Review: A Perfect Holiday Fling

A Perfect Holiday Fling
A Perfect Holiday Fling by Farrah Rochon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a novella, this book was jam packed with lovey dovey goodness. I want to know more about Callie and Stefan. I need to read some prequels about what brought them to this point and what happens next. This author really has a way of grabbing your attention and making you care about the characters.

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Review: Triangles

Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Triangles is my very first book of 2012. Although I started reading this book in December’s, the majority was read after the new year.

This book was an interesting read for the mere fact that it was written totally in prose. I loved to see how the poems from one character wives themselves and intermingled with the poems of another character.

This book centers around 3 women in their forties, heading toward a midlife crisis. Holly is a housewife with 3 loving kids and a husband who loves her. However, she is seriously bored with her life. This boredom added to a dramatic weight loss leads to get seeking happiness outside the relationship. Andrea is Holly’s best friend. She is a lonely single mother, who can’t get on board with Holly’s new lifestyle and ponders taking Holly’s neglected husband off her hands. Marissa, Andrea’s sister, is also a housewife with a distant, alcoholic husband, a homosexual son, and a terminally ill daughter that leaves her asking many questions of her life. This book has plenty of spicy, erotic scenes for those who are into that and other heartfelt moments.

I originally rated this book 5 stars when I first finished. Just thinking about the book a few days later, I have to drop it down to 4 stars. What I didn’t like about the book was the fact that it was so ling (529 pages) and after all that the book ended with no real solutions or conclusions for the characters. Still a very good read in my opinion.

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Review: All I Want For Christmas

All I Want For Christmas
All I Want For Christmas by Liliana Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is my very first Kindle book that I got. It was a free book that I got solely because it was a Christmas book.

This is a collection of two short stories that center around finding love. In the first story, Kate is stranded in Chicago on Christmas Eve when a sexy stranger offers her refuge from the blizzard. The second story centers around Grant and his relatively new quest for love.

I read this over the course of 24 hours. It was a quick and steamy read. I loved it.

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Review: Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns: Stories

Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns: Stories
Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns: Stories by J. California Cooper

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I started reading this book because it showed up on the Goodreads list of a lot of my followers. I was excited because I have never read anything from J. California Cooper before. I’m always eager to try out new authors.

I didn’t really care for this book a lot. It was depressing and for a collection of short stories, it took too long for me to finish. The style of writing was a bit too preachy for my tastes. As a Christian, even I don’t like to get beat upside the head with religion. HOWEVER, I would buy this book for younger girls….mostly teenagers. I think the issue for me was that these were lessons I’ve already learned through trial and error….or by watching the mistakes of others. For a young person, this could make a difference. Good book, just not for me.

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Review: Silver Sparrow

Silver Sparrow
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this book up solely because two of my Goodreads buddies have already read it and were singing their praises. This book has GOT to be the best book that I have read in all of 2011!!

The opening line of the book is “My father, James Witherspoon is a bigamist….” From there on, the story starts to take a life of it’s own. This book is told through the eyes of two sisters. One knows the full story of his father’s double life, the other living in a blissful ignorance until their two worlds forcefully collide. Dana feels that she has had the burden of being a secret and has always had the feeling that she is less than her sister Chaurisse. She has always had to take a back seat to whatever was going on in her father’s other family’s lives. Chaurisse, on the other hand, has always felt extremely lonely and disadvantaged, regardless of all the love that she has received from her mother, father, and uncle.

In all the books that I read, I try to take away from it a lesson that the author might have wanted his/her readers to know. In this book the point seemed to be that parents will mess up their children with the selfishness that they have in their personal lives. Though everyone in this book claimed to have great love for the two girls involved, the adults rared looked past their own needs to see how this was going to put their children at a severe disadvantage when it came to their emotional development. They are the ones who truly lost in the end.

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Review: If Sons, Then Heirs

If Sons, Then Heirs
If Sons, Then Heirs by Lorene Cary

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After I read a review of this book from a twitter friend, I was all on board to give a try. I found this book during Borders’ going out of business sale and was excited.

This book centers around Alonzo Rayne and the Needham family. The core of the story tells of a parcel of heir property that needs to be dealt with to help the matriarch, Selma, be taken care of in her old age. There is also a story of redemption when it comes to Alonzo’s mother, Jewell, who gave him up at a very young age. Racism, family intricacies and love plays itself out though the whole of the touching story.

This book starts of VERY slow. So slow that I quit reading this book to start another one. Once the plot opens to the heir property situation the story snowballs into action. The only gripe I had about the book is that sometimes it was hard to know from whose point of view I was reading. The thing I loved most about the book was the family tree placed at the beginning. I needed to refer back to that A LOT. Overall I give this book 3 stars.

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Review: Joy For Beginners

Joy For Beginners
Joy For Beginners by Erica Bauermeister

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I normally read books that are by my favorite authors or books that have been recommended to my by other people. Joy For Beginners is a book that I saw on the new releases shelf in the library and checked it out based on the liner notes and the cover alone.

This book centers around a woman named Kate, who just went into remission from a bout with breast cancer. In celebration, she is inviting her 6 closest friends over for a victory dinner. Kate’s daughter, Robin, has challenged her to do something that she wouldn’t have ever done as a way to celebrate her new lease on life. The catch is that she doesn’t get to pick it out herself. Robin has challenged her to go whitewater rafting down the Grand Canyon, which definitely scares the life out of her. She comes up with the idea to challenge each of her friends to get out of her comfort zone and do something challenging within a calendar year of that night. Because she didn’t get to choose her challenge, Kate picks out all the challenges for her friends.

This book is separated into 7 different stories that weave in and out of each other so much that feel as if you know all the women personally at the end of the book. It details the growth that the women have had to go through raising children, watching them leave home, fighting illness, going through divorces and losing loves in the period of life when you would normally think you should coast until the end. It really teaches to never get complacent in life and to always have joy.

I really loved this book and hope to discover more from Erica Bauermeister. I love her writing style!

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Review: The Help

The Help
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! With all the controversy surrounding the book and the movie, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to like it. I finished the book this week and I saw the movie tonight with my aunt and grandmother. This was the only book and movie combo where I cried at the end of both of them. I loved the fact that there were white women in that book that loved and were appreciative of their maids. My favorite two characters were Minny and Celia. The relationship between the two of them was hilarious and kept me reading just to get back to them. Being a native Mississippian and recently moving to the Jackson metro area, the book just seemed so alive to me because I could picture those places on my mind as I read.

I am quite convinced that those who are mad at the movie haven’t read the book. What people fail to realize is that the book and the movie were not targeted for the African American audience. We live with racism on a daily basis and have heard first hand accounts from parents and grandparents. This was targeted toward the white audience. These books and movies are important for those who have white privilege. It lets them know exactly what the struggles are…..and how they haven’t changed.

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Book Review: Basketball Jones by E. Lynn Harris

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I love to read books by black authors….let me take that back. I love to read books by black authors with substance. I don’t read Zane or others who write similarly because I can’t find the story line behind all the sex. My favorites are Eric Jerome Dickey, Terry McMillan, BeBe Moore Campbell (RIP). The story lines are complex and the characters make you long to read every word to figure out what happened to them. I hang on to their every word, lol. Every now and then, I have to let another author enter my bookshelf.
I have only read one other E. Lynn Harris book in my life, A Love of My Own. It was a great book. I had always been gun shy about E. Lynn and the reason probably sounds preposterous. I know that he was an openly gay man during his life and that his characters reflect that. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to take a graphic gay sex scene unfolding on the page. Silly, I know. A Love of My Own had straight main characters in addition to the gay ones… I never got a real feel for it. Basketball Jones changed all that. I am going to say right off that I loved this book. It is only 246 pages long and I read the majority of this book in one day. 
Here are the liner notes: “Aldridge James ‘AJ’ Richardson is living the good life. He has a gorgeous town house in always flavorful New Orleans, plenty of frequent-flier miles from jet-setting around the country on a whim, and an MBA – but he’s never had to work a regular job. He owes it all to his longtime lover, Dray Jones. Dray Jones the rich and famous NBA star. They fell in love in College when AJ was hired to tutor Dray, a freshman on the basketball team. But Dray knew if he wanted to make it to the big time, he must juggle his public image and his private desires. Built on a deep, abiding love, their hidden relationship sustains them both, but when Dray’s teammates begin to ask insinuating questions about AJ, Dray puts their doubts to rest by marrying Judi, a beautiful and ambitious woman. Judi knows nothing about Dray’s “other life.” Or does she? In Basketball Jones, E. Lynn Harris explores the consequences of loving someone who is forced to conform to the rules society demands of its public heroes. Filled with nonstop twists and turns, it will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.
This book has all the elements of a good read. Mystery, blackmail, lover’s triangles, betrayal…..DRAMA! Once I really got going, I could not put it down!! It did teach me one valuable thing: regardless of sexuality, we all love the same. We fall hard and deep (no pun intended, seriously). I can could a lot of myself in the main character even though it was about the unrequited love between two men. I highly recommend it!