Tag Archives: realistic

Book Review: Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn

AW Teen
Published Oct. 1, 2019
272 Pages

Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women.

Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly. –Goodreads
I am starting this book review off with the rating, which is 2 Pickles. This book was a hard pill to swallow because of a lot of things. Olivia isn’t grieving the lost of her brother. She acknowledges that he is gone but just like her parents, she isn’t dealing with what she is feeling. Kara comes along and offers Olivia a way out of her emotions until she has no choice but to start opening.
Here is my issue with this book. It uses Kara and her family as a clutch for why Olivia makes bad decisions. It isn’t fair to Kara. Kara isn’t a stable character not even in the least and she has a whole lot that she is dealing with, however, I can’t find it in me to say Olivia did this or is this because of Kara.
Not every family is going to be like our own and I think the author plays upon that as way to compare what should be the normal family. Olivia does things for an reaction not just because Kara has a persuasive personality.
Other than this, the book was boring. Not even writing to death row inmates add any form of intensity to the novel. It is just as a clutch with no real backing/substance. Because the book is boring. There is no real character development and even the grief seems brushed over, which is unfortunate.
Things wrapped up too easily, after everything that happened, the ending was too perfectly happy and we are good now.
I gave this book 2 Pickles as opposed to 1 because it can be good. Shoot it can be great. But it needs work.

Book Review: You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Published Sept. 12th 2017
320 Pages

Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story.

Tara’s family has just immigrated to New York from India via London. Her beauty draws everyone’s eyes, but she doesn’t let anyone truly see her.

Her younger sister, Sonia, is falling in love with a boy her mother can’t accept, cutting a deep wound in the Das family.

The daughter of a Bollywood star, Anna is both brilliant and shy, like the Bengal tigers she fights to protect.

Chantal is as fierce a dancer as she is a friend, student, and athlete. But will her wealthy new boyfriend be able to thrive in her shadow?

And Ranee, the center that binds them all together, is beginning to unravel.

As each Das woman decides which Bengali traditions to uphold in America and which to leave behind, one hard truth remains: some scars take generations to heal.- Goodreads

This was an interesting read for me. I wasn’t expecting much (tbh) and its not because of the author or the hype but a lot of contemporary books try so hard to reach someone that the flow and empathy to an issue is often is missed. In this read that wasn’t the case exactly.

It was written with care, respect and empathy towards several issues; colourism, stereotypes, family relationships, death, being bi-racial, racism and being an immigrant. A lot is going on and you have to pay attention to have a open heart in order to see the obvious as well as the underline. The author did a really good job to not over complicate things but to make it known that these issues are part of life and as easy as the author fit it in it is common in the lives of some people.

I really loved Tara and Sunny’s section of the book. Anna and Chantal come off more entitled then I would have liked but their lives is completely different from Tara and Sunny.

If you are expecting this book to be fast pace it really isn’t but you get wrapped into the lives of these girls and you come to live them, want to support them, relate and understand them. It is detailed without feeling like it is being dragged and it is complex without feeling as if the author is doing too much.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, the second half lost its spark for me but I liked how the author tied up loose ends.

3 Pickles

Book Review: A Girl Named Mister by Nikki Grimes

Zondervan Published Aug. 6, 2010 223 Pages
Zondervan
Published Aug. 6, 2010
223 Pages

Mary Rudine also known as Mister has been always been part of the church. Attending youth club and performing in the Choir, her attendance has been a part of her life forever. But then she meets Trey and the church becomes less of a priority.

Another Mary in a previous time is preparing for her wedding but when an angel appears one night and tells her that she is to give birth, as a virgin, Mary is confused and finds herself in a struggle. 

Drawn to the story of Mary, Mister rediscovers her faith in God.

This book is written in verse and I love that about it. The reason I picked this book is because it has been a while since I’ve read a Nikki Grimes book.

But I had difficulties with this read and it had nothing to do with the face that it was written in verse. Something was missing from the overall story and it had something to do with Mister. There wasn’t enough personality and my biggest issue is she fell a little too easy. Yes, I know she is young but considering the premise of the story, I thought it would be a little bit harder for her to fall.

I also had an issue with the voice. It didn’t seem to change throughout the story until the end. It was the first time in the book, I felt real emotion from Mister and I actually felt for her. I would have loved more of that throughout the book.

Finally, the back and forth between Mister’s story and Mary’s story was a good element. It shows a viewpoint that you don’t think of in regards to Mary’s story and I thought that was cool.

Overall, the story was alright. I wanted more emotion and depth.

2 Pickles.

Book Review: Nice Girls Don’t by Sue Barnard

Smashwords Edition Published July 14, 2014
Smashwords Edition
Published July 14, 2014

Its 1982 in Southern England and Emily, although content with her life, feels as if she isn’t going anywhere. One day working at the library, she meets a man named Carl,  looking for books to trace his family history. 

Fascinated by Carl and his mission to discover his Grandfather’s past, Emily digs deep to help him but finds the secrets to her past as well. 

Cute, short read. I wasn’t expecting much out of this but I got hooked. There is nothing too spectacular about this book. However, the author did tell a really good story.

I am a sucker for history and the fact that the author incorporated history without the constant facts each page or sentence, I thought was great. I loved the fact that it was personal and I wasn’t reading a text book. I also didn’t mind the fact that there wasn’t too much controversy within this book. Although it would have been perfect for a much more thrilling and longer read, it was good.

As for Emily, there wasn’t too much personality coming from her. I wish there was more emotion and she didn’t just take things as they were. I also wanted more from her relationship with her mother. This would have made the book perfect if there was more conflict.

The drama of the novel wasn’t as intense as the author made it seem to be and that was mainly because Emily just agreed to anything that happened. She reacted without much drama and I completely get why. But after a few chapters, I was like is she going to change her tone a bit. It was disappointing. However, I was into this book. Between the search for the truth, the use of a library, the bits of romance, the lack of technology . . . I couldn’t stop reading.

Overall, this read felt like a snippet to a bigger story.  It could have been perfect if the author just added more history, war, love and intensity. Despite all of this, I would recommend it.

3 Pickles

 

 

Impatiently Waiting For: Into White by Randi Pink

Feiwel and Friends To Be Published Spet. 13, 2016 288 Pages
Feiwel and Friends
To Be Published Spet. 13, 2016
288 Pages

Sixteen-year-old Latoya Williams, who is black, attends a mostly white high school in the Bible Belt. In a moment of desperation, she prays for the power to change her race and wakes up white.

– Goodreads

Book Review: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Feiwel & Friends To be published Oct. 4, 2016 336 Pages
Feiwel & Friends
To be published Oct. 4, 2016
336 Pages

Flynn’s girlfriend, January has disappeared and the cops are asking him questions he cannot answer. And her friends are telling stories, he has never heard of. Determined to discover the truth about his girlfriend, Flynn hunt down answers but with a secret of his own, he has to tread lightly.

 *Short review*

I am disappointed in this book. Not just from the summary but from the book itself. It started off really really good. But then the author feel right into the predictability. And he didn’t just fall slowly, but the downfall was really fast.

I hated Flynn. He was a jerk and he had no right even close to complain about January when he was using the mess out of her. He had this sense of entitlement as her boyfriend; he had no right and he pissed me off.

What made the story predictably was Flynn’s secret and what happened to January. It was such a typical turn of events. Yeah, it had its little oh moments but there wasn’t many. The way it was written despite the predictability was really good. I kept reading the book but it was a struggle because I knew what was going to happen. Roehrig has talent as a writer but this book would be best for someone who has never read this type of story before.

I can’t say much about the characters because they were predictable as well as the romance.

Overall, I would have probably enjoyed this book better if I read this before I read any other disappearing act stories.

 

2 Pickles