The blurb that I read promised nine connected stories and I was expecting at some point that all the stories would somehow make the ending make sense.The blurb that I read promised nine connected stories and I was expecting at some point that all the stories would somehow make the ending make sense. And it didn't. While the nine stories may have been "okay" by themselves, together in one collection they felt really disjointed. Especially since the promise is that at the end the world with end (which it kind of sort of does) but none of the stories separately or together explain what really happens to get the reader to the collapse of society.
I had high hopes for this one but the plotting problems just tanked it. I don't think I would recommend this book. ...more
his is a really hard review for me to write there is just so much to say about the book and I have no idea where to start. And if I said all that I wahis is a really hard review for me to write there is just so much to say about the book and I have no idea where to start. And if I said all that I wanted to say, this review would end up a term paper instead of a simple review.
Simply stated The Autobiography of An Ex-Colored is about a mulatto man that can pass as white. But the story is much deeper and more complex then just skin colored. Set in the early 1900's Weldon touch on a lot of issues dealing with racial prejudice and cultural identity. It's very interesting to watch the the narrator try to reconcile his racial background (black) with his appearance and upbringing. At one point in the story a "friend" of the narrator makes a comment that narrator was raised as a white man and should live his life as such, that it would be much easier for him to do so. There is a since that the narrator never really fits in anywhere, partially because of the ambiguity of his appearance and also because he really has no family or close ties. He ends up drifting through life with nothing to hold him down to one place or tie him to one group (race, family, friends, etc).
Something that I find interesting about The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is that the issues presented in the book are still relevant today probably even more so, given the fact that the U.S. has a black (mixed) president. It is amazing how after 113 years very little has really changed in the regards to race and culture in the US.
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is not a "light" read when it comes to subject matter. But Weldon was able to pull me in and make me want to flip to the next page. I was surprised by how expertly he dealt with each topic and situation in such a sort book. I think part of the reason is because that it is done in memoir form so the reader gets the feeling that they are listening to an old man reflecting on his journey through life and questioning some of the decisions that he made. ...more
The Family Business and I started off on the wrong foot and it just went down hill from there. The first chapter introduces you to the youngest memberThe Family Business and I started off on the wrong foot and it just went down hill from there. The first chapter introduces you to the youngest member of the Duncan Family, Paris. And she was annoying as a toddler throwing a fit in the middle of Walmart. Really, she was just one huge giant ghetto stereotype. Then Weber and Pete introduces you to the other members of the family and while they are not as bad as her. They are uninteresting and really hard to connect to. By the time I got to Chapter 3, which I believe was narrated by London (the oldest sister), I knew that I would not care what happened to anyone in the story.
One of the things that sometimes saves books from bad characters is good writing. The only word that I can think of to describe the writing style in this book is basic. The sentence structure had no depth and there was no style. Nothing to keep me wanting to turn the page. Combine that with the fact that Pete and Weber decided to write in the first person point of view, and it was a complete fail.
This is not my first time reading Carl Weber (but I stopped a long time ago) and Eric Pete is new to me. I don't think I will be reading anything but either of them any time soon....more
While the premise of Flight of the Blackbird was interesting the characters, plot issues, and average writing weren't enough to carry the novel to it'While the premise of Flight of the Blackbird was interesting the characters, plot issues, and average writing weren't enough to carry the novel to it's full potential. It was rather, Meh.
From the description The Upper Room sounds like it is going to be an interesting read with a Christian slant. Which is what I expected from an aPlot:
From the description The Upper Room sounds like it is going to be an interesting read with a Christian slant. Which is what I expected from an author whose most famous books are part of a series entitled "God Don't Like Ugly". The Upper Room is not Christian fiction by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I don't know what genre to even place it in.
This was not what I was expecting, in a bad way. I thought I was getting the book in the description the tale of a women stealing a baby she once thought was dead. It is and it isn't. It's really hard to put into words what The Upper Room is about because I am/was so confused. Instead, of a heartfelt story about a women wanting a child so much that she is willing to steal her best friends baby, The Upper Room is about a crazy, overweight serial killer, who just happened to steal the baby girl she always wanted but never had.
I had gotten to less than 100 pages into the novel when I wen back to re-read the description. I even went back and re-read the reviews, just to see make sure I was reading the right book. After reading the reviews, I figured that somehow I wasn't getting it. Everyone else seemed to think this book was funny. The star rating was 4 and above. I wondered if Mary Monroe was using some form of satire that was just going over my head. I did not find this book funny or even mildly entertaining.
Characters: There is a whole cast of crazy characters. Characters that I often confused with one another.
The main character, Mama Ruby claims to be a God fearing, Christian with the devil on her coattails. In reality, the devil is on her left shoulder with direct access to her whenever he wants it. She kills people (lots of them) needlessly with out not provocation. If someone wants to collect a debt she kills them, if someone calls her a name she kills them. She kills anyone and everyone, claiming that they were trying to rape her and she had to "chastize" them. She is also and alcoholic and is morbidly obese. Her only redeeming qualities are the she loves her children and if you stay on her good side she is a great friend.
The daughter that she kidnapped, Maureen, was a underdeveloped. All she wanted to do was live her life, which would only be possible if she could escape Mama Ruby, who has no intention of letting her go, ever. I really wish Monroe would have done more with Maureen characters. Yes, she knew that her mother was a "little" crazy, but she turned a blind eye to her antics, instead pretending that she did not know what was going on.
The characters that I liked the most were Virgil, Mama Ruby's son, and Black Jack, Virgil's friend. They were the most believable out of all the characters. They were the only two people that would say that Mama Ruby was crazy and that Maureen needed to run as far away from her as possible.
Mary Monroe's writing style is engaging but her writing couldn't cover up what a hot mess this book was.
There were jumps in time without any indication that time had passed. One minute Maureen is a baby, then next she is five, then she is 18. It was confusing and took me out the flow of the story often.
Monroe wasn't consistent and her ages were off. At one point I pulled out a calculator to figure out how old everyone was and it didn't match.
The dialogue was unbelievable. I understand that the characters are from the south and that because of regional accents some words would have different pronunciations but who was "V-Eight Nam" or "so-wee-side"
I have tons of highlights with notes that way "!!!What???" or "WTF".
The person that edited The Upper Room should be ashamed of themselves.
I would not recommend this book to anyone. That being said, I am looking forward to reading the prequel, Mama Ruby, which was written about 20 years after The Upper Room. I have heard that it is a much better book and show Monroe's growth as an author. I am also looking forward to reading The God Don't Like Ugly series which I have heard good thing about, also. Apparently, Monroe suffered from a bad case of "horrible" debut syndrome with The Upper Room and her other works are much better....more
Covenant opens with what should be a relaxing afternoon between father and soon but there is something wrong with father. The son, Anthony, knows thisCovenant opens with what should be a relaxing afternoon between father and soon but there is something wrong with father. The son, Anthony, knows this and think that he has done something wrong. Then a shot is heard and the father is killed. Reading this made me sad. Massey did a good job in showing how important and deep the relationship was between Anthony and his father. This helps the reader later understand why the death of the father had such a profound affect not only on Anthony but the who Thorne family, even 15 years later. It also makes the reader what to know why the father was killed and by whom.
I tend to fill that thrillers in general don't focus on characters that much, and often times they can seem a little one or two dimensional. Covenant, sort of falls into this trap. The main characters, Anthony and his wife, Lisa, are well thought out. I really enjoyed both of them, even though I would have liked to see more of Lisa. The secondary characters were a little flat. I wish that characters like Mike, Anthony's best friend, was flushed out a little more.
The way that Massey handle the clues that helped solve the murder was clever. I loved it. Everything added up perfect and when it all came together, I didn't find myself scratching my head and thinking WTF? I did make an accurate guess on some of the clues, they weren't that hard to figure out (at least of me) and knowing what was going to happen did not lessen my enjoyment of the story. It just made to excited to get to a section and say "I know it"....more
It's hard to review The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks because 1) it's non-fiction and 2) I really enjoyed it. It's hard to write a review when therIt's hard to review The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks because 1) it's non-fiction and 2) I really enjoyed it. It's hard to write a review when there is so much to say but I am trying to prevent spoilers.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot tells how a Henrietta Lacks unintentional became one of the most important women in science by dying of cancer. But that is just part of the story. The real story is about the children that Henrietta left behind and their struggle to understand what happened to their mother and the secrecy surrounding her contribution to science.
For a non-fiction book, I really connected with the people in it. Normally with non-fiction (and history) the events have already happened and I consider myself more of a watcher. I don't root for the individuals in the story. But I found myself connecting with Henrietta's children, especially Deborah, and rooting for them. Hoping that they someone would finally give them the information that they wanted on their mother.
For those that do not have a science background, do worry. Skloot made all the science behind the Henrietta's story understandable.
To finished this in two days and did not want to put it down. Which is something that I don't often say about non-fiction books.
This is a must read. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone....more
I loved Silver Sparrow. I ended up reading the first 3/4 of the book in one sitting and finished the last 1/4 the next morning.
It was a quick read filI loved Silver Sparrow. I ended up reading the first 3/4 of the book in one sitting and finished the last 1/4 the next morning.
It was a quick read filled with all the elements that to make up a good story. Engaging writing, good characters, and an interesting storyline. Two of the things that I enjoyed most in Silver Sparrow was the characters. All the characters were well thought out and detailed The other thing that I lived was the writing. I found myself highlighting sentences and passages. Which is always a good sign.
Someone said this book is "real". It is was like reading someones real story, with real people, in a real situation....more
I read The Farming of Bones in one day. The story was compelling, the characters engaging, and the writing was prefect. Danticat had me hooked all theI read The Farming of Bones in one day. The story was compelling, the characters engaging, and the writing was prefect. Danticat had me hooked all the way through. An added plus was that it is historical fiction, my favorite genre.
The Farming of Bones takes place during Rafael Trujillo reign of power in the Dominican Republic. Personally, I know very little about the Dominican Republic and it history. Most of what I know about this period I learned form The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, which I read back in 2009. The Farming of Bones, gave me another chance to learn about this moment in history and from the view point of a foreigner living in the Dominican Republic during the unrest. I could help about shuffle through my memory every now and again to remember bits and pieces of Diaz's novel and what I learned there to apply to this one. It was interesting to learn about the discrimination that Haitian workers experienced in the Dominican Republic, the history of the conflict between Haiti and the DR, as well the Massacre of 1937. This information along with the characters, their backstories and Danticat's writing style combined lead to a real page turner.
I can't say that I liked one character more than another. They were all so well developed and thought out. The author could give you glimpses into the each characters background and what brought them to this moment in time. This made me keep turning pages to find out more about them and what fate had in store for them. The main character, Amabelle was the most flushed out (of course) and her story was heartbreaking at times (most of the time). I found myself rooting for her and hoping that by the time I got to the last page she would finally find even a little bit of happiness and peace. Her story did not end the way that I had hoped, but it felt right. I didn't find myself second guessing, there was no "What? Where did that come from?" moment. Danticat's choices for Amabelle (or any of the characters) were very much in line with the way the story was going, no surprise illogical twist.
The writing style was amazing. That is the only way that I can describe it. One of my favorite passages:
I will say that for me the end was a little unsatisfying. I felt that Danticat tried to wrap everything up with a bow. The ending seemed a little rushed to me and did not as nicely together with the story as the rest of the parts. In this case, there are somethings that I wish she had left me to wonder about. ...more
I normally find history books to be "dry" but not The Warmth of Other Suns. I found it to be engaging and easy to read. I think the fact that WilkersoI normally find history books to be "dry" but not The Warmth of Other Suns. I found it to be engaging and easy to read. I think the fact that Wilkerson, focused large portions of the book on the personal experiences of Foster, Sterling and Gladney helped a lot. In between their stories she will add in facts about the time periods and history of the south and the migration.
I experienced every emotion possible while reading this one: happiness, anger, excitement, pride, disappointment, sadness.
In fact, at one point at the end I had to put the book down because I did not want to read about Ida Mae Gladney dying. I had already read about George Sterling and Robert Foster dying and I did not think that I could handle her dying as well. All three of them, Gladney, Sterling and Foster, had became family members to me. In them, I saw member of my own family. Ida Mae reminds me of my great grandmother, who is originally from Texas but migrated to California in the 1950s.
Wilkerson did a great job telling the story of the Great Migration and the people the participated in it....more
Dolen Perkins-Valdez debut novel Wench takes a different route then most narratives surrounding slavery. While it is like the traditional slave tale,Dolen Perkins-Valdez debut novel Wench takes a different route then most narratives surrounding slavery. While it is like the traditional slave tale, Wench does deal with the harden facts of slavery, beatings, escape, oppression, fear, uncertain. But Perkins-Valdez takes Wench a step further and dives into the relationship and experience of slave women (wenches) and their masters.
The main character, Lizzie, this is primarily her story and how her interactions with the three women change her own views on her enslavement and the relationship she has with her master, Drayle. When the story first started I did not like Lizzie, her actions infuriated me and made her unlikable. I was ready to write her off and I even state the book down for week, not sure if I could continue. But her character did learn for the actions and I had hope for her. She seemed to gain strength and grow. I was rooting for her. Then she disappointed me once again.
I think my main problem with Lizzie was that she was to malleable. She seemed so ready to believe anything and everything that Drayle had to tell her. No matter what the circumstance. Her character seemed to want to believe the best in him. Lizzie continued to accept all his offers of appeasement even when they directly conflicted her desire for freedom for herself and her children.
The other characters were minor. They were more consistent and as a reader I knew what to expect from them.
Wench was original in the fact that Perkins-Valdez set most of the at Tawawan House. Which is a hotel where Southern men would take their slave women for the summer without their wives. I liked this, it offered a different view into historical events. Something that I had never considered before: masters taking their favorite female slaves on vacation with them.
One of the most problematic issues I had with this novel was that I got the feeling that was stuff left out. Like the author was constrained to a limit amount of space and had to get her story out in that space. There were several scenes that I had to read a couple of times to understand what was going on. The details weren't there and it made it hard to follow. This would have been a better novel if the details would have been flushed out more....more