Tag Archives: #bookreview

NetGalley Reviewathon

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NetGalley Reviewathon

Summmer is winding down and though I didn’t get to do all the things I planned for me and the kids, I did get alot of reading done. I participated in a readathon jn July and that jumpstarted my bump in finished books. I already spoke on the the details of the NetGalley Reviewathon here so Im just going to jump right into the books I completed. I have actually struggled for a few months trying to finish these books so a few are a rollover from the other Readathon. I’m happy to report I finally finished and reviewedthem.

1) Mother of Pearl by Angela Savage

I really enjoyed this book! It discusses an Australian woman,Meg’s deciding to use a surrogate from Thailand when IVF fails multiple times. What I found interesting was that surrogacy is somewhat looked down upon in some parts of the world. The surrogate, Mod,already has a son, but needs the surrogacy money to support herself,her mom,and her son. Mod struggles with carrying a baby that she will be giving away. Meg’s sister,Anna, plays an important part because she becomes the go between her sister who is unable to travel to where Mod is and forms a bond with Mod which stirs jealousy in Meg. Anna is a kittle over bearing but it’s only because she feels like she failed Meg in some ways as a sister. Anna goes so far as to terminate a pregnancy because she knows it would hurt Meg that she can’t conceive but Anna unintentionally became pregnant. It was an honest look into how surrogacy affects families and makes women question their womanhood when they can’t conceive (Meg) or choose not to (Anna) 3/5 stars

2) The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman-

Wow! Hoffman has managed to take my breath away once again. As is common with Hoffman’s work, there is a supernatural spin on this tale of survival. Hanni is a woman hiding from Nazis in 1944 Berlin. She kills a German soldier to save her 12 year old daughter,Lea, from rape and murder. Hanni then decides to send her daughter away without her. There is a Jewish legend that a creature called a golem can be made from clay and water to do its creator’s bidding. Hanni first appeals to a fellow Jews known to have successfully create the golem. They refuse her so she desperately makes Ava herself. She sends Ava and Lea away to safety but not before telling Ava her only goal is to protect and love Lea the way Hanni no longer can. The journey that follows for Ava, Hanni,and Lea is a discovery of humanity even in an entity that is not supposed to be human. I think the fact that rights as actual humans have been taken a way,the cast of characters are forced to find humanity among each other in unusual ways. I loved how Ava goes from an unfeeling, strictly by the book guardian to a parent. Lea rejects Ava at first because she is scared,I think, and doesn’t want to accept what’s happening. She definitely rebels as teenagers do but as she becomes a witness to death and love and war,she matures and makes a sacrifice for Ava that reflects that. I love animals and Ava forms a bond with a heron who plays an important role as a messenger for both Ava and Lea. The story of the Holocaust and Auschwitz,although told by many authors over the years, has a fresh heartwrenching spin that is relatable to us all in some way. 4/5 stars

3)Maternal Instinct by Rebecca Bowyer-

This book was not bad. It definitely pit me in the mind of The Handmaid’s Tale. The government is policing women’s bodies and controlling how many babies they can have. Alice works for the Genetics and Reproduction Department of government. This Department requires women to have 2 children, give them to assigned Maters and Paters, who are trained parents, and move on their lives. Alice’s son died but she has a living daughter, Monica. Monica annoys me because she is petulant at times. She has a son and at first she’s eager to go back to her life and give Oscar up but then changes her mind and decides to keep him. I felt for her because I could not imagine giving up my children because the government says I wont be able to parent them as efficiently as Maters and Paters. Monica makes the decision to jeep Oscar and run away with him. Alice doesnt care for the idea until she forms an attachment to her own soon to arrive baby. The pregnancy comes a s a shock to her husband, a Pater, and her job. Her job wants her to terminate the pregnancy and when she doesn’t they seem to get a little nasty with her. Alice starts to rethink the purpose of the GRD. Is it really helpful to society? She starts to dig into her own background and digs into the death of her son as well as her mother’s mental health issues.There’s a couple of conspiracy theories but I find that they weren’t thoroughly flushed out and things wrapped up too quickly. I did like the relationship between Monica and her husband, Ollie. He was supportive of Alice keeping her pregnancy. I loved Alice’s brother,Pete. He was like a 007 type who also had his sister’s back while keeping her grounded in her thinking about dismantling this government program that may be doing more harm than good. Overall, not a bad read,but not as fleshed out as I would have liked. I think maybe there should be a part two to see how the GRD is destroyed, as it should be.3/5 stars

4) A Death in Harlem by Karla Holloway-

I really enjoyed this book! I’m not too much of a who done it girl but this drew me in because it take place in Harlem. I grew up near Spanish Harlem in the 90s and Harlem was a mecca for Black people in NYC. This story is during the Harlem Renaissance era. Harlem’s first Blsck police officer is roped into Black high society when a seemingly white woman falls to her death during a party. The police officer uses Sherlock Holmes methods to try to figure iut what happened to this woman. At first it seems like she was killed over an alleged affair but when the officer digs deepers,he uncovers a couple skeletons in the the closet of the victim and her social circle. I enjoyed seeing how Officer Weldon Thomas asked carefully thought out questions of potential suspects. I enjoyed the explanation of how the Black elite became the Black elite. I would never have guessed who the killer was and to me that was the best part! Would definitely read this author again. 4/5 stars

5)The Watanabe Name by Sakura Nobeyama-

This was a real treat. I thought it was a typical “rich- patriarch-is- murdered- by-bitter-child”plot but there are many layers to the Watanabe family and their story is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. It definitely satisfied my love of family drama. The Watanabe Family is steeped in military and high society which means there are certain expectations of them. They wear the facade of perfect for everyone but there are secrets in their closet that both tear them apart as a family and hold them together. World War 2 is the historical background for this story but was very essential to the character development of everyone. I think you’ll walk away feeling pity for everyone. I loved it! 4/5 stars

6) Bethlehem by Karen Kelly-

Karen Kelly really sucked me into this read. It’s a family saga filled with secrets. The real message for me was all about forgiveness and healing. It was about understanding how keeping a secret helped a relationship heal. Fave line: “Just because skin doesn’t show scars does not mean there haven’t been wounds”. It did drag a little in the beginning but the story is definitely worth reading the little details. 3/5 stars

I would love to know if you participated in this Reviewathon. Do drop your links to your posts in the comments. School is starting up in a week here which means Fall is back! Stay tuned for my Autumn TBR post. Happy reading!

ARC Book Challenge

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ARC Book Challenge

Hey, bookworms!!! Even though the 24in48 Readathon is over, my zest for reading has returned. So lucky for me, Net Galley has another book challenge! From July 22nd through August 30th, every week on Instagram, readers are being called to get through that very large ARC pile they have. I am new to Net Galley and I went over board asking for ARC. In the 24in48 Readathon I finished one book and so far for this challenge I have finished another. It’s been hard getting reading done with Avery around. But now that he is more settled into a nap routine, I know when I can get some reading done. It’s awkward holding a sleeping baby and a physical book, so using my Kindle app has been a game changer.

So the books I started with are

1) Maternal Instinct by Rebecca Bowyer

2) My Wild and Precious Life by Susie Rheault

3) The Watanabe Name by Sakura Nobeyama

4) A Death in Harlem by Karla Holloway

A Death in Harlem is a roll over read that I started from 24in48 and I’m half way through it and I really like it. I have reviewed Before We Were Wicked by Eric Jerome Dickey and Mother of Pearl by Angela Savage. Although, I did post it my reviews on Net Galley, it is linked to me on Goodreads. If you are not joining Net Galley Reviewathon, what book challenges are you involved in? Drop your links to book challenges in the comments.

By the way, I have 200 followers!! I never thought I would get to this point and I’m honored that you guys care what I have to say. Thanks for the advice, the laughs and the thought provoking conversation. Here’s to 200 more new friends!!!

The 24in48 Readathon

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Hey there, bookworms!!! Its a SUPER hot weekend here in NYC (temps at 100) so it’s a perfect excuse to read. Thank goodness for the 24in48 Readathon. What is that, you ask? Well, for the 48 hours in the weekend readers have 24 hours to read as many books as possible. The ultimate goal is 24 hours but at the heart of this challenQge is to get you through thst loooong TBR lost. Head to 24in48 for details. Oh yeah, and there are prizes as you hit hours.Lots of encouragement by other book obsessed folk too.

Anyway, if you follow me on Instagram, then you saw the to start me off. They are compliments of Net Galley. You see, I’m new to Net Galley and I MAY have gone a little crazy requesting books. Then the Readathon came up and it was a perfect way to knock some of these puppies out. So,let me update you a little. I started the challenge with:

I haven’t read enough of it to make a judgement but so far there’s a wife moves into the large family home where her husband’s and grandma live. She finds it difficult to make herself st home at parent her two children without nosy grandparents to make it harder. She starts digging into her husband’s lineage and comes up with some MESS,chile. Sadly, I’ve only read about 3% of the book, but so far so good.

This book I consider a bit of a cheat because I was 78% into it. Also, I chose to finish it today and threw it on my list this morning. Its3by a long time favorite author of mine,Eric Jerome Dickey. I’ve talked about him incessantly since I started sharing my reading life a few years ago. This novel is a part 2 but I didnt know that until I did a little research. It’s a prequel so you can read it as a stand alon. I really enjoy Dickey’s take on Black life in America. In this one,he gives the experience of a couple: Ken and Jimi Lee. Jimi Lee is an Ethiopian college student from a well to do family that lives in the Diamond Bar district of California. Ken is an enforcer/kinda college student born and raised here in the U.S. to poor parents. They try to have a casual Summer fling but Jimi Lee winds up pregnant. Ken does his best to support her financially but Jimi Lee just wants too damn much…ugh. I have to admit, J really enjoy how Dickey writes sex scenes. They’re raunchy,sure, but the words he chooses to describe them classes it up a bit. This was everything I expected from Dickey and reaffirm my stanning.

I chose this book because again its one of my gazillion Net Galley reads. Also, I spent a lot of time hanging out in Harlem as a child. My mom loved spending her money on the predominantly Black owned businesses and there was a rawness about I just loved. This novel takes us back to the 1920s where a NYC precinct hires it first African American police officer. His first assignment is the death of a white woman in Harlem. You see where this is going? Good. I really enjoy reading or watching stories about Harlem during that Renaissance time. Sure, this book is a few years before,but the vibe is there.

Last but certainly not least is a book I chose for the cover. There was a melancholy feel I got from it and I was drawn to it so…

I actually don’t remember what it’s about so here’s what Net Galley describes it as:

A Kitchen in the Corner of the House collects twenty-five gem-like stories on motherhood, sexuality, and the body from the innovative and perceptive Tamil writer Ambai.

There are my picks for the 24in48 Readathon. If you are participating, let me know what you’re reading. Drop your links to blog posts or IG posts. Good luck,everyone!!!