Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Title: My Sister, the Serial Killer
Author: Oyikan Braithwaite
Format: Hardback, 226 pages
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Release Date: November 28, 2019

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What Popped: I really enjoyed the structure. It had short chapters and it was really fast paced, but not to fast.

What Flopped: It’s hard to say what flopped because there were a lot of things that didn’t work for me. Things that left me puzzled and wanting more. That could be good, but there were some things I needed some closure on and didn’t get. Probably a personal preference. Also, there were no serial killer scenes only clean up and not much of that either.

My Thoughts: I didn’t love it, but I did enjoy it. Braithwaite’s writing is good; but it left me wanting more. I expected or had hoped that we would learn more about the serial killer – how she came to be? Braithwaite didn’t include any gory serial killer details. No how she snapped in order to kill. No real police investigation. Not sure this should be listed as a Mystery or Thriller because there was no mystery to be had and it was not suspenseful at all. The reader didn’t have to try to figure out who the murderer was. I mean, after all we are told in the title of the book.

I didn’t particularly care for the main characters and “coma guy” seemed to be the only logical character in the whole story when he woke up. The voice of reason.

For me there are quite a few holes that could have been filled in. Despite that it was still an enjoyable read. Recommend for a quick weekend or beach read.

Goodreads Summary:

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach.

This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

Review: March Book One by Senator John Lewis

Title: March: Book One
Author: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell (Illustrator)
Format: Paperback
Genre: Nonfiction Graphic Novel
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Release Date: August 13, 2013

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Over the summer a lot of high school students came in to the bookstore looking for March: Book One and it was on our Summer reading List; and it got me thinking. . . 🤔

I had a hard time trying to figure out the best way to write a review for this book/graphic novel. So, I didn’t. Instead I chose to choose some panels and tell you a few familial personal stories. I hope you enjoy. But above all else, I hope you either go buy March or check it out from your local library. John Lewis’s story is AH-mazing!

I heard about it prior to this summer, but because it’s not my typical genre – nonfiction – I never bothered. Well, I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed this. Continue reading

ARC Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

Title: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Format: ARC Paperback
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: September 4, 2018

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Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the publisher, Wednesday’s Books for free in return for providing an honest and unbiased review.

I’m just going to put it out there YA is killing it! Sadie is definitely in my top 5 books read this year.

The Girls explores what happens when a devastating crime reveals a deeply unsettling mystery. It’s a story about family, about sisters, and the untold lives lived in small-town America. It’s about the lengths we go to protect the ones we love . . . and the high price we pay when we can’t.
And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl.

This is how the novel begins.

Continue reading

Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

descriptionTitle: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Format: eARC & Hardback
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: March 6, 2018

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Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Netgalley free in return for providing my honest and unbiased review.

Two Sentence Summary: Zélie is a divîner (maji) who is on a quest along with her brother, Tzain, and Princess Amari to bring magic back to Orïsha. Zélie was chosen by the gods to bring magic back; and she along with Tzain, Amari and a wily band of divîners, pickpockets and mercenaries must fight the king, the prince and their soldiers to save magic and the maji. Continue reading

Mini Reviews

I haven’t done a review in a while and I’m seriously behind. So, I decided to some mini reviews.

So, let’s dive right in.

Synopsis

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Books is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.

The Mini Review

I read Charlotte’s Web as part of the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon. It was also a book for my Back to the Classics challenge.  I read Charlotte’s Web probably in 4th or 5th grade and remember loving it. I fell in love with Wilbur and the overall theme of the book. Friendship and love. A true friend loves you no matter what you look like. And like Fern did sometimes you have to fight for the underdog. To this day I’ve carried those lessons with me.

Recommendations


Synopsis

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

When she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her Mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her. Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Mini Review

I read this book as part of the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon and have to admit I wasn’t particularly moved by it, then felt like an outsider because of all the positive reviews. I decided to give it another go by listening to it. OMG, it was amazing!

Elizabeth Acevedo reads this herself and it’s phenomenal. I love hearing slam poetry and Acevedo knocks it out of the park. In listening to it I got how Xiomara felt growing into her new curvy body, boys & grown men staring at her, she getting her period, feeling like she’s not being heard and trying to find her voice so that she may be heard without offending.

Of all the characters I’ve read this year, Xiomara is the one character I connected with and loved the most.

Recommendations


Synopsis

The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.

Mini Review

The House on Mango Street was a book club read and it’s the second time I’ve read it. The first was in college for one of my education classes and remember really liking it. I find it interesting to reread a book I read as child to if my opinion has changed. And for this one it had, but not for the better.

I’m not sure if it was the vignette style, but I just found it hard to follow. I didn’t connect with the characters and as a result didn’t care about what happened to them. Perhaps other books have borrowed them where the poor girl grows up, leaves the neighborhood and betters herself and comes back. But I felt this to be really predictable.

Recommendations


Synopsis

Two sisters: Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the vibrant, headstrong, unconventional one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts to hear voices, it’s Miranda who must fight for the help her sister needs — even as Lucia refuses to be defined by any doctor’s diagnosis.

Determined, impetuous, she plows ahead, marrying a big-hearted Israeli only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She will move with her new family to Ecuador, but the bitter constant remains: she cannot escape her own mental illness. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until inevitably, she crashes to earth. And then Miranda must decide, again, whether or not to step in — but this time, Lucia may not want to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans, but what does it take to break them?

Told from alternating perspectives, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its core, a heart-wrenching family drama about relationships and tough choices — how much we’re willing to sacrifice for the ones we love, and when it’s time to let go and save ourselves.

Mini Review

I received this from the publisher through Netgalley. The cover was the thing that caught my attention. And after reading the description knew I had to read it. Very few books get me emotional, but this one. . . Whew! This one had me laughing and crying and thinking about mental illness and what family members go through.

If the cover hadn’t been so striking I’m sure I wouldn’t have picked this up because it’s not my typical genre. I’m glad I did.

Everything Here is Beautiful warrants a full review, so stay tuned.

Recommendations

Unfortunately, I’m not able to recommend anything as this is my first foray into reading a book in which mental illness plays a dominant role. If you have any recs, please let me know.