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Book Recommendations

🌞☀ Summer Reading 2020 ☼🏄

We might not be traveling this summer, but you can still travel by diving into a book this summer. As the majority of the world is practicing social distancing, the only mode the transportation is by reading. In your imagination that is. As the heat is making us tired, stressed, and exhausted, reading could be a tool used to relax your mind and make you smarter. Below are this summer’s must-read books.

Create a Reading Schedule

Before you pick up a book and start reading, you gotta make sure you read it. Think of a time where you can squeeze in reading into your schedule and make it a habit. For example: I do most of my reading in the evenings. At 7PM, I set everything aside, pick up my book, and read on.

Don’t Miss Out and Be Informed

I started reading this book the other day and it was captivating from the start. This book reads like a textbook, but with a prose that keeps you enthralled. This book is a look upon racist ideas since the beginning of America until the present, and how/why racism has systemically oppressed minorities. A must-read.

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Be On The Edge of Your Seat

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. 

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

Read the book before it hits the theaters! Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Get Out of This World

Coming soon on June 30

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
 
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
 
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 
 
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Fall In Love With Your Summer Fling

Literally the only book that has ever made me ugly-cry. Seventeen year old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father…until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.

The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels–first love, love between parents and children — that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts . . . and heal them.

At 12 years old, Azere promised her dying father that she’d marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture. Years later, her mother has done everything in her power to ensure that Azere does just that. But one night at a bar, Azere meets Rafael, a handsome stranger who happens to be white. When their one night together turns into more, Azere must choose between her heart and the promise she made long ago.

Solve A Mystery

When Jan awakens in utter darkness, chained to a wall, a manacle around her wrist, her echoing screams only give her a sense of how small her cell is. As she desperately tries to reconstruct what happened and determine who is holding her prisoner, dread covers despair like a hand clamped over her mouth. Because, like the Minotaur in the labyrinth in Greek myth, her captor will be coming back for her, and all the lies will catch up to her. 

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face?

What are you reading this summer? Comment down below your summer reads!

Categories
book review

Along Came a Spider: A Good Story But A Tough Read | Book Review

Spoiler Free

Author: James Patterson
Release Date: February 1993
Page count: 464
Genres: Murder Mystery, Thriller
Themes: Trust, Sociopaths
My Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Where To Buy This Book:

Synopsis

In the first book of Alex Cross mystery series, Alex is a homicide detective with a PhD in Psychology given the case of finding the whereabouts of two kids who were kidnapped by a teacher from their private school, and not the case about a family of three who were murdered in their apartment in the ghettos of Washington D.C. In this book you follow the acts of a sociopath who kills to be remembered, and get inside the mind of Alex Cross as he desperately wants to solve the case. Full of action, this book may be predictable, but still fresh in it’s story.

Synopsis by the publisher

Discover the classic thriller that launched the #1 detective series of the past twenty-five years, now one of PBS’s “100 Great American Reads”

Alex Cross is a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. He works and lives in the ghettos of D. C. and looks like Muhammad Ali in his prime. He’s a tough guy from a tough part of town who wears Harris Tweed jackets and likes to relax by banging out Gershwin tunes on his baby grand piano. But he also has two adorable kids of his own, and they are his own special vulnerabilities.

Jezzie Flanagan is the first woman ever to hold the highly sensitive job as supervisor of the Secret Service in Washington. Blond, mysterious, seductive, she’s got an outer shell that’s as tough as it is beautiful. She rides her black BMW motorcycle at speeds of no less than 100 mph. What is she running from? What is her secret?

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair-at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji, who wants to commit the “crime of the century,” is playing at the top of his game. Soneji has outsmarted the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police. Who will be his next victim?

Gary Soneji is every parent’s worst nightmare. He has become Alex Cross’s nightmare. And now, reader, he’s about to become yours.

Spoilers without context


Do I recommend this book?

I recommend this book for readers who are in the mood for a murder mystery with blood and a psychotic sociopath antagonist. James Patterson’s writing style is known for being colloquial without the adjectives and descriptions, with short chapters, full of action and dialogue, but no character development.

If you’ve read James Patterson, this is just another James Patterson book. This is my fourth James Patterson book and it seems like every book of his has a pattern. Murder, a detective who looks for the murders, the detective hook-ups with their partner, and they solve the case. 

If you want to read a murder mystery with distinct characters, a plot line, and rich descriptions, you are not going to get that in this book. The main character has little to no character development, and as a seasoned reader, this book could be predictable at times. In my opinion, there are better murder mysteries out there in the world.

Things to consider before you choose to read the book:

  1. There is explicit language such as sex scenes, graphic scenes with blood, and curse words. 
  2. The antagonist in this book is literally insane. He would kill anybody in it’s way no matter their sex, gender, or race As a reader, I felt like there were times when James Patterson was trying to humanize the murder. You decide whether that’s a good or bad thing. 
  3. This book is a bit long. Despite the fact that it’s fast pace with short chapters, the story may seem like it’s dragged along.
  4. The main character, Alex Cross, is black and there are critiques of readers and critics who question the portrayal of Alex Cross. For me, it did feel like I was reading another white guy and the only moments when I was reminded that Alex Cross was black was when he was in his neighborhood in D.C., because James Patterson explicitly writes about his black neighborhood, or when James Patterson made it clear to remind the reader that he was black in one form or another. 

Favorite Quotes:

It’s all right to put the weight of the world on your shoulders sometimes, if you know how to take it off. 

All of us shrinks talk about VFC when we get together. Very fucking crazy, Gerry.” 

Follow the next page for an in-depth, spoiler book review. Beware for spoilers!!!

Categories
book review

The Apartment | Book Review

Spoiler Free

I received this copy from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Since this book is a rough edit, I’m not allowed to use direct quotes. This book will hit the shelves April 28, 2020!

Author: K.L. Slater
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Page count: 269
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Crime Thriller
Themes: Trust, Love, Paranoia 

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Where To Buy:

Synopsis

This book is about a recently widowed mother, Freya, and her daughter Skye, moving into an apartment that is too good to be true. Freya has nothing to loose and moves-in with her daughter when all of the sudden she hears voices, objects move around the room, and cannot get any rest. It doesn’t help either how she hears bad reputation about the Adder House from past tennants, and neighbors. In this psychological thriller you dive into this The Adams Family kind of tale where you can’t trust anybody. 

Synopsis by the publisher

It’s an opportunity she can’t refuse. The woman before her tried…

Freya Miller needs a miracle. In the fallout of her husband’s betrayal, she’s about to lose her family home, and with it the security she craves for her five-year-old daughter, Skye. Adrift and alone, she’s on the verge of despair until a chance meeting with the charismatic Dr Marsden changes everything. He’s seeking a new tenant for a shockingly affordable flat in a fashionable area of London.

Adder House sounds too good to be true… But Freya really can’t afford to be cynical, and Dr Marsden is adamant she and Skye will be a perfect fit with the other residents.

But Adder House has secrets. Even behind a locked front door, Freya feels as if she’s being watched: objects moving, unfamiliar smells, the blinking light of a concealed camera… and it’s not long before she begins to suspect that her dream home is hiding a nightmarish reality. Was it really chance that led her here—or something unthinkably dark?

As the truth about Adder House starts to unravel, can Freya and Skye get out—or will they be locked in forever?

Spoilers without context: 

Do I recommend this book?

I recommend this book for readers who looking for a fast read. If you read many genres and you want to dive back into a thriller, this is a great start. It’s short, tells a story, keeps you questioning, what the hell is going on. 

I probably wouldn’t recommend this to a die-hard thriller reader. Yes this book is thrilling, but it’s under 300 pages long, and only so much can happen in that short amount of time. For thriller readers, this book is like a sampler to main course. 

Things to consider before you choose to read the book:

  1. It’s a short read. You could finish it one sitting if you’d like. Just make sure you have your next read planned out before you finish it.
  2. It’s a British text. They use single quotations. As an American reader I was bothered by for the first few pages, but after that I was quickly able to transition. 
  3. There will be a few chapters that sound confusing, but it will all make sense in the end. Just push through and read about the story.
  4. The ending is a bit rushed. For those who don’t like rushed endings, this isn’t the tale for you, but in my opinion, the pay off is great.

What I liked about the book:

I liked how the author was able to bring Freya out of the page. The last book I read that had a mother protagonist was American Dirt, and that was a mess. In this book, I was fully able to understand Freya’s motives. 

What I most enjoyed about this book was all the questions that arose while reading the book. Questions like, what the heck is happening? Why her? Don’t you miss him? Could it be this or that? And at the end, all of those questions where answered. It was a satisfying feeling. It felt like I was building puzzle pieces as I was reading the book, and at the end all of those pieces were put together, showing an ending I’ve never read in a book. Maybe there are other books similar to this book, but I hardly read thrillers so I wouldn’t know. But the question of whether this book is fresh or not, nothing takes away the fun I had reading this book, and for that, I appreciate it.

What I didn’t like about the book:

 I didn’t like how this book didn’t feel British. I was in the mood to read a British novel and that feeling didn’t get fulfilled. It did have subtle British notes in the book, but not what I was looking for. 

Will I read more books by this author?

Yes! I loved how even though this book was a short read, I was able to immerse myself into the book and be entertained. 

Do I recommend this book?

I recommend this book for readers who looking for a fast read. If you read many genres and you want to dive back into a thriller, this is a great start. It’s short, tells a story, keeps you questioning, what the hell is going on. 

I probably wouldn’t recommend this to a die-hard thriller reader. Yes this book is thrilling, but it’s under 300 pages long, and only so much can happen in that short amount of time. For thriller readers, this book is like a sampler to main course. 

Things to consider before you choose to read the book:

  1. It’s a short read. You could finish it one sitting if you’d like. Just make sure you have your next read planned out before you finish it.
  2. It’s a British text. They use single quotations. As an American reader I was bothered by for the first few pages, but after that I was quickly able to transition. 
  3. There will be a few chapters that sound confusing, but it will all make sense in the end. Just push through and read about the story.
  4. The ending is a bit rushed. For those who don’t like rushed endings, this isn’t the tale for you, but in my opinion, the pay off is great.

What I liked about the book:

I liked how the author was able to bring Freya out of the page. The last book I read that had a mother protagonist was American Dirt, and that was a mess. In this book, I was fully able to understand Freya’s motives. 

What I most enjoyed about this book was all the questions that arose while reading the book. Questions like, what the heck is happening? Why her? Don’t you miss him? Could it be this or that? And at the end, all of those questions where answered. It was a satisfying feeling. It felt like I was building puzzle pieces as I was reading the book, and at the end all of those pieces were put together, showing an ending I’ve never read in a book. Maybe there are other books similar to this book, but I hardly read thrillers so I wouldn’t know. But the question of whether this book is fresh or not, nothing takes away the fun I had reading this book, and for that, I appreciate it.

What I didn’t like about the book:

 I didn’t like how this book didn’t feel British. I was in the mood to read a British novel and that feeling didn’t get fulfilled. It did have subtle British notes in the book, but not what I was looking for. 

Will I read more books by this author?

Yes! I loved how even though this book was a short read, I was able to immerse myself into the book and be entertained.