Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Everybody's Son

Everybody's Son Everybody's Son by Thrity Umrigar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Left home alone for a week unsupervised, nine-year-old Anton barely escapes from his low-rent apartment. He kept waiting for his mom to come home, but she was found in a crack house, and so Anton ends up in foster care. Judge Coleman steps in. He and his wife are still grieving from the son they lost in a car crash, and fostering young Anton might be the help they need to live (and love) again.

This book REEKS of white privilege--the rich and powerful white couple takes in the poor mixed black kid in order to make sure the boy turns out "okay." Anton has to confront this when he finds out the truth about his adoption, during the same time that he's on the campaign trail for governor. Yeah, governor.

Love how the novel tackles race and privilege, and how it was a fast and easy read. But the dialogue and word choice was iffy at times, and seemed forced.

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Review: The Fourth Monkey

The Fourth Monkey The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you like serial killer thrillers, read this one! The Four Monkey Killer, 4MK, is all about the see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil, do no evil thing, and he's great at killing daughters in order to punish the fathers. His diary is pretty gruesome and interspersed throughout the rest of the novel from the point-of-view from the police detective who has been on the 4MK's case from the beginning in Chicago. Yay, a Chicago setting!

This is no great piece of literature, but it's just what I was looking for--a fast-paced, low reading level thriller with interesting characters.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So raw and vulnerable to read, let alone to think about what it took to write this memoir. Hit close to home in a lot of ways, which is true for many readers, I think, judging by the ratings.

Damn, she's a great writer.

And here is what she writes about Charleston, Illinois, and Eastern Illinois University. From pages 294-295, "We were three hours from Chicago, so my blackness was less of a curiosity, more of a threat. And there were the black students on campus, the nerve of them, daring to pursue higher education. In the local newspaper, residents wrote angry letters about a new criminal element--the scourge of youthful black ambition, black joy. In my more generous moments, I tried to believe the locals were using anger to mask their fear of living in a dying town in a changing world."

I feel like I need to re-read that last sentence on a regular basis.

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Review: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So raw and vulnerable to read, let alone to think about what it took to write this memoir. Hit close to home in a lot of ways, which is true for many readers, I think, judging by the ratings.

Damn, she's a great writer.

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Review: The Facefaker's Game

The Facefaker's Game The Facefaker's Game by Chandler J. Birch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyable YA fantasy! Interesting world-building--magical and Victorian-ish and just a good read. Impressive debut.

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Review: Star Struck

Star Struck Star Struck by Val McDermid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick and easy listen about a private investigator who becomes a bodyguard to a soap opera star in Manchester, England. Quite an enjoyable listen, good narration and production, and I enjoyed getting to know Kate Brannangan, even if this is the 6th book in a series. I'm kinda wondering if I interlibrary loaned this on mistake--why would I request #6 in a series when I haven't read the ones before? Oh, well, I still enjoyed the listen!

It was a trip back in time--CD-ROMs! bad online dating via email messages!

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Review: Borne

Borne Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Love the plot--a future world where Rachel finds "something" and raises it to become a person. The strange piece of biotech is an unknown, but she cares for it, despite her boyfriend warning her, and the thing, Borne, grows quickly enough that it wants its own apartment in a few months. The plot was fascinating, but I was bored quite often while listening to the audiobook--lots of telling and explaining, but not much action going on, which makes for boring listening while in the car.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Plenty of teen angst in this one. Eliza is the author of a very successful online comic, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her. She has no friends in real life, and is quite the depressed introvert. But then a boy comes along. Of course.

I couldn't help but think of Fangirl and The Fault in Our Stars as I read this, but I know not many teens would have read both of those.

Good depiction of depression, anxiety, fandom. Includes pages from her webcomic, as well as chat/text conversations.

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