October 22, 2017

Series Sunday: You Don't Know My Name

(Black Angel Chronicles #1) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. 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.

"You think you'd be happy with the picket fence life?" ~ pg. 112

My Series Sunday pick is You Don't Know My Name, the first book in the Black Angel Chronicles series by Kristen Orlando. Seventeen-year-old Reagan is a student, fighter, faker and a spy. A lot, right? She is used to living life with a go bag on the ready, moving in the middle of the night, changing identities and lying to every friend she's ever had. Trained in weaponry and the best Krav Maga from birth, Reagan is expected to follow her parents' footsteps and join a top-secret agency called Black Angels. They save lives, rescue hostages and stop terrorism. It is a life of looking over your shoulder and never getting attached...until Reagan falls in love with the boy across the street.

"You don't understand what it's like to sit in a room completely helpless and wait to hear if the people you love are dead or alive." ~ pg. 157

The series title, Black Angel Chronicles, reminds me of an old television series I really enjoyed titled Dark Angel. It starred Jessica Alba, and like the main character in this book, she was raised and trained to be a super soldier. Hmmm, I wonder if this is where the author got the book's idea. Nevertheless, the story was interesting and somewhat unpredictable.

I am very easily annoyed at YA books that star characters with unrealistic dialogue and personalities. But this was certainly not the case. Reagan is an example of a strong, mature teenager with lots of responsibility; she balances it well with schoolwork and a social life when possible. The story is enough to keep adult readers turning the pages too. Bookhearts with teens: this is a pick for you!

"They're unequivocally shaken and won't tell me why." ~ pg. 90

Do I have to give you more reasons to try reading this book for you or the young reader in your life? You Don't Know My Name is suspenseful, fast-paced with well-developed characters and kept me interested throughout. I am already stalking the bookish net for an advance copy of the second book (to be released in January 2018). What a strong start to a series!

Author: Kristen Orlando
Published: January 2017
Pages: 220
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

October 20, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. 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.

"Dear Morocha, If you're reading this letter, then you're probably: 

     a) thinking about visiting Buenos Aires.

     b) curious about what it would be like for you, since there aren't many black folks there."

~ Hola, Morocha!: A Black Woman's Adventures in Buenos Aires: Culture Shock by Jennifer Poe

October 19, 2017

Spoiler Alert

When you're browsing through hashtags of the book you're currently reading and see a spoiler...

Experience. Ruined.

How do you handle spoilers?

October 18, 2017

Of Mess and Moxie


"Fangirl your friends." ~ pg. 212

I have been reading Jen Hatmaker ever since her first book (of which she admits to cringe at now). I find her words are for the average modern woman. I always feel like I'm having chips and salsa with neighbors on the screened-in porch. I especially like how she shares without shame triumphs, tragedies and oopsies (like driving to the wrong city for a field trip). Her paraphrased scriptures are hilar: It is how God created us: He said, "Let there be moxie!" and it was good.  She ain't subtle either; there is no having to read between the lines with her.

So I make a point to add Jen Hatmaker's books to my personal library. I may not read them right away, but know when it's time to pluck it off the shelf. For instance, I knew it was time to read this new release, Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life, when my therapist asked me to describe my life in one word. I answered: unaccomplished. And thought, I have a book to help me through this! It was time for Jen Hatmaker to offer me uplifting insight to a joyful way of living.

"But if we absorb the full counsel of Scripture and acknowledge that God sincerely loves us and gave us a whole world of gifts and joys, we discover many secular things we love are actually sacred."
 ~ pg. 23

Don't roll your eyes! This is not a preachy book. I repeat: this is NOT a preachy book by an uppity know-it-all Christian. Okay, continue on...

Surely I am not the only woman in these streets that feel overwhelmed and stuck in circumstances. I get anxious just writing a daily to-do list. Like, how am I supposed to juggle and complete all of this?! Well it seems this is normal behavior. This is what moxie is all about. Jen Hatmaker shares how to have fun, be responsible, clean, pray and still have time for a nap. She writes how possible it is to fall in love with the lives we have now as opposed to the lie of "someday."

Of Mess and Moxie is for us all! The 20-somethings bursting into adulthood. The 30-year-olds in the thick of stretch marks and halfway through life. The 50s and up women who raised kids, has many achievements and still look good. Jen Hatmaker reminds that we got this together!

I am not a big reader of nonfiction so when I do read it...pay attention! I don't write these reviews for nothing. There must be a valuable lesson I am looking to learn or information I am eager to receive and thus share. However, nonfiction books have sections that are not relevant to my current level in life so I simply skip it. Yup, I admit it! So in full disclosure, I skipped all chapters and references to motherhood, children and athletics. 🀷🏽‍♀️  Though I, Literary Moxie Marie, can recommend everything else in Of Mess and Moxie!

But for the record, I still feel unaccomplished. More on that in a blogmoir post coming soon.

Title: Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life
Author: Jen Hatmaker
Published: August 2017
Pages: 266
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

October 17, 2017

US vs. UK


The UK is my hometown glory but I live in the US. The US vs. UK bookish meme compares book covers published in the two countries. It has been a mighty long while since I had fun with this meme. Enjoy the battle of all the book covers below, bookhearts!


US (top) ~ UK (bottom)

  • The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat ~ Much as I like the homely feel of the US cover with green landscape surrounding a small downtown diner, the UK cover is so much better featuring the brown legs of the three (3) main characters I just wanted to reach out and hug. UK wins!
  • One of Us Is Lying ~ Even though the UK cover shows four people in a line-up stance, the US cover fits the story better of four (4) high school students questioned about a murder that happened in detention. Plus the font in the US cover resembles handwriting on the lined paper covering the characters' faces. US wins!
  • The Hate U Give ~ Hmmm, these covers are almost opposites; black and white pun intended? The US cover has a white background featuring a young black girl holding a sign. The UK cover has a black background with a side profile of a young black girl. I have to go with the cover that best represents the novel. The main character stood for a message she believed in. And she is sporting a cute afro. US wins!
  • The Stolen Marriage ~ The US cover seems so sad with a young lady looking out of a window on a heavy rain day. Actually, the UK cover could seem sad too with the a lady passenger traveling solo. I would be more likely to pick up the latter. UK wins!
  • But Then I Came Back ~ Oh, this is too easy. Beautiful 3D flowers with pink font or chunky yellow cursive font with two measly white flowers? C'mon now. US wins! 

Total: US 36; UK 36

If the book covers pique your interest, click the title for my review. Stay tuned for another US vs. UK meme soon to break this tie! In the meantime, which covers do you favour?

 

October 15, 2017

Series Sunday: The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat

(The Supremes #1) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. 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.

"Not knowing any better, I listened to what I was being told about myself and grew up convinced I was a little brown warrior." ~ 4%

My Series Sunday pick is The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, the first book in The Supremes series by Edward Kelsey Moore. Don't let the old school title or homely cover fool you. This is not a book about the Motown divas, Supremes. It is not about a small town diner. Dubbed the "Supremes" by high school friends in the summer of 1967, three black women have leaned on each other for four decades through best and worst times. But this year is a true test of their friendship and faith. Clarice is humiliated by a cheating husband. Barbara Jean is rocked by a youthful love affair. And Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life.

"We overlooked each other's flaws and treated each other well, even when we didn't deserve it." ~  12%

One thing is certain in their lives. Every Sunday, The Supremes are guaranteed to meet at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, the first black-owned business in downtown Plainview opened in the mid-1950s, for delicious food, juicy gossip, realistic banter and sometimes tears. These are funny, strong women with real shit happening. They are sassy with a bite of truth serum in their dialogue.

"We found out about Mama seeing ghosts at a Thanksgiving supper back in the 1970s."
 ~ 2%

Ghosts are mentioned very early on in the book. This was almost a deterrent for me. Something about ghosts and spirits doesn't bode well in my mind so I block them. I know they are real. I know they speak to some people. But if I think too long about ghosts, my head will hurt. However, I was not too bothered by the Mama ghost and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt ghost—who was good at picking out who was about to die. I don't think this story could've been told as well without their presence.

Book Clubs: you have to add this to your monthly selection. It will make for serious yet funny discussions. You are guaranteed to recognize yourself or a close friend in the lives of the Supremes.

Thanks to my Chickadee for recommending this feel-good-down-home novel!

Title: The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat
Author: Edward Kelsey Moore
Published: March 2013
Pages: 322
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

   

October 13, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. 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.

"Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down."

~ Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng