Review: Love & Other Disasters, Anita Kelly

Friends … this book should’ve just been titled “Love” because it was just that good.

I loved the food and cooking show competition element. I loved London and their confidence and unfiltered belief in and love for themselves. I loved Dahlia and all of her disasters and clumsiness and vulnerability. I loved how fiercely they stood up for and protected each other.

The only thing I didn’t love? There simply wasn’t enough of Barbara. I adored her character and need more of her grandmothering. Please and thank you.

Just … yeah. I loved it.

Review: Razorblade Tears, S.A. Crosby

This book is the perfect example of why I love going into books completely blind. I knew NOTHING of the plot.

S.A. Crosby hooked me from page one. I was immediately intrigued. I found both Ike and Buddy Lee compelling and deeply flawed … and you know how much I adore flawed characters.

Then they brought in the MC, and it gave me Sons of Anarchy vibes (another favorite).

While the story had dark and violent elements, it was so much more than that. It was about growth, forgiveness, family, found family, and the deep-rooted injustices and inequities in America.

So, yeah, I loved it.

Review: This is What America Looks Like, Ilhan Omar

Like many progressive Americans, I’ve followed Representative Ilhan Omar’s political journey over the last few years, but I didn’t know much about her otherwise.

Her memoir should be required reading for everyone. She tells her story of growing up in Somalia, becoming a refuge, and immigrating to America. She’s a spitfire who has dedicated her life to fighting for human rights, democracy, and doing what’s right.

She narrates the audiobook, which I loved.

I can’t recommend this book enough.

Review: The London House, Katherine Reay

I truly have a soft spot for family secrets and complicated family dynamics. The London House did all of these and did them well. I was hooked from page one.

I usually LOVE dual timeline historical fiction. There’s just something magical about time-hopping.

But this one took a different approach that I just kinda liked. The past was told through letters and diary entries. Intriguing? Yes. But it was missing some of the magic.

All in, I thought this was a good book. If you enjoy WWII historical fiction centered on family secrets, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

Review: The Heart Principle, Helen Hoang

Wow. Just wow. I enjoyed Helen’s previous two books but this one was something else. I’m not quite finished processing it, but I felt every emotion reading The Heart Principle.

I truly related to Anna and her struggle to be understood and find her voice. It was so refreshing to read her voice.

Thank you, Helen, for writing this book.

Review: Serpent & Dove Trilogy, Shelby Mahurin

I started the Serpent & Dove Trilogy last Thursday and devoured it. I kind of wish I’d read it a bit slower so I could have made it last longer, but I just couldn’t stop.

I loved Lou and Reid and Ansel and Coco and lit everything about these books.

Fantasy isn’t usually a genre I gravitate towards but sometimes, it’s just what I need.

Review: The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did … but it was amazing.

I was instantly captivated by the story and the characters, especially the way the women were portrayed. Alice and Margery were strong women, and even when they were literally knocked down, the still fought back.

It was refreshing and just the book to pull me out of a reading slump.

Review: Betty, Tiffany McDaniel

I can’t believe I let Betty sit on my shelf I read for so long. The prose was beautiful, and I instantly fell in love with Betty’s voice.

Her story, however, was gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. I wanted to hug every one of her siblings and her mom. I wanted to thank her dad for being a caring, loving father and keeping his family alive with his stories.

This book does contain several tough situations that could be triggering to some readers.

Review: Five Little Indians, Michelle Good

I finished this book over the weekend and have struggled to find the words to adequately review it.

Five Little Indians is a must read book. It was raw and emotional and honest.

Following the lives of five native children who were stolen from their parents and sent to Canada’s Indian schools where they faced horrible conditions and abuses. Their lives are wrought with tragedy and a bit of triumph as they find their voices and paths forward.

The most uncomfortable truths are often the most important. This is especially true when it comes to history. This is evident in the white-washed version of American history.

I never learned about Japanese internment camps. Or Indian schools. Or how Black American soldiers where intentionally shut out from receiving the GI Bill when it was introduced.

This is one reason why Own Voices literature is vital. There are stories and truths that need to be told without filters.

Review: The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes, Xio Axelrod

Is there anything better than reading a book and having it completely blow all your expectations out of the water?

The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes was a deep, yet fun, journey into Toni and Seb; two people with a difficult past and a star-crossed future. Add in the drama of music’s latest “it” band, the Lillys, and this book has all the right ingredients for a delicious music-filled book.

So, yeah, I loved it. You should read it.