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 🙂


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.



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

If I Was Your Girl

The Hate U Give




‘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

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

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?


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.


~The Write Web

B is For Bittersweet Shimmer #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

bittersweet shimmer
Image Design by Ericajean using Canva/Photo by Monicore


Continuing my fascination with colors, poetry and the deeper meaning of both, I present to you a color that you may not be familiar with but it does exist. I promise!

B is for Bittersweet Shimmer

If not for memories I would forget that I was young and that first kisses, simple kisses

really could make one sprung. It was a clear and hot summer day and for the first time, I ripened- if only for a little under the Acid green skies and white puffy clouds and I showed off my petals with low cut bodices and bedecked my stems with white sandals beaded in gems of every color. Every color, out there at the pool with chlorine bleaching our dark skins and clawing out our perms to the tune of LL Cool J’s “Who Do You Luv”

And then knowing daddy wasn’t around, you take my hand and lead me to an area of brown brick and simple bench tables. I was happy, I was slender, I was thick thighed, perfume poppin, skin shimmering in nothing but youth and arrogance- I stare at your lush lips wetting, licking them seducing me and were we only thirteen?

Didn’t matter that summer because while hiding my face from you save for the sun’s warm prodding hands at my back, you tipped my chin and leaned in- giving me cool wet soft lips covering my own, letting me realize I am more beautiful than I thought. Your mouth on mine? and I couldn’t believe-

Dad roars up in his truck. We are caught. Too early. Too soon. I look at you and I hear  the choir singing and I feel the sweat of my own skin, taste the hot fries on your lips and it was a summer I’ll never forget;  father’s stormy gaze roamed from me to you, his own youth mirroring back at him probably

I giggled on the inside because that night I dreamed of a color not quite orange and not quite able to translate well on computers

But it is a memory.

Copyright 2018 Erica Jean Smith

This poem is a part of the A to Z blog Challenge. Please consider joining, participating or Connecting with some wonderful blogs!

Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


Set to be Published March 6, 2018

Preorder your copy of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi today!

I had the pleasure of reviewing a sample of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. According to Teen Vogue, Tomi scored a seven figure deal for her trilogy and a movie deal, so I am really excited because just from the sample, I can tell this will be a sweeping saga full of magic and adventure.

The story goes that Zelie is part of a dark skinned, white haired race of people who once had magic. They had powerful abilities to control the elements, read minds, and even peer through time.

Those who used their magic for evil had their powers stripped from them by the gods and their melanin was stripped as well- so now depending on skin tone we know which ones have no magic versus those who do.

Eleven years back, Zelie lost her mom and something else happened too: the dark skinned, white haired race lost their magic and now the hunt is on. A king is on a bloodlust quest to exterminate the dark skinned race for fear their powers will return one day.

Again, this is just a sampler, but I am already intrigued…

Even more interesting is that the author, Tomi Adeyemi is a 23 year old, Nigerian Harvard Graduate.

I am proud of her already and will definitely be keeping an eye out for the Orisha trilogy!

*Sample book provided for review from Netgalley.

Iced by Karen Marie Moning ( review)


Iced by Karen Marie Moning

Published by Delacorte Press(2012)-Hardcover

ISBN13: 978-0385344401


Bull-fecking-Crikey, Dani Mega O’Malley is here! Word to the wise: This book pushes boundaries. How in the magical world was Moning able to weave in action, magic, and some serious sexual tension all from the point of view of fourteen year old Dani? Well, most of it is in her POV. Anyways…

It is 1 AWC(After the Wall Crashed all fae hell broke lose) Dani Mega O’Malley carries the sword of Light. It can do some serious damage to the fae, particularly, the Unseelie variety. She is on the run from Mackayla “Mac” Lane since she revealed she killed Mac’s sister Alina.

Read my 3-line review on Goodreads and make sure to get Iced for yourself. Join the fight!

On top of everything else going on, various places are freezing and Dani finds herself joining up with none other than Ryodan, Chester’s dark, brooding nightclub owner. He wants to know what is going on too and with Dani’s superhuman sight and speed she proves useful.

I can’t explain how sensuality was woven in this book. All I can say is, 14 year old Danny has a line of suitors waiting for her to grow up.

So what lead to the full five purple heart rating?

  • C’mon! It’s Karen Marie Moning, for feck(got “feck” from her books) sake. Only she can use words to work you up like a tightly wound guitar string, then make you go POP.
  • She was genius in her taste of words and scene structure.
  • Iced was extremely hard to put down because when you read a KMM novel, you are in an adventure. Point blank period. You get comfy, lie down and open up a whole new world.
  • I actually like that Dani was not treated with kid gloves because the girl isn’t stupid and she is strong, so, yeah. It all worked out.

I am glad to be rejoining the fight to save save the world. One page at a time.

Have you read any of KMM’s books? Share here!