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Monday, April 29, 2013

#BookReview: Someday, Someday, Maybe - Lauren Graham

Franny Banks could be the next big thing...someday, someday, maybe.  For now, she's a struggling actress taking classes and working a waitressing gig where her boss takes the job more seriously than the Secret Service.  Initially, Franny gave herself a three year deadline to make it in New York.  With two years and six months behind her, she only has six months to prove to herself that she has what it takes to become an actress.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#BookReview: Backseat Saints - Joshilyn Jackson

Rose Mae Lolley is an ass kicker from Fruiton, Alabama.  She's also an abandoned (by her mother) and abused (by her father) child that grows into the refined Ro Grandee, a woman abused by her handsome husband.  When Tom Grandee plucked her from the diner where she worked as a waitress, she was rough around the edges, but Tom liked that about her.  He recognized the wildcat in her that gave as good as she got.
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Monday, April 22, 2013

#BookReview: You Can't Plan Love - Synithia Williams

As you may have noticed from my previous reviews of romance novels, I'm not big on them.  A lot have formulaic Harlequin feels to them.  You know, there's a damsel in distress who lives in (fill in the blank), works as a (fill in the blank) and hates, but falls in love with her (fill in the blank).  The names, locations and occupations change, but the story line is always the same.  I have a cousin that reads Harlequins constantly and I'm just amazed because the covers and characters are the same no matter what they or the book is called.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I read Synithia Williams' You Can't Plan Love.

Kenyatta Copeland is a capable leading lady.  As an environmental engineer in a male dominated field, she's learned to hold her own.  She loves her job and where her career is heading.  According to her mother and friends, it's about time she gets married and whom better to marry than Brad Johnson?  An accomplished attorney, Brad is the man of any woman's dreams, except Kenyatta's.  She doesn't feel the passion for him that she should, but she knows he'll be a good provider and she'll eventually learn to love him. But...and there's always a butt, Brad wants her to quit her job when they get married.

Blair Underwood
Quitting her job would mean giving up something she loves and losing her identity.  It would also mean giving up Malcolm, her boss.  While we can clearly see what Kenyatta is supposed to look like from the cover, Malcolm is in the background and not so easy to see.  So in my mind, he looks like Blair Underwood.  Let me have my fantasy!  Anywho, Malcolm appreciates Kenyatta's mind and the way it works, among other things.  But lest you think this is one of those books where he silently smolders with passion for her (I've read too many romances lately. I'm writing like a Harlequin author!), he's very vocal about how he feels about her.


Synithia Williams could have taken the tried and true road with You Can't Plan Love, but she's done so much more with it.  If you're like me and you don't particularly care for romances, I recommend you give this a try.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised from the start to spectacular finish.






252pp
Published: November 2012

 

Theme: You Can't Hurry Love by The Supremes


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Monday, April 15, 2013

#BookReview: No Strings Attached - Bridget Gray

Mei Jing, or MJ as she's known to friends, just met Rod, yet she already knows him.  Years ago on holiday, she saved his life, but he was unconscious and never knew who saved him.  When he re-enters her life, she's hesitant to tell him because she doesn't want him to feel like he owes her anything.
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Friday, April 12, 2013

#BookReview: The Guardian's Heart - Michel Prince

I found a lot of fault with this read from Michel Prince.  I gave it three purple arm chairs, but I was far more generous than I should have been.  I won't go into all of the reasons why I don't think it deserved three stars, but I will touch upon a few of them.

The Guardian's Heart is about a mid-20s graduate student whose parents have been killed in a car accident and left him to raise his twin toddler siblings.  The story starts off with him, Case, meeting his love interest, Gabbie, in the aisle of a store as he's trying to figure out what kind of diapers to buy for the kids.  Gabbie assists him, sparks fly, yada yada yada.
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

#BookReview: Through the Lens - K.M. Jackson

Mika Walters loves being a photographer. She does not, however, enjoy being an assistant to Alejandro Vega, the photographer. Mika has worked long hours for three years, putting her own dreams on the backburner.  She's finally been offered her dream job and she's sure Ale will be as happy to see her leave as she is to go.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

#BookReview: Heart Like Mine - Amy Hatvany

Grace McAllister didn't want kids, she wanted a career.  And while some women were capable of having, and wanted both, she didn't.  So when she started dating Victor Hansen, she knew he had kids, but he assured her they wouldn't be a problem.
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Friday, April 5, 2013

Otherization in Lit & Life

We've had conversations before on this blog and on Twitter about readers' tendency to assume characters they're reading about are the same ethnicity as them unless the author specifically states otherwise.  There was an uproar last year when a character in Hunger Games was clearly described as having brown skin and was cast as such.  Some of mainstream (and by mainstream, I mean white) America was upset and took to Tumblr and other social media sites to complain because they thought Rue was white.  Some went so far as to say that they cried when she died in the book, but couldn't work up any emotion over her dying in the movie because, "she was just a black girl." Why would they have thought this even though the author described her?   They probably skimmed over the fact and in their mind, she looked like them.  The idea that a character or person that doesn't look like them is not what they perceive as the norm, and is somehow less than human or a different kind of human, is what I call otherization.
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

#BookReview: Between, Georgia - Joshilyn Jackson

Nonny Frett is stuck in between - between marriage and divorce; between families; and between Athens and Between, Georgia.  In the small town of Between, Georgia, the Fretts and the Crabtrees feud like the Hatfields and McCoys.  And Nonny is stuck between her grandmother Ona Crabtree and aunt Bernieze Frett.

The week Nonny is scheduled to appear in court to finalize her divorce from the philandering musician Jonno, she gets a call to come home to Between to tend to her blind mother and Aunt Jenny.  The Crabtrees have never cared for the Fretts, ever since the Fretts stole their baby girl Nonny.  So when Crabtree dogs get loose and attack Stacia and Jenny, Nonny knows it's just a matter of time before the Fretts, especially Bernieze, get their revenge. As Nonny plays peacemaker and negotiator between the warring factions, readers are treated to the colorful characters of Between, Georgia.

I love books set in small towns and very few do it better than Joshilyn Jackson.  I would go so far as to say she's a double threat because not only does she write extremely well, she does fantastic audio versions of her books.  While some authors (e.g., Terry McMillan, Star Jones, Condoleezza Rice) need never read another book they've written aloud, Jackson is fantastic






295pp
Listening time: 9 hours, 13 minutes
Published: May 2007

 

Theme: Heartbreak Town by Dixie Chicks

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Monday, April 1, 2013

#BookReview: Mom & Me & Mom - Maya Angelou

The average person knows that she wrote I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings or they remember her inaugural speech for President Clinton, On the Pulse of Morning. You may know her for her poetic stylings in Still I Rise or for the younger generation, as an elder in Tyler Perry movies.
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