The Hate U Give #SummerofRealness #YANovels

Hi bloggers and fellow readers!

I am back again with the latest novel in the #SummerofRealness #YA reading venture.

This time, it is to reveal The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It is a play on the acronym THUG and is about a teenaged girl named Starr who loses her friend Khalil to police brutality. In today’s world, it is so unfortunate that our black youth are experiencing the same injustices our grandparents and great-grandparents experienced.

I think the true magic of this work lies in the timeliness and realness of the story. Starr is the narrator and she must navigate two worlds: In one world she is a resident of Garden Heights where gangs line the streets and schools are filled with over-sexualized teens profanity and overall detrimental behaviors, but Starr attends Williamson on the other side of town where she becomes “Williamson Starr”- she changes her accent and enjoys being the “non-ghetto black chick.

What you must know is this: there is romance, there is violence, but there is the tie of familial love as well.

Surprise! It is a movie and The Hate U Give will arrive in theaters October 19th 2018.

**Side Note: I did not get to finish this story because the loan period expired at my library, however, the overwhelming amount of positive reviews this book has received is astounding. Over 2,000 five stars on Amazon.

Let me know what you think 🙂

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If I Was Your Girl, #BookReview #YASummerReads

This is Amanda’s story. Amanda has suffered at her last school and nearly committed suicide,  forcing her mother to send her off to live with her father.

_What if your son told you he was your daughter__

But it is in this new town that Amanda forgets her one, golden rule: trust no one.

She meets a young man on the football team and even befriends a few girls that attend a fundamentalist church. Amanda has the ability to blend in because she is absolutely gorgeous with feminine features that seemingly comes naturally- but what will happen once her secret gets out? Can she trust the nicest, hardworking boy she just met or will he bail once he learns the truth?

I enjoyed this book for two reasons: One, it involved a protagonist that was uncommon for me and two- the story was not built on any clichés that I could tell. Amanda’s voice is one that is full of hurt but with so much incredible power at the same time. She wants to live and has goals.

Amanda’s father was just as complex as she. Although the mother plays a pivotal role in Amanda’s life, the father’s response is varied and real. Any father who dreams of having a son, who suddenly learns his son wants to be a girl will definitely have a hard time coming to grips with it, but you will understand the father eventually if you pay attention to his interaction with Amanda.

This is definitely a book that deals with more than transgender issues: There are bisexual, gay issues and other important topics.

This book would be very appealing to any YA audience. I suggest people read this as a family or a group and take some time to read the author’s note as well.

Highly recommended!

A Summer of Realness Reading, #YASummer

A Summer of Realness

Hi bloggers and friends!

Its summer and the youth (and adults) are trying to spend their weekends on blissful vacations or kids are sent off to summer camps. Either way, there have been so many sad reports of our youth going through hell right now.

A couple of years back, I introduced YA summer on this blog to review and discuss books in any genre that was geared to the youth. I had an amazing time interviewing authors and buddy reading with my sister.

So this summer, I want to introduce the “Realness”

No fairy tales. No creatures of the night. No science fiction, just straight up stories about life.

My Goal? To review the books with sensitivity and find the ultimate message to pass along.

Ready?

 

Here’s the List:(may not be read in this order)

If I Was Your Girl

The Hate U Give

 

 

 

A Letter to Sons, ‘Between the World and Me’ Review

between world

Every once in a while I read a book that forces me to highlight everything that jolts me fully awake. The words and the way the author stitches them together creates a story that is gold. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me is that book. It is a letter to his son but I think it is a letter to sons, daughters, sisters, mothers, fathers-everywhere.

 “You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable.”(Between the World and Me)

When I began reading Between the World and Me, the first word, Son– drew me in. I knew this would be an exploration of words and memories and advice. Coates draw us in with his play on words and symbols as he warns his son that although he is growing into consciousness in this new social media world where there is more access for black people- the Dreamers(those who have captured, beat, and raped us) are still hunting us but in different ways. I like how Coates does not come right out and tell his son not to like non-black people. In fact, his warnings are in the form of smooth connecting thoughts from this world and the past- stitched together.

Black life is cheap, but in America black bodies is a natural resource of incomparable value.”

Coates talks of his son’s reaction to the Michael Brown event and how the officer got off. Coates reminds his son, “I did not tell you it will be okay. It will never be okay because I have never believed it.”

A crucial moment where a black body is defined by how it is broken.

Between the world and me is definitely a book everyone should be picking up and reading over and over again because although we can love the world…the world knows the value of a black body and unfortunately for us, the black body is seen as expendable even a black child’s body. Again, Coates renders this truth in a way that is palatable and nutritious while still delivering much-needed vitamins to the soul.

I highly recommend this work.

For more reviews like this, please subscribe to my blog and/or follow my Tweets @thewriteweb

‘Feversong’ The Tear Jerking Finale #TruthInFiction

feversong

 

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning(Fever Series, #9)

Published: Dell Mass Market Edition(2017)

ISBN:978-0-399-59365-9

I just finished the most amazing, emotionally gripping, tear-jerking dark romance fiction ever and what I learned from the book, is the one lesson that binds us all: We are powerfully fragile.

So, yes. I did shed a few tears over this one. This commonly happens if I have stuck with a series for a while and if an author really knows what they are doing. A tale that has stuck with me for the better part of 11 years, hits its conclusion.

So here is the gist of the Feversong. I will try to be concise because it is kind of a  complex story.

  • The world is being eaten by giant black holes and only the Song of Making can (possibly) eradicate them.
  • Mac is the possible hero and she must wield the song, but how?
  • The Sinsar Dubh(evil, psychotic presence) book, thrives inside of her and turns her into this brutal, blood slinging killing machine-thus, the Song of Making shall not happen anytime soon– we think.
  • Her relationship with the “atavistic” and superbly hot Barrons still ignites the pages, but now Jada/Dani is scorching the story with her love triangle between Ryodan and Dancer. Ryodan is thousands of years old, sexy and methodical as well as an immortal beast while Dancer has the most soulful, arresting eyes and is about 17(?) with a huge…brain. He is crazy smart and handsome.
  • Instead of trying to figure out the freaking song to repair earth, Mac must get herself together or she will lose herself and all she loves.

Again, tear-jerker. Lots of stuff I did not expect.

The Fever series takes place in Dublin, Ireland and the characters are of human and fae origins. Then you have some monsters that will give you nightmares. Ever hear of the Crimson Hag? Her dress is made of guts.

Enough said.

The lesson I learned from this entire series is that being just human is a gift. The fae can barely show emotion and do not understand the big, boundless emotion called Love. But it is this part of us that can undo us or make us strong. Make us fragile, or powerful.

Sometimes in life, we get caught up in thinking we are just so beyond reproach. That we are above the ants and roaches and grass we tread on. We really do! Yet- check this out- we all eventually expire.

In the novel, the group of friends including the Nine immortals(man those dudes are hot, Dang!) But that’s not important.

They all realize that earth could end in a week or less.

How would you spend your life if you knew you had exactly one week to live here?

Read the book. Read the freaking series.

Live. Breathe. Love. Please?

In the meantime, you can visit Karen Mare Moning’s website to find her voracious readers’ comments and the latest book which I will have to purchase as soon as possible.

I love sharing what I read, and if you have suggestions about a book you’ve read or if you are a Fever fan, consider commenting and/or sharing this post.

Sincerely,

Ericajean

‘Belle and the Beau’ #AfricanAmericanHistorical, #TruthInFiction

belle and the beau

Belle and the Beau by Beverly Jenkins

Published by NYLA Publishing(2002)

Ebook ISBN: 978-1641970174

www.nyliterary.com

I had the absolute pleasure of reading yet another one of Beverly Jenkins’ book. This time a YA Historical Fiction called Belle(Belle and the Beau). I enjoyed every second of this book and learned one very important fact that blew my mind. Here is a brief summary of this sweet book:

“After a grueling escape north, Belle Palmer is free, yet lost and alone. Separated from her father on the harrowing journey, Belle has nowhere to turn until she finds shelter with the Bests, the first free family she’s ever known. For the first time in her sixteen years, Belle is able to express herself freely-except where her feelings for a certain dark-eyed young man are concerned.

Daniel Best is headed for great things. Educated and handsome, at eighteen he is full of the promise and dream of his people, and is engaged to the prettiest (if the most spoiled) girl around. So when a bedraggled stranger arrives in his household and turns into a vibrant, lovely young woman, his attraction to her catches him entirely by surprise.”

-Blurb is from Goodreads.com

The reason I love Jenkins’ writing so much, is that you can tell she not only does her research but cares about the characters she weaves into the historical fabric. Belle is described as tall, dark-skinned, with short hair and very pretty. She ran away from slavery and was found literally by the boy she will fall in love with.

The events in the novel felt all too real, but that is because slavery was real. Not an imagined history. Belle was unable to read but could sew and cook very well, there were slave catchers in the story that caused a visceral reaction in me and then there was the sweet, building romance between her and Daniel.

I liked Daniel because he was eighteen but already so serious, because helping the slaves is serious business and though he was “kind of engaged to Francine”, an equally beautiful girl- something about Belle made the man in him stand out, but there’s a reason why he feel he must marry Francine even at the cost of his own true love…

Now, the part that blew me away was August 1st. Do you know the history behind August 1, 1834?

No?

In the book, Belle learns that Daniel Best and his family do not celebrate July 4th. They do not celebrate it because what sense does it make to celebrate America’s freedom from the British, when the blacks were still slaves? So, instead, the Best family celebrate August 1st– the day the British freed the slaves in the West Indies.

Neat, huh?

Told you there is always some truth in fiction. Especially historical fiction.

The next book in this duology is called Josephine. I really hope you check these books out and let me know what you think!

For more honest book reviews like this one, please subscribe to get the scoop early.

Hugs,

~The Write Web

‘Feverborn’ Steamed Up the Pages and Offers These Two Truths #TruthInFiction #BookReview

feverborn

Cover Design by Eileen Carey

Cover Photograph: Elena Alferova/Trevillion Images

Blog Image designed by Ericajean using Canva

It began with MacKayla Lane learning about her sister’s death in Dublin, Ireland. When she herself goes there, MacKayla(“Mac”) realizes she has not only is she a Sidhe-Seer, she had just entered the feverish and seductive world of the fae and at every turn around the corner, death could literally grab her.

Not sure if any of you heard of this series but I finally bought Feverborn(Fever Series, #8) and it has plenty going on. Here is a brief summary of this addictive romance :

When the immortal Fae destroyed the ancient wall dividing the worlds of Man and Faery, the very fabric of the universe was damaged, and now Earth is vanishing bit by bit. Only the long-lost Song of Making—a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of life itself—can save the planet.

But those who seek the mythic song must contend with old wounds and new enemies, passions that burn hot and hunger for vengeance that runs deep. The challenges are many: the Keltar at war with nine immortals who’ve secretly ruled Dublin for eons, Mac and Jada hunted by the masses, the Seelie queen nowhere to be found, and the most powerful Unseelie prince in all creation determined to rule both Fae and Man. Now the task of solving the ancient riddle of the Song of Making falls to a band of deadly warriors divided among—and within—themselves.

-Blurb from Amazon

The first thing I love about Karen Marie Moning’s writing, is she is so descriptive and raw with what happens to the characters. Mac is deeply in love with Barrons but they do not call each other girlfriend/boyfriend. I remember in the fifth book, Barrons mentioned that humans must label everything. Would it change what they are if they labeled what they have?(I’m paraphrasing here).

Sexual Healing

MacKayla and Barrons have found their own Gospel- –sex.

“He’d accessed.

I was pain and violence.

He’d given his body as a Band-Aid for the wound…Sex is so damned healing.”(Feverborn, Moning, 2015: pg.171)

Now, what does this have to do with truth? In the novel, Mac mentions a lot about how “tightly wound” she is and she never knows if she is herself or how to deal with certain emotions especially after losing her sister and then losing Dani. So she would have primal, hot jungle sex with Barrons to release all her frustration and get “loose” for battle.

Barrons is described as primal, animalistic, not classically handsome, but if a woman were to see him in her line of sight she will either run from or to him. That’s how sensual he is. Whew!

Here is part of an article from Psychology Today which offers a link between sex and healing

“Sex reduces pain in two ways. It’s an enjoyable distraction. During sex, people focus less on their pain—and as a result, suffer less. And because it’s exercise, sex releases endorphins, the body’s own pain-relieving compounds. One of the nation’s most prevalent chronic-pain conditions is osteoarthritis. The Arthritis Foundation recommends regular sex to help control it.

Got the blues? Sex elevates mood. The endorphins released during lovemaking not only relieve pain, but also have antidepressant action. Massage is also a mood-enhancer, and good sex includes whole-body massage.”

There was definitely a lot of paint splashing, chairs breaking, and backs slamming against walls in this one- but then again, it’s Barrons. Mac can’t resist him.

Change Your Mind

The second truth is about neuroplasticity. One of the Nine(an immortal race of men including Barrons) mentioned it to a woman who wanted to regain her memory.

A while back, back, perhaps five years ago, I did a review of Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book Switch On Your Brain. In it, she described how our brains don’t have to be stuck in a loop, it can grow. It can change with positive thinking, reminding us “not to make genetics our god.” I just thought it interesting that the subject was brought up in this dark fantasy romance.

I highly recommend The Fever Series! If you like slow burn seduction, Dublin Ireland, ladies who kick butt with swords but have a black heart of gold you will love it.

For more reviews please subscribe and I love when good reviews are shared! Tweet, Facebook, Link, whatever you need to do and have an awesome day!

~The Write Web