Posted in Bookish Thoughts

Monday, Monday, So Read-y To Me

Hello. Hiya. How you doin’?

It’s Monday and another week’s upon us, which means more books. Yay! What are you reading? What have you read?

My book buying ban continues. From May to early – mid September, I’m reading books currently in my possession. However, I’m not on a book receiving ban. In other words, I welcome ARCs and free books via giveaways or publishers. Life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?

On to the books…

What I Read Last Week

Image result for the girl who fell from the sky Hue’s Reviews: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

What I’m Reading This Week

Image result for allegedly the book

Image result for the girl through glass

What I Received This Week

Image result for Lies She Told book

Image result for Conversations with Friends book

So many books…

Will I survive my gluttony?

 movie shrug set it off jada pinkett smith oh well GIF

Happy Reading!

Crafty

Posted in Hue's Reviews

Hue’s Reviews: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

Rachel, sole survivor of a family tragedy navigates boxes others deem fitting for her. Will she choose, or will she set out to determine who she is on her own terms?

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, a debut book, by Heidi W. Durrow, paints a picture of a young girl, born to an African-American father and a Danish mother, and her journey to reclaim what she believes herself to be in a world obsessed with categories, while realizing how hard choosing not to categorize one’s self may be.

Rachel moves to Portland to live with her paternal grandmother in a mostly black community in the 1980s. She finds her light skin, blue eyes, and curly hair grants her beauty accolades at the cost of other girls and women. She’s special while learning to swallow the grievous moments interlocking with peaceful days.

Throughout the book, readers glance at those categorizing her as the lone survivor of a sadness indescribable. Her mother, Nella, along with a witness, Brick/Jamie, and a mother’s friend, Lavonne serve as the other eyes of Rachel’s life.

While race centers the story, sexuality and coming of age follow as subsequent themes to create a gumbo worthy of reading.

At first glance, I shivered from an angry undercurrent permeating and worried whether I could finish this story. Earlier on, she gives indictments about the black community she lives in and judges them based on the little knowledge she has on black people. For example, she mocks their vernacular and appearances, unless she likes them (e.g. Aunt Loretta). My eyes rolled in sweat. She “othered” herself before others boxed her with an air of supremacy I’ve witnessed from the “Tragic Mulatto” cliche. I closed the book, at first, because I decided not to continue.

However, after a breathe or two, I continued, hoping Durrow had something to say, other than propagating the “Tragic Mulatto” trope. As the chapters progressed and Rachel grew familiar with her new family and community, peeling back Rachel’s layers, you see why she behaved in the manner she presented.

Her mother.

Constant confusion and chaos by a woman unsure of herself and unsure of how to raise her children, raised in fear, anxiety, and an unacknowledged discussion of their place in the world. She simply did not know who she was.

Once pieces created the puzzle, our eyes (Rachel and mine) opened, a silent dialogue began.

Pros:

  • A good story
  • Complex characterization
  • Believable dialogue
  • Constant opportunity for discussion beyond the page
  • Brick. Even though he’s fictional, I wish the best for him – a young boy trying to find his way after witnessing that day.
  • Multiple points of view, garnering everyone’s role in Rachel’s literal and metaphorical fall from the sky

Cons:

  • Use of a her father’s point of view once or twice (Not enough of a p.o.v. to give chapters)
  • I got confused when some information that came as the chapters passed (Who is Charlie?)
  • I still feel Rachel served as an avatar for Durrow’s feelings about black people. She receives a side-eye with her pseudo-therapeutic approach.
  • Jesse. He showed his true colors. Yet, Durrow ends his arc without consequence – almost letting him get away with his actions when she wouldn’t do the same for the black kids.
  • Her mother’s reason for her action. Protection from society? What?
  • An open-ended ending that’s a tad abrupt. I guess I would have liked more of a clear destination for Rachel. But, it’s not my tale to tell.

Overall, I rated this book a 3 out of 5. The Girl Who Fell From The Sky attempts for an unflinching look at flight, but may leave you buying a train ticket to another story.

*This book happily sits on my bookshelf from my own funds*)

Posted in Bookish Thoughts

Got a Ticket to Read?

I read for fun. I read for acquire knowledge and information. My husband calls me a walking Jeopardy game. Like every fangirl or fanboy, there are places and events I have to attend across the U.S. and beyond. Places, like The Strand NYCThe Charles Dickens Museum (London), Zora Neale Hurston’s grave (Florida), and Shakespeare and Company (Paris), inspiring me to move forward in my writing and reading quests, while pushing me to never settle in my love of words.

But, there are some literary fests and forums, book lovers and writers can attend, if their wallets and schedules permit. I always attend the Los Angeles Festival of Books, where I share a commune with other book nerds each April. Imagine a vast playground with author forums, book sales, artist booths, food, and music appealing to all of your senses within two days. You long for April to arrive each year.

Read on and see where you’ll travel next (NYC’s next on my reading itinerary).

Got a Ticket to Read?

Posted in Memes

Top Ten Tuesday #3: Ten Book Turn-offs

Every Tuesday I participate in a Top Ten Tuesday meme, selecting ten examples of whatever bookish (or non-bookish) topic out there.
For this week’s Top Ten, inspired by Broke and Bookish,  Top Ten Reasons to Not Buy a Book.
1. Insta-love. Meet Sue. Meet Bob. Strangers in the first chapter, they find they cannot live without each other by second chapter. Does anyone know people like them in real life? No. I thought so. However, authors and publishers believe these cliche needs to continue, especially in young adult fiction. Give the trope a rest. Trust me.
Image result for insta-love gifs
No.
2. Books over 400 pages. Time’s precious. Between raising two boys, sharing moments with my husband, working, and breathing, I prefer to use my time wisely. When I read, I don’t want to feel as if I’m trogging along. I want a good plot, great characters, and special dialogue within 400 pages. No more, but maybe less.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday #3: Ten Book Turn-offs”