Tag Archives: Diversity

Book Review: Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

HarperCollins
Published July 25, 2017
288 Pages

“Harper doesn’t trust her new how from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors that the Raine family’s new house is haunted. Harper isn’t sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of deja vu but she can’t remember why.

She knows that the memories she’s blocking will help make sense of her brother’s behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in the hours, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?”- Goodreads

Before I give my thoughts on this book, I need to explain why I picked it up. I don’t follow Ms. Ellen Oh on Twitter but someone I follow does and she happened to liked a tweet that caught my attention.

Just based off that my curious its was peaked. So I requested the book from the library that same day. I didn’t have a lot of thought or even a pressing need to read this book. I just wanted to see what the fuss was about. But let me tell you once I started this book, I did not put it down until well after 1 a.m. This book was fantastic from beginning to end.

Harper is what I would picture of a child having to deal with something paranormal when you family doesn’t believe you and also sent you away for help. It was such a realistic viewpoint of not a disobedient loner child but of a little girl, who loves her family but is struggling to deal with her own past and keeping it all together. I’ve always wondered what if the child that can see things, no one else can see, actually said something to her family as opposed to hiding it and dealing with it on her own. For anyone that has ever wanted to know that, this book is the answered.

It touches on a lot of subjects such as family and doing what you feel is best for that family. It touches upon family ancestry and the divide that can cause. It touches upon racism and diversity without it feeling as if the author is trying to hard. This book flowed extremely easy with these topics and of course the paranormal aspect of it.

But what I liked most about Harper, herself, was her ability to face her fears. It’s cliche I know but she literally faces the worst head on and keeps pushing through until she has done what she set out to do. She wasn’t bratty, mean or even desperate. She was a little girl that wanted to be with her family and make some friends in a new town.

Beyond all of this, what sold me was how freaking creepy this book was. Whatever resource Ms. Ellen Oh used as a reference to help her write this book was on point. Every scene, every time Harper felt something or saw something, it was so visual it was as if I was watching a movie. As a grown woman, there were things in this book that creeped me out and I loved every moment of it. Harper stood tall and faced all of that and I have nothing but respect for her.

The pace was great. The down time didn’t even feel like down time because there was so much going on emotional as well as physically. The imagery was pure talent actually the entire book was and I hope and pray that there will be a book two.

5 Pickles.

Subscription Review: My Lit Box

This is my first subscription review *YAY* However, My Lit Box is not my first subscription. Just the first I wanted to talk about.

MY LIT BOX  is a monthly book subscription box celebrating diversity in literature! Each month you will receive a box containing a newly released novel as well as 1-2 quality book related goodies that will make your reading experience all the more enjoyable!- My Lit Box

What caught my attention with this box is its focus. This box focuses on diverse readings, which is extremely important to me because I’ve made it my mission this year to step out my YA fantasy box and read more adult literature, specifically from diverse writers.

I chose My Lit Box because choice and price. They give you an option to receive a small box or a full box. The small box contains just the book, while the full box contains the book and 1-2 book related items. I like that the power (or illusion, which ever type of person you are) of choice can change everything.

Price: The small box is $17 while the full box is $25. My Lit Box is on the cheaper end of subscription boxes that contain multiple items and I personally love it. It is a reasonable price that doesn’t exactly kill my budget. So let’s get to some pictures :)

Box # 1

I was not completely impressed with this book but I did appreciate the care the owner put into this. The personalized letter, the poem by Ysra Daley-Ward, the amazing tea and the sage really added something to the book. I was happy to receive this book and was happy when I opened it but it was a tad bit short lived. But on the plus side of it I really wanted the book Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo, so I was real happy to see that.

 Box #2 

Made me extremely happy and redeemed itself after the first box. Something about this box… maybe the mini doodle kit or the gorgeous pin made me feel giggly and excited. It wasn’t as personalized as the first one but more whimsical I would say for a lack of better term. I was really thrilled with this book.

Overall, my two month experience with My Lit Box has been one I enjoy. I plan on keeping with it because who doesn’t like getting packages in the mail that have nothing to do with bills.🙋🏿‍♀️ This chick does.

I would recommend this box. Its different, affordable and these book related items are cute and practical :)

Kudos My Lit Box

NetGalley Review: Running in the Dark (Running in the Dark #1) by Inger Iversen

Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing Published April 19, 2014 Ebook
Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Published April 19, 2014
Ebook

Trace is a watcher. His job is to watch vampires as they end their lives and sometimes assist in their death while also making sure that no human sees or reports what they’ve seen. For years, this has been his life and he is ready for something different.

What he didn’t expect was different to show up in a form of a beautiful girl named Bessina, who’ve witness the death of two vampires. What would be a easy job to eliminate the witness turns into Trace running for his life to save this girl. 

Surprise. Surprise. A beautiful and quick read this book is.

Not only was I attracted to this book because both the author and the main character are of women of color but vampires trying to kill themselves is a new thing for me. I have no idea why that is the case but it was.

What I loved about the book was how the fluff was to a minimum. But an appropriate minimum; meaning there was still a need/drive to continue reading the book despite things moving at a faster pace. The only downfall with this is there isn’t enough meat on the characters to really fall in love with them.

I liked Bessina to a certain extent. Although you find out about some of her backstory, I wanted more. I didn’t want to see just a broken girl, who in my eyes took events too easy, but I wanted to see some spunk . . . some kind of excitement from her. I felt that although she was 19, I couldn’t help but picture a small scared child.

I liked Trace though. There was something about him that made the book enjoyable. He was fairly direct, a smooth talker yes but not a womanizer. The author kept him simple, which allowed the internal turmoil to come from falling in love as opposed to being a really really crappy person. I also liked being able to see his and Bessina’s point of view. The transitions was great. I loved the fact that the author was able to ease into it without stopping to say “Now Bessina.”

Overall, I thought the author showed her talent with this book. I wish it was longer and there was more depth to the characters personality but most importantly I wish there was more detail to the characters that affected Bessina’s life such as her relationship with her father. Yes, the author cleared everything up by the ending but I wanted more so bad.

3.5 Pickles

 

 

NetGalley Review: Roses are Red. . . Violet is Dead by Monica-Marie Vincent

Booktrope Publishing Published March 2015 242 Pages
Booktrope Publishing
Published March 2015
242 Pages

Violet can’t seem to catch a break. After the death of her father, her mother has been an emotional roller coaster and she no longer feels close to anyone she knew before the accident. So when she begins being stalked, Violet blows it off until people start dying around her.

But it isn’t until her “best friend” goes missing that Violet realizes the stalker isn’t playing. Having no choice but to rely on Sergeant Kelley and his strikingly sweet protege, Violet must come face to face with the biggest threat of her life.

Man, you could not tell me how hyped I was for this book. But something was off and I should have saw it coming in the summary when stated Violet didn’t take the stalker seriously when people were dying around her -_-

I didn’t like Violet. Could not stand her. From the beginning of the book, she is yelling and complaining to her so called friends and not surprisingly enough it centers around boys. But this doesn’t deter me from continuing to read this book what does is the author’s play on diversity. Violet is half Native American; not only does her father (when he was alive) joke about Violet not being addicted to alcohol but her mother is an alcoholic. I get after losing a love one you go to something to numb the pain but the fact that Violet or her mom is Native American is only brought up to fall into a stereotype.

Violet is a mess throughout the entire book. She doesn’t have her priorities straight and she comes off more of a dizzy little girl than a growing Young Adult. She receives these text messages and yet doesn’t do anything at all until the last moment risking the lives of more than one person. She is told repeatedly to do something and yet nothing.

But that isn’t the end of it. Throughout the book Violet doesn’t call the girl missing her best friend. She is the person Violet feels most comfortable with and the girl she always run to but she isn’t her best friend. What bothered me the most out of this is Violet who claims to have no real attachment to certain people and complains so much about them puts them at the highest level she has to give.

Also Violet doesn’t know what love is if it bite her in the butt. That’s all I have to say about that.

Overall by chapter 8 this book was getting too much for me to sit through. The author gets points for writing about a topic that is extremely important but it was clicking with the characters.

2 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Delacorte Books for Young Readers To Be Published Se[pt. 1, 2015  307 Pages
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
To Be Published Se[pt. 1, 2015
307 Pages
Madeline has a rare but famous disease in which she is allergic to the world and everything in it. She doesn’t leave her home and the only people she has most interaction with is her mother and nurse Carla.

This changes when the new neighbors move in and she sees a boy dressed in all black named Olly. At this moment, the world that Madeline didn’t mind passing by, has come to be all she wants.

When I first began reading this book all I could think of was the author took a page out of the John Green handbook and even though I felt that way towards the end of the book, this read may compare to John Green but Nicola Yoon created her own universe.

Madeline has a personality!!!! This is such a huge relief because in a lot of YA or New Adult, a sheltered child has no kind of personality and is completely naive. Madeline wasn’t. She has spunk, she was funny, intelligent, realistic. Honestly, I want a friend like her. I also loved the fact that the author is highlighting diversity without making it an issue of diversity. Madeline is Black and Japanese and the only time it is really mentioned is when Madeline is looking in the mirror. Not when her and Olly meet and not when a bunch of other things. I really liked the fact that Yoon didn’t make race an issue because that really isn’t a proper way to show about diversity in your writing.

All the characters played their parts extremely well as if it was a play. My emotions was all over the place, not only in this book but also with the characters. Everyone was believable. There was not an ounce of predictability in this book (mainly because I was thinking the worst).

The flow was perfect as well as the transitions. I liked the fact that the way this book switches from classic writing to IMs. Also the character development was on point.

Overall, I am going into a book coma.

5 Pickles*

 

*New favorite author*