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Lakewood

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  91 reviews
A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentationpart The Handmaids Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

When Lena Johnsons beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote
...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 24th 2020 by Amistad
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  91 reviews


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The Artisan Geek
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcase
27/1/20
This was a great book! What interested me was the way Giddings managed to explore how the society fails to protect the most vulnerable and instead result uses their weakness to exploit them for their own benefit. Crazy!

29/11/19
A huge thank you Amistad for gifting me a copy of this book! Like for reals


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Christina
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I finished this book, all I could think about were the experimentations that were forced upon black bodies in the Tuskegee experiment of untreated sphyilis in black men. Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male was a clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service. The study initially involved 600 black men 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease. The study was conducted without the benefit of patients informed consent. Researchers ...more
~Annabelle~ ♥♠
A mysterious job ✓
Too good to be true ✓
Lie to your friends and family about it ✓
Conclusion: Sleepless nights to an overexcited book lover.
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
3.5 stars

Lena Johnson is trying to cope with the recent death of her grandmother and her mother Deziree's debilitating health issues while dealing with the mounting medical debt.

She receives an invitation to take part in The Lakewood Project, a series of research studies.  The offer seems too good to be true:  high pay, family health insurance with no out of pocket expenses, and housing provided.

The catch?  Lena has to participate in a secret program and cannot disclose any details to her family
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Jessie
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was initially unsure if Megan Giddings Lakewood had taken me all of the way there. Having finished it at a breakneck page-turning speed late last night, and woken up with a tense jaw and stress headache, I can confirm that this book delivered on its promise. In a Get Out Style premise, where inhabiting a Black body is most of the horror story, this book follows a young Black college student, child of an ill mother and grandchild to a recently deceased grandmother who enters a secret medical ...more
BOOKED & ROOTED
3.5 ⭐

This book is weird and far from scary. It made me think of the movie "Sorry to Bother You" or something Jordan Peele would make. It definitely makes you think though. What is real? How much can you trust people? And, lastly...how far would you go for the mighty $$
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Elizabeth Olesh
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Lena's mother has a chronic illness and the family struggles to cover the costs for her treatment, so when Lena is invited to participate in a lucrative research project, as a subject, she accepts.

This books has been described as "The Handmaid's Tale meets Henrietta Lacks", and I suppose that is true, but I found that the sum of the parts was not great enough. The narrative switches back and forth from third-person to first-person in the form of Lena's letters. I think it would have been more
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Paige
3.5stars

After her grandmother passes, Lena searches for financial comfort since her mother is medically unwell. She receives a letter offering more than enough to provide the comfort she needs if she moves to Lakewood and submits herself to the Lakewood Project. Accepting, Lena finds herself as part of a human experiment group.

I enjoyed this debut young adult novel. It was a quick and easy read with a dark atmosphere. Lena's race and socioeconomic status were rightfully featured as doormat for
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Ana (inquisitivebookworm)
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
I wasnt sure what to expect going into this book, but what I can say is that several days after finishing it, I still cant stop thinking about it.

LAKEWOOD by Megan Giddings follows Lena, a young black college student with an ill mother to take care of, and whose beloved grandmother has recently passed away. Lena decides to take part in a secret medical experiment to pay off her familys debts, and so that she can afford better healthcare for her mother. But what Lena thinks will be a harmless
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Smileitsjoy (JoyMelody)
What do I even begin to say about this book?
I definitely was taken for a wild ride and I have so many questions, but Megan Giddings wrote a phenomenal debut! At the root of this thrilling fiction but yet almost could be real life story is the question: what would you really do for the ones you love? Would you sacrifice yourself so they wouldn't suffer?

I like to think I would but I have never been put in that situation.
Giddings wrote a story that is filled with the echoes of the treacherous
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Brooke
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Megan Giddings debut novel Lakewood can't help but draw comparisons to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and the harvesting of Henrietta Lacks' cells to further medical research. Lakewood, which examines the predatory actions of a government medical research study on marginalized groups, is fiction, but could easily have been torn from the pages of history - one in which experimenting on minorities, the poor, and disadvantaged was a common and accepted practice.

Lena Johnson is her mother's sole
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Robyn
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost all the people--The Observers--were white. All the study participants, Lena noted, except for an older white woman, were black or Indian or latinx. She kept her face neutral, filed that fact away to process later.

Lakewood follows Lena Johnson, immediately after her grandmothers death, as she struggles to take care of her mother, pay for their familys debt and current/mounting medical bills. Eventually this leads her to accept an offer to participate in a government run research study that
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Ahaaha4
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lakewood, Megan Giddings, debut novel is a very different book. I am still trying to digest it. It takes place in Lakewood, Michigan and is about three poor black women, a grandmother, a mother and their daughter/ granddaughter Lena. They are like three peas in a pod connected at the hip. They dont know how they will survive without each other. Lenas grandmother is dying and her mother is very sick, there is no money and no one able to pay the bills. Lena is supposed to go to college but ...more
freckledbibliophile
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This novel is phenomenal. Often we make decisions wholly based upon the betterment of our family, not considering the possible outcome. It may seem incredible, but if we have to guess our decision on certain things second, perhaps, we need to choose a different alternative.

The story dealt with some heavy themes mainly, how the government is built to humiliate the black race. The plot is ingenious and leaves the reader wanting more. The author created some captivating imagery and characters.

Much
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BookOfCinz
Thanks Amistad book for this ARC.

Lena Johnson is a young black woman in the middle of her University studies. She is on scholarship and has a bright future ahead of her. With the passing of her Grandmother, who basically raised Lena, she is forced to take stock of her family's finances. Her mother does not work because she suffers from an undiagnosed illness that leaves her "out of it" for extended period of time. Lena now has to take care of her mother, while figuring out how to pay off the
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Katie
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Fascinating idea but some intense medical horror I couldn't get past
Ahaaha4
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lakewood, Megan Giddings, debut novel is a very different book. I am still trying to digest it. It takes place in Lakewood, Michigan and is about three poor black women, a grandmother, a mother and their daughter/ granddaughter Lena. They are like three peas in a pod connected at the hip. They dont know how they will survive without each other. Lenas grandmother is dying and her mother is very sick, there is no money and no one able to pay the bills. Lena is supposed to go to college but ...more
Jennifer
What an impressive debut medical thriller! I practically speed read Megan Gidding's novel from the first page. It was a beautiful convergence of Netgalley approval and exactly what I needed to read on the same day. (Thank you Netgalley and Amistad for my free review copy. All opinions are my own.)

Lena recently lost her grandmother, has a disabled mother, and is trying to complete her college degree when an invitation arrives asking her to apply for a medical research study that promises
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Boz
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A beloved matriarch passes, debt piles up, another job interview leads to a dead end. Right on cue, a letter printed on expensive paper arrives in the mail - an invitation to participate in The Lakewood Project, a series of research studies that provides full health insurance, a healthy weekly stipend, and housing. All you had to do is meet the criteria and sign on the dotted line.
This lays the groundwork for Lakewood, the debut novel by Megan Giddings This quietly intense book is a blunt
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Julie
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an enjoyable yet incredibly creepy and heavy read about a young woman who signs up to be part of unknown (and never defined) experiments in the small town of Lakewood. Clearly influenced by the U.S. government's and hospital's history of experimenting on African American citizens without their knowledge or consent, the book explores what a woman would undergo to provide for her ailing mother. At first I was put off by the "simplicity" of the author's language at the beginning of the ...more
Maxine Chung
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A dark, wrenching and thrilling debut. Giddings has created a world that is as terrifying as it is thought provoking. I loved it.

"A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation - part The Handmaid's tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
Book Reviews By Tara
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Chilling, intense and suspenseful are just some of the words that best describes the novel Lakewood by Megan Giddings.

Faced with financial hardship after the passing of her grandmother, the books protagonist Lena agrees to become a participant in The Lakewood Project, which is a government sponsored research study. This project is a series of research studies about mind, memory, personality, and perception. As a participant in the study Lena will receive free health care, a weekly stipend and
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Kathy
Mar 06, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Thanks for making me a lucky winner of this book through the First Reads program and I look forward to reading and reviewing!
Eve B.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I struggled between not wanting to put it down and also wanting it to last for as soon as possible.
Andrea Arterbery
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
**Thank you to Amistad Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book via Netgalley for review.***

I really, really, really wanted to like this book a lot more than I do, but unfortunately it fell flat for me.

The story centers around a young black woman named Lena Johnson. She's attending college when her grandmother dies from cancer and comes back home for the funeral. Her mother, Deziree, is sick with what appears to be an invisible illness that doctors can't seem to pinpoint. So,
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Kelsey
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
PEEPS - I'VE GOT ANOTHER BOOK FOR YOUR '2020 MUST READ SHELF.'

This book was seriously, so good and so, so, SO engrossing. I did not want to put it down, and when I did, all I did was think about it. I woke up at 4:30 am last night to use the bathroom and all I could think about is WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS BOOK.

description

OK BRIEF SYNOPSIS: We've got this really, loving family of a mom, daughter and grandmother. The grandmother passes away at the beginning of the story, leaving the daughter, Lena, to take
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Molly Weisgrau
*I was sent a free ARC of this book by HarperCollins Amistad in exchange for an honest review*

This was definitely a highly anticipated read for me! When Lena Johnsons beloved grandmother dies and she is tasked with taking on her huge medical debt as well as caring for her mother who is suffering from a mysterious set of ailments she takes a job as a participant in a heavily secretive research study that offers her a huge amount of money to be a test subject. Slowly but surely things start to go
...more
Erin
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Its not often that a novel can successfully tackle a bunch of serious societal issues in one book. But Megan Giddings novel, Lakewood does just that. Ive seen it touted as a take on the movie Get Out, which is pretty accurate considering the story touches on themes of racism, class warfare, and some serious mind control at play against young African Americans. Throw in a sobering look at our crumbling healthcare system and a drive to protect family, and you have a pageturner with some real ...more
Elaine
Wow, that was a great read. A book with themes on race and medical ethics that didn't clobber me over the head screaming, "I have an important message for you!"

Lena is a 21-year-old black college student. Her mother has been battling a crippling brain disorder for most of Lena's life, and her beloved grandmother has recently passed away from cancer. Going through her grandmother's records, she's hit with the overwhelming realization that her grandmother left behind considerable debt and, coupled
...more
Kyra Johnson
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
Thank you so much for the gifted book, @amistadbooks. Guys, this book is insane.

Lena is mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother who raised her while her own mother suffers from a debilitating chronic illness. Since she is now responsible for her mothers care, Lena discovers the severity of their familys crippling debt. When a letter arrives offering Lena a chance to participate in a medical research study which offers an absurd amount of money, she accepts. Lena drops out of college and
...more
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