February 19, 2017

Series Sunday: Pulling Doubles

(The Wright Brothers #2) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. 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 Pulling Doubles, the second book in The Wright Brothers series by Christina C. Jones. Nurse Devyn is finishing her internship at University Hospital. She is excited for the opportunity to learn and the experience itself. There is only one thing she can't stand—the arrogant, know-it-all Dr. Joseph Wright. Professional and private lines blur when they start pulling doubles together.

"Something about a broad shouldered, fine, arrogant, intelligent man that I just..." ~ 8%

I didn't enjoy this second installment of the series as much as the first book. It was just okay. Perhaps because all of the characters were new to me. But now I see the author has a predictable formula, which is fine. Don't fix what ain't broke! Pulling Doubles is another quick read at under 200 pages. Check out The Wright Brothers!

Author: Christina C. Jones
Published: April 2016
Pages: 178
Edition: eBook
Rating: ♥♥♥

 

February 17, 2017

First Lines Friday


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

"The older woman sipped her coffee. 'I have thought and thought about everything about Emmett Till, the killing and the trial, telling who did what to who,' she said."

~ The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

February 16, 2017

Around the Way Girl: A Memoir


"I simply put my head down and work hard while I wait for the tides to turn in my favor; that's when my actions and my blessings speak volumes." ~ pg. 124

For the record, every month is Black History Month. Every day is a celebration of my blackness. But this is the perfect month to share my review of a memoir about one of the most talented black actresses of our time: Taraji P. Henson.

An Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe winner, proud daughter and strong single mother are just a few descriptions of Taraji P. Henson. She made it from DC to Hollywood with a dream and a purpose. In her memoir, Around the Way Girl, Taraji talks about her childhood and journey to present-day in candor, humor and honesty.

Taraji was very transparent and open in her memoir. The essays were told like we were friends chilling at a bar sharing life stories and struggles. There were lots of "girl, me too" moments while I was reading it. I had no idea that Taraji was so relatable and very much an authentic around the way girl. Makes me even prouder of her success.

"That's the story of every girl who goes to work every day, punching in at nine in the morning and hustling home at five in the evening. I'm not some fantasy. I'm tangible. And I bring that realness only to the screen, where it deserves to be, but also out into the world." ~ pg. 204

If you want inspiration or if you are a fan, then Around the Way Girl: A Memoir is definitely the book for you. Readers will find that her screen characters—Cookie Lyon (Empire), Katherine Johnson (Hidden Figures), Yvette (Baby Boy), Shug (Hustle & Flow) and Queenie (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) are in some ways like the actress in real life. She draws upon her own experiences to portray these characters on film and television. And as a bonus, there are a few funny parts in this memoir too. So make a point to read about Taraji P. Henson and other amazing black women this February. Why? Because black girls rock!

Title: Around the Way Girl: A Memoir
Author: Taraji P. Henson
Published:
Pages: 256
Edition: Hardcover
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book with Pictures
Rating: ♥♥♥♥

 

February 15, 2017

Dark Matter


"A realization and the terror that follows it—terror of the limitless indifference surrounding us." ~ pg. 85

Jason Dessen is asked by a masked man, "Are you happy with your life?" then is knocked unconscious. He awakens to strangers in hazmat suits welcoming him back. The life Jason knows is no longer. His wife is not around. His son was never born. He is not an ordinary physics professor but instead a scientific genius.

Jason literally battles and strategizes his way back to the life he knows. It could be impossible or even a dream. But he has to try for the sake of love and family. Jason sets out on a dark journey, sometimes confusing and mostly terrifying. The central themes are love, choices and paths not taken. Dark Matter is told in a brilliant plotted science fiction thriller.

I haven't read a book like this in a long while. Where I had to think about the right words to write a proper review. Where I turned the last page and was disappointed that the book came to an end. Where I canceled plans for the following morning because I stayed up all night with a mission to finish reading. Where I finished a book weeks ago and the plot still haunts me. The story is still with me, leaving me thinking WTF if?! Such is the case for Dark Matter.

"If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are he core components that make me me?" ~ pg. 218

There are no words that will give this mind-fuck of a novel justice. It had me so far gone! It gripped me by the edges and damned if it didn't let go. Dark Matter reminds me of movies Inception and The Matrix. And I don't even normally read this genre! Bookhearts, I wish I could go into detail but it would be nothing but spoilers. Take my word for it and read Dark Matter for yourself. A special S/O to my bookheart, ZoraToniMaya of BookTini Book Club, for recommending this "EXTREMELY suspenseful, edge of the seat, sexy love story."

Blake Crouch, I have nothing but appreciation for your writing a novel that you clearly did research for and delivered it flawlessly. Congrats on Dark Matter being made into a movie soon. It is only mid-February yet I am already claiming Dark Matter as one of my best reads of 2017.

Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Published: July 2016
Pages: 342
Edition: Hardcover
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book Involving Travel; Popsugar—A Book with a Red Spine
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

 

February 14, 2017

Abby's Journey


"Will you fall in love with reading? Will you devour stories and one day write your own?" ~ 47%

Twenty-year-old Abby Turner has only known her mother through letters, videos, postcards, journals and memories from her father, Josh. Unfortunately, Abby's mother died minutes after giving birth to Abby leaving Josh to raise their daughter alone. As a result, he is overly cautious and Abby feels stifled. It doesn't help that Abby is diagnosed with a rare lung disease that turns a common cold into life-threatening pneumonia fast. Abby yearns for independence and freedom. So when Millie, her grandmother, offers the trip of a lifetime, Abby takes the journey!

Reading about relatable characters is important for me. I don't have to necessarily like the character. I could, in fact, love to hate the main character. But if he/she is relatable, than I can deal. Steena Holmes did a very good job of portraying Abby in an age-appropriate way. I felt empathy for her. I overstood her whenever someone asked if she was feeling better. I more than understood wanting to enjoy a vacation to the fullest but having to calm down to avoid getting sick. And most importantly, I nodded my head along with Abby when she expressed the desire to want more from life than just being sick all the time. Tis is the life of a person suffering from a chronic illness. Tis is why I heart the character Abby.

"Being sick, it's not who I am, and yet, it's who I've been my whole life." ~ 25%

Abby's Journey is the heartfelt follow-up to Saving Abby. It is about parental love and a daughter's longing for connection and wellness. It can be read as a standalone but I recommend reading Saving Abby first for a better understanding of the family's dynamic. Both books have my stamp of recommendation.

Happy Pub Day, Steena Holmes!

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: Abby's Journey
Author: Steena Holmes
Published: February 2017
Pages: 238
Edition: Galley
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book of Letters
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♡

February 12, 2017

Series Sunday: Blogger Girl

(The Blogger Girl #1) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. 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 The Blogger Girl, the first book in the series of same name by Meredith Schorr. By day, Kimberly is a legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. By evening, Kimberly runs a blog dedicated to chick lit. As her luck would have it, one of her most hated high school classmates released a new hot book that landed in Kimberly's inbox to read/review.

"Then again, it was my day job as a legal secretary at a mid-sized New York City law firm that paid my $1800 rent, not my voluntary—albeit immensely more satisfying—side gig as a chick lit book blogger." ~ 3%

Made me laugh? Yes. Fast-paced? Yes. Hard to put down? No. So so good? Um, nope. I so wanted to like this book. In the very beginning, the main character was basically me in fiction form. She had a job to pay the bills but her passion was her book blog, Pastel is the New Black. She loves reading chick lit, maintained good relationships with publishers, authors and agents, and had a good blog following. But after a while, I was no longer feeling Kimberly. Particularly when her high school nemesis came on the scene. Something shifted where the main character and the plot was no longer interesting. I am quite disappointed and will not continue with this series.

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: Blogger Girl
Author: Meredith Schorr
Published: February 2017
Pages: 215
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥

February 10, 2017

First Lines Friday


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

"The old man was nearly to the Louisiana line when he saw the woman and child walking on the other side of the interstate, the woman carrying a garbage bag tossed over her shoulder and the child lagging behind."

~ Desperation Road by Michael Farris Smith