and inhabitants' lives. Told via the past and present, the story unfolds seamlessly and provides a gothic vibe.  The crumbling estate, the sketchy residents, and the dark secrets oozing from every corner - you can't help but get some chills and thrills from Raven Hall. 

Rous has written a real page-turner that will have you reading late into the night. The writing is top notch, the characters are unforgettable and the story itself is unputdownable. I just LOVED it to bits! Every time I thought I had figured out what was going on, I found myself stymied once again. It was such fun to delve deeper and deeper into the story. Definitely a treat to read. 

I would happily recommend The Perfect Guests to fans of Rous and for anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

First Book of 2021

My first read of the year was Karen M. McManus' novel, The Cousins. Yep, I went with a YA story and I have to say I'm glad that I did.  The book was a fun, quick read that I devoured in one sitting. There was family drama, BIG revelations, imposters, and so much more. It was definitely a great book to get caught up in - I really enjoyed getting to know this trio of cousins who didn't know one another, or the grandmother who invited them to work for her.  Yep, talk about a close family. Turns out that a long time ago, grandma cut off all contact with her children and has never spoken to them since - that includes never knowing her own grandkids. How crazy is that? Especially, since no one has a clue as to why she would do such a thing. Or do they? Let's just say that the small town she lives in has plenty of ideas as to why she would do such a thing - yep, gossip is rife and it's definitely not pretty.  Anyhow, decades have passed and she is now wanting to meet her grandkids.  So, she's invited them for the summer.  Only thing is, when the three cousins arrive, they are greeting by a grandmother who had no clue they were coming for the summer. Hmm...seems that maybe grandma still doesn't want to talk to her family after all. So, the question begs, who invited them and why? And that is all I will write about this terrific story. 

Now, I'm off to start reading for the Japanese Literature Challenge 14. Yep, it's that time again - JLC14! Meredith from Dolce Bellezza is hosting her fantastic challenge once again and I am stoked. I'm hoping that this challenge will inspire me to read a lot. Last year I read, but nowhere near the amount that I normally read and lets just say that I was not happy with my lack of reading. So, this year I am throwing myself at all of the books piled around my office and I plan on reading, reading, and reading some more. And, the JLC14 is the perfect challenge to get me started on tackling my books. Especially, since Murakami has a new book coming out in a few months - talk about perfect timing! 

And now, I'm off to read Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami.  Let me know if you have any suggestions for books to read for the JLC14. Hope you all are well. Take care and happy reading!!

Monday, December 14, 2020

The Last To See Her by Courtney Evan Tate

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

A woman disappears into the dark city night...

Gen is on the verge of a divorce from her cheating husband. When her sister, Meg, has a convention to attend in the Big Apple, she invites Gen along to celebrate her newly found freedom. But the perfect sisters' getaway quickly goes awry when a tipsy Gen defiantly throws her wedding ring off the hotel room's balcony. Then, wanting some fresh air, she decides to take a late-evening walk alone and vanishes without a trace.

The investigation that follows uncovers secrets--and betrayals--between sisters and spouses that will twist the truth in on itself until nothing is clear.

What really happened to Gen and who, besides Meg, was the last to see her?

my thoughts:

OMG! What a story! Meg and Gen are sisters out on the town celebrating Gen's freedom from her bad marriage. They eat, they drink, and they talk.  Gen even throws her wedding ring over the balcony. Needing some fresh air, she decides to go for a walk.  Except, she never comes back. Yep, what happened to Get? Where did she go? How could she have just vanished? Those are the questions that run through your head as you read this suspense-filled drama. Of course, the more you read and the more your start to suspect the people that 'loved' Gen, you can't help but alter your questions - Was Meg involved in Gen's disappearance? What secrets did the two sisters keep from one another? Hmm...so many ideas, thoughts, and questions. I just loved diving into this story!

Courtney Evan Tate has written a terrific mystery thriller about two sisters, a failed marriage, and a disappearance. The characters are annoying, flawed, relatable, and unreliable.  The story is chock full of twists and turns. Overall, The Last To See Her is a simple and engaging story that will have you flipping pages and trying to figure out what happened. It's definitely a great read for these chilly winter nights (or in my case, humid and hot South Florida winter nights.)

I would recommend The Last To See Her to fans of Courtney Evan Tate and anyone looking for their next fun read - you will definitely enjoy this book!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book! 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Totally '90s Coloring Book by Christina Haberkern

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

In a world where everything '90s is back, from fanny packs and scrunchies to VHS tapes, Totally '90s Coloring Book offers the perfect combination of nostalgia and coloring fun, together in a hilarious and giftable package from the creator of the popular gift-item and stationery brand Hello Harlot. 

Have you rewatched Clueless lately? Reminisced about the cool clear telephone you had in middle school, or tried to buy a vintage Furby on Ebay? If so, this is the coloring book for you! Perfect for anyone who loves coloring to take them to another world (and time!), this coloring book features pop-culture memories like the Spice Girls; illustrations inspired by classic TV shows like Full House, Family Matters, and Saved by the Bell; memorable trends like Trapper Keepers, Caboodles, and mix CDs; and nostalgia-inspired fashion like butterfly clips, Rollerblades, jelly sandals, and snap bracelets.

my thoughts:

Talk about the most fun coloring book ever! Yep, I'm serious. A coloring book devoted to all things '90s - what more could I want? I absolutely LOVED flipping through the pages and reminiscing about my teen years - the fashion, the music, the films, the TV shows, and my crushes. So much nostalgic fun! 

I just loved coloring these depictions of popular sayings (Talk to the hand, anyone?) and those crazy snap bracelets that I owned but never really understood the popularity of. VHS tapes that had me thinking about all the Blockbuster trips I made back in the day. And, Steve Urkel from Family Matters - such a great show!! Definitely a great coloring book to fill up and to get lost in. 

I would happily recommend the Totally '90s Coloring Book to anyone and everyone looking for a fun coloring book. I love coloring books and word search books - they are just the best way to unwind and destress lately. So, definitely check this one out - you'll love it!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!