February 5, 2016

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"I'm a liar. And I don't care who knows it. I make stuff up all the time."

~ Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes


February 4, 2016

Bad Feminist

"Whenever women do something in significant numbers, the media immediately becomes frenzied as they try to understand this new mystery of womanhood." ~ pg. 195

Roxane Gay would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all. And after reading her book of essays, I agree. Roxane is a woman of color commenting about the state of feminism today in our culture and society. She does not pretend to have it all figured out. She does not proclaim to be a strong feminist either. Instead, she keeps it real in a sometimes-funny, sharp way.

Roxane had my attention with the first page of introduction when she admits to singing along to catchy music that glorifies the degradation of women. I've certainly had this same imperfect moment. I jam to Too Short's Blow the Whistle and ballroom-hustle to Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. Then sing along to Flawless by Beyoncé reciting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's partBy the last page of the book's introduction, I was rooting along with her call for literary excellence.

The essays widely range from BET programming to the color pink to racism and those who claim they are "not here to make friends." Every subject she tackles in an essay is thoroughly explained and clearly researched. Books like this are why I am picky about non-fiction. If I am going to fully read a book about truths, it better be full of fact and informed opinion. Bad Feminist fit my non-fiction criteria and was so worth reading.

Whether you consider yourself a feminist or not, Roxane Gay's book should be on your reading list. We all want to know more and do better.

Title: Bad Feminist
Author: Roxane Gay
Published: August 2014
Pages: 318
Edition: Paperback
Challenge: Popsugar Book From the Library
Rating: ♥♥♥♥


February 3, 2016

Best Friends Forever

"Prayer means everything. Both when things are bad and even when they're good." ~ pg. 82

Best friends are around forever and will help you through the merry and tough times. Celine and Keith have been married for 12 years but arguing a lot over the past several months. Keith works long hours and stays out late; Celine is not attentive to her family. Both are at fault and need to figure out what the next best step is for their marriage and 10-year-old daughter.

The situation turns devastating when Celine is diagnosed with breast cancer. Being the unloyal husband he is, Keith moves out. Thank goodness for Lauren, Celine's BFF, who is there to comfort and help during this rough time.

I enjoy Kimberla Lawson Roby's novellas. Best Friends Forever is no exception. It's a solid story with a realistic plot and lessons about friends. *cue Whodini* A page-turner it is not but an okay quick read.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Best Friends Forever
Author: Kimberla Lawson Roby
Published: January 2016
Pages: 138
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥


February 2, 2016

Lit Pick: A Brief History of Seven Killings

Author: Marlon James
Published: October 2014

Goodreads Description: 
On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years.

Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts—A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 70s, to the crack wars in 80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 90s.

At 688 pages, it is not so brief but still considered a good read by critics and bookhearts.


Bookish Black History Month

On Precision Reviews, February 2016 will be dedicated to book reviews and lit picks featuring authors and characters of color. Share what you are reading and recommendations during this Black History Month. Celebrate literary diversity!


January 31, 2016

Series Sunday: Out of Time

(Nine Minutes #2)

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Out of Time, the second book in the Nine Minutes series by Beth Flynn. It continues the gripping story of Ginny, who was once abducted by the massive yet handsome leader of a notorious motorcycle gang and later made his wife. Grizz has been executed for the abduction of Ginny and other crimes. Ginny is now remarried with children. But family and friends can't move on with their life because a tangled web of deceit and secrets unravel after Grizz's death. The façade of normalcy crumbles.

"Tell me a happy story where things don't hurt and everybody is nice." ~ pg. 10

Every single outstanding question I had was answered in Out of Time. Just when I thought there was no more to the story, Beth Flynn came out of the woodwork with plot twists and backstory that blew my mind.

If you enjoyed other biker novels or watched Sons of Anarchy (still hooked on SAMCRO and Jax), then this is the book series for you. Be prepared for a page-turner that you will not be able to put down until finished. Do NOT read Out of Time until you've read the first book Nine Minutes. There are so many twists and character developments that will only be understood if read consecutively.

As I stated last week when I reviewed book one, if you are looking for something to read outside of the norm, I recommend Beth Flynn's Nine Minutes series. But be warned it is not for the faint of heart. It is not a googly-eyed romance story either. There is crime, violence, strong language, dark secrets and hard truths.

Title: Out of Time
Author: Beth Flynn
Published: July 2015
Pages: 425
Edition: eBook
Rating: ♥♥♥♥


January 29, 2016

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Beneath the intersection of I-20 and I-75, where stray trash tumbles about carelessly and dreams lay aborted, where Coke cans substitute for ashtrays and discarded, warped, pissy mattresses serve as sleeping quarters for discarded, warped, pissy people—beneath that invisible expanse of earth and sky dwells a man named Lazarus."

~ Listen to the Lambs by Daniel Black