Books & Reviews 📚

Books #139-#141: Just more books

Although I haven’t been reviewing many books lately, I’ve been reading up a storm. Watching my TBR go down is satisfying although I wish I had all the time in the world to sit and read more. Anyway, here are a few books I might have liked or disliked. 😉

Book #139: Never Coming Home by A.R. Wise

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Moving away from traditional publishing is good for many authors out here today, but this book was lazily formatted. CreateSpace has formatted templates, so I was surprised that the author didn’t use one of those. By the way, is CreateSpace still a thing?

This story was okayish, but I was not thrilled about the writing or the characters for that matter. When I first met Lincoln Pierre (the main protagonist), he came off as a humorous fool and he immediately reminded me of Rick Castle. *Ponders* Come to think of it, I wonder if the author is a Castle fan?

Image result for gif castle I didn’t get a good feel of Lincoln in the physical sense. I can’t recall the color of his eyes (was it even mentioned?) and I certainly couldn’t tell if he was blonde or a salt and pepper. As for the ending, it was not a surprise for me and if you look hard enough, the murderer is mentioned at the beginning of the book. 

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This book is not for the faint of heart. It’s gory when it doesn’t necessarily have to, but since Mystery and Thriller authors are trying to out-gore each other, why not huh? 

My favorite character was Bentley, although at times his character was kind of unbelievable given his young age. I thought he was the best overall. love coffeelove coffee

Book #140: The Pursuit of Justice by Ben Matthews

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The author is a Lawyer, but yet, somehow, he wrote this book like a rookie lawyer. Maybe that’s what he was going for given that his protagonist Raymond Jackson just happens to be just that, a rookie lawyer. 

I like the courtroom drama although there weren’t much in this story. I like Raymond Jackson a lot, but it was a turn-off with his bed-hopping ways. No matter how hard I tried, I never got a proper image of his face. He could’ve been brunette, redhead, blonde or Tom Cruise. 

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The dialogue and interaction were great!

What I dislike is the sudden and abrupt ending. It didn’t feel like a promised cliffhanger. It felt as if the story was still in the middle when the author decided that he had enough and hastily wrote ‘The End’. love coffeelove coffeelove coffee

Book #141: Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange by Amanda Smyth

Image result for Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange by Amanda Smyth

Trinidad is a wonderful place, Celia. Everyone who lives here can’t wait to leave. But once they go – to England or Canada or the U.S., they spend their whole lives trying to get back.”

This story starts off slow, but eventually picks up. By the end of it, one cannot help but moan, ‘Poor poor Celia!’ The world seems to be against her since she was born, but she brought it on herself with the actions taken.

This story was easy to read. It was set in Trinidad and Tobago, and the places that the author listed read like a must-visit list. However, I was not a big fan of the plot and the so-call heroine. There is no growth in the 3 years that we follow Celia. West Indian stories have that recurring rape element and this one was no different. I honestly have to say that I dislike Caribbean literature. 99.9% of it leaves the reader depressed because the writer can’t seem to search within him/herself to write something uplifting or simply fun.Image result for gif i'm depressed

Take this heroine, for example, Celia is a bright young thing on track for a university, but then she is raped, and although she is commended for leaving home, the mood shifts to how attractive Celia is, her beautiful skin and lovely hair. Her well being (health & mental) are never touched on again. The author reduced the heroine to rubble: Celia now exits to only serve the men who desire her.

Also, the author mentioned ‘the seventh grade’ which should’ve been 5th standard. We’ve never used the Grade system locally.  This book does not belong on anyone’s bookshelf and I’m glad I did not pay for it. love coffeelove coffee

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #57: Ayiti

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The debut collection from the vibrant voice of Roxane Gay is a unique blend of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, all interwoven to represent the Haitian diaspora experience.

Author: Roxanne Gay
Publisher: Artistically Declined Press (October 11, 2011)
Chapters: 15 short stories
Pages: 121

Ayiti is Haitian Creole for Haiti. Haiti is the French spelling of the original word.

I love stories from Haiti!

Ayiti is made up of 15 short stories and the author holds no punches as she delivers the good and bad that intertwines Haiti. She was honest, raw and beautiful. I’ve never been to Haiti, but I was transported to the contrast of the beauty and equally ugly poverty. I felt the pain, the relief and also the happiness. It was an emotional journey. I saw Haiti through her eyes and I didn’t want to leave.

She wrapped me up in an emotional passionate blanket then slapped me with the hard cold reality of human nature. Haiti is beautiful and ugly. Truth and lies. Dark and light. Some of the stories are vignettes while others are a little longer. 

One of the many perks of working in a library is the fact that I get to read books before they’re put on the shelf. This is a book that I wouldn’t have bought in the store.

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VERDICT:

3… I would’ve given the book more steaming coffees, but for some reason, it felt unfinished. 

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Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #28: Tough Girls Don’t Dance

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Author: Osmund James
Publisher: LMH Publishing Company (February 8, 2001)
Pages: 187
Chapters: 31

BLURB:

TOUGH GIRLS DON’T DANCE is a raw, gutsy story tracing a young country girl’s life from the innocence of a childhood through her rude sexual awakening and finally to the realization of the power of love. Explicitly graphic in detail, this book explores all aspects of human sexuality through Carlene, who in spite of what life throws at her, manages to pull herself up by her own efforts, though perhaps not always doing so nobly.

review

…REVIEW!

The author Osmund James lives in rural Jamaica. Physically disabled, he keeps his mental powers alert by voracious reading and prolific writing. His short stories have been appearing in The Sunday Gleaner since 1988.

To make this short, just no.

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VERDICT:

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Paris Match by Stuart Woods

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #16: The Dew Breaker

Author: Edwidge Danticat
Publisher: Vintage (2004)
Pages: 244
Type: Collection of short stories

BLURB:

We meet him late in life: a quiet man, a good father and husband, a fixture in his Brooklyn neighborhood, a landlord and barber with a terrifying scar across his face. As the book unfolds, moving seamlessly between Haiti in the 1960s and New York City today, we enter the lives of those around him, and learn that he has also kept a vital, dangerous secret. Edwidge Danticat’s brilliant exploration of the “dew breaker” – or torturer – is an unforgettable story of love, remorse, and hope; of personal and political rebellions: and of the compromises we make to move beyond the most intimate brushes with history. It firmly establishes her as one of America’s most essential writers.

review

…REVIEW!

Dew Breaker is a Creole nickname for torturer. It refers to a prison guard who tortures the captives in his charge.

Although The Dew Breaker is a collection of short stories – 9 to be precise – it can also read as a novel. I rather call it short stories. All 9 stories are interrelated to that time period in Haiti when the Tonton Macoutes, a group of volunteers who tortured and killed civilians under the regime of Jean-Claude Duvalier and Franςois.

Most of the stories were told from the view of Haitian immigrants living in America. Honestly, I thought the book started off well with The Book of the Dead (I call this book the Ancient Egyptian bible), but by the time I reached Night Talkers, I started skimming the rest. I couldn’t wait for the book to be finished.

I only chose this book because I want to give Caribbean stories a chance, but so far, they keep failing me. I also read it because I had to help a friend write a report based on this book.

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RATING:

3

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Pitch Black by Susan Crandall

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #14: Is America She Gone?

Image result for is america she gone by beverley ann scott

Its an awesome feeling to be a writer. It’s an even better feeling when your work gets published for the public to read. However, some books are not meant to see the daylight… especially if they’re not well written or in dire need of editing. I support local authors, but most of their stories are bland. And if they can’t handle honest criticism, then writing is not for them.

I call it as I see it.

Is America She Gone? was recommended to me. I held back from ordering the book because I felt as if I was going to waste money on it just by reading the blurb. The book was eventually loan to me and I regret reading it. I wish I could have taken my reading time back and use it for another book!

The protagonist was a bore and utterly … there is not a nice word I want to use for Sandra, so I’ll leave it … and I wanted to reach into the book and hurt her. I don’t like happily ever afters because I am not one of those readers who seek a perfect fairy tale ending, but man, this book was depressing! Plus:

> Too MANY typos.

> Could have gone through an editor. And if that is call editing, then render me speechless. Some rewriting would have been nice too.

> Too descriptive. I don’t want to know how to care for old people in that overexposed way. Felt like an insult.

> Sentence construction. Sometimes when a character is talking, there is no pause to show what action is taking place and it caused me to get lost within the interior monolog.

I get what the story is supposed to be about, but I feel as if it could have gone through a tweaking process. Like I said, I support local authors and what not, but I am not one of those overly enthusiastic, bias people who go around suggesting/promoting books just because it’s local. My love for books comes first. It’ll be unfair to even give this book a high rating.

I am sorry I read it and I don’t think I want to read anything else from this author. Depression does not look good on me.

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RATING:

leverifiedbookworm

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Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler

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