Black Butterflies [Book Review]

May 4, 2022
Star Wars Day
(May the 4th be with you!)

Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris

Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris (cover) Image: white text over a background of colorful graphic shapes

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Diverse Reads, Siege of Sarajevo

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks @BookSirens and the author/publisher for a complimentary eARC of #BlackButterflies upon my request. All opinions are my own.

In the spring of 1992, fifty-five year old Zora can’t imagine that the Siege of Sarajevo will last long. Her husband and elderly mother leave for England, and she stays behind to continue working as an artist and teacher. The situation deteriorates quickly and Zora has waited too long to leave. The places she loves are destroyed and black ashes float around. Zora joins with her friends to survive the days, offer comfort to each other, and find reasons to hope.

“Everything is better when done together. The taste of food and water, the touch when they hug each other hello. They’ve made it through one more day, each reunion a confirmation that they’re still alive.”

My Thoughts:

(more…)

Ghost [Book Review] #MiddleGradeMarch

March 25, 2022

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Bonus: 10+ Favorite Middle Grade Reads!

(top view) picture of a middle grade child reading on a recliner covered with a reddiish knitted afghan

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds (cover) Black text on a yellow background....a young African American boy is running off the page

Genre/Categories: Middle Grade Contemporary Fiction, Diverse Reads (African-American), Sports (Track and Field)

My Summary:

Castle Cranshaw, aka “Ghost,” loves to run. One day, he challenges an elite sprinter to a race and wins which gains the attention of a track and field coach. Believing Ghost has natural talent, coach invites him to join his track team. Although Ghost can run, he also has a lot of anger, is often in trouble at school, and has a complicated family life. Can he become part of the team or will his behavior choices hold him back?

Silver running shoes

My Thoughts:

(more…)

The Girl With Seven Names [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 9,  2021

The Girl With Seven Names: Escape From North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee
#throwbackthursday

The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee (cover) red and black text and a headshot of a young Asian woman

Genre/Categories/Setting: Nonfiction, Memoir, Defection, Political Freedom, North Korea

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling memoir, The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In The Girl With Seven Names, Hyeonseo Lee shares her experience as a child growing up in a high-class family in North Korea. Her home bordered China and as she became a teenager, she grew more curious about life outside of North Korea. On an impulsive lark, she decides to cross the river and sneak into China to take a peek and to visit some distant relatives. Her plan to come right back to North Korea is derailed when she receives word that it is not safe to return. For the next few years, she lives as an illegal immigrant in China, working and quickly learning the language to survive. After twelve years, she risks everything to seek asylum in South Korea and to rescue her mother and brother from North Korea. To complete her dangerous mission, she receives help from a kind and generous stranger.”

A compelling story of escape…determination…survival…family…kindness…

Continue here for my full review of The Girl With Seven Names…



QOTD:

Have you read The Girl With Seven Names or is it on your TBR?

 

The Beekeeper of Aleppo [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

December 2, 2021

The Beekeeper of Aleppo
#throwbackthursday

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri (cover) Image: black text over a background of gold sketches of leaves, blossoms, and bees

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Family Life, Refugee Crisis, Syria

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a poignant refugee story, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife Afra, an artist, live happily with their son in beautiful Aleppo. They enjoy a quiet and peaceful life and value the friendship of close friends and extended family. Suddenly, their lives are turned upside down by war and, out of desperation, they make a decision to flee Syria. What Afra has experienced and seen causes her to go blind, complicating their journey through Turkey and Greece to get to Britain. On this risky and uncertain journey, they must learn to survive in unpredictable situations, to deal with their loss, to trust each other, to depend on the kindness and compassion of strangers, and to keep their hope alive.”

A compelling story of love, loss, hope, and compassion…

Continue here for my full review of The Beekeeper of Aleppo…



QOTD:

Have you read The Beekeeper of Aleppo or is it on your TBR?

 

The Stationery Shop [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

November 18, 2021

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali 
#throwbackthursday

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali (cover) Image: white text over a background of colorful pink and orange flowers)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Romantic Fiction, Romance, Family Life, Iran

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a bittersweet love story, The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In 1953, two teenagers meet in Mr. Fakhri’s Stationery Shop in Tehran. Roya loves the fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and the thick, lovely writing paper while Bahman loves Rumi’s poetry and is an activist. They share a love of poetry and continue to meet in the Stationery Shop while their romance grows. Their happy life together is complicated by family tension and political unrest.”

Complicated families…..soul mates…..resilience…..

Continue here for my full review of The Stationery Shop…



QOTD:

Have you read The Stationery Shop or is it on your TBR?

 

The Water Dancer [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

October 7, 2021

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
#throwbackthursday

The Water Dancer review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, African-American, Slavery, Underground Railroad

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a thought provoking and compelling story, The Water Dancer by Na-Hehisi Coates.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The Water Dancer tells the engaging and powerful story of Hiram Walker who is born into slavery and who has a mysterious and magical power. He is compelled to leave his home and adopted mother as he follows his rebellious spirit and searches for freedom. Hiram connects with the Underground Railroad, masters his mysterious power, and seeks to return home on his own terms to rescue his adopted mother and his love interest.”

A powerful story with page-turning action…

Continue here for my full review of The Water Dancer…



QOTD:

Have you read The Water Dancer or is it on your TBR?

If You Want To Make God Laugh [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

September 9, 2021

If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais
#throwbackthursday

If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais (cover) black text on a yellow background....a graphic image of a dog and bird surround the title

Genre/Categories/Setting:  Historical Fiction, (post Apartheid) South Africa, Family Life, Sisters

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a compelling family drama, If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

If You Want to Make God Laugh is the compelling story of three unforgettable women living in post-Apartheid South Africa at the time of a growing AIDS epidemic and threats of civil war. Zodwa is seventeen, pregnant, poor, and lives in a squatter’s camp. Ruth and Delilah are middle-aged sisters who live on an inherited, rural farm. While Ruth is an unhappy, disillusioned, and newly divorced socialite, Delilah is a former nun and social worker who is hiding a big secret. A newborn baby will bring these characters together, and this is a story of their precarious relationships, of sibling jealousy, rivalry, and healing, and of found family.”

“I’d often wondered since then if a child could be inoculated in the womb against the horror of the world through the power of its mother’s love; if that love could infuse joy into a child even when her presence couldn’t.”

If You Want to Make God Laugh…..tell Him your plans…

Continue here for my full review of If You Want To Make God Laugh…



QOTD:

Have you read If You Want To Make God Laugh or is it on your TBR?
Have you read Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by the same author?

 

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

August 19, 2021

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal
#throwbackthursday

Unlikely Adventures of Shergill Sisters Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Sisters, Family Drama, India

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a family drama, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“To honor their mother’s dying wish, three Punjabi sisters travel to India on a pilgrimage to visit sacred places that are special to Mom and to scatter her ashes. Told from the three perspectives of three very different sisters, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters explores sibling relationships, modern vs traditional roles of women, secrets, and the importance of family.”

Can three very different sisters living three vastly different lives come together to honor their mother’s last dying wish of traveling to India and scattering her ashes?

Continue here for my full review of The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters…



QOTD:

Have you read The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters or is it on your TBR?

Hum If You Don’t Know the Words [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

July 29, 2021

Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais
#throwbackthursday

Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais (cover) Image: yellow text on a green background...twoimages of birds in black

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Apartheid, South Africa, Found Family

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of a compelling and memorable historical fiction, Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“The Soweto Uprising of 1976 in South Africa brings together our two protagonists: nine-year-old Robin Conrad living in Johannesburg and Beauty Mbali living in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei. In Apartheid South Africa, these characters should never have met. Robin is living a comfortable life with her parents while Beauty struggles to raise her children alone after her husband’s death. After the Soweto Uprising, Robin’s parents are dead and Beauty’s daughter is missing. Extraordinary circumstances bring them together and as they grieve their losses, they form a bond. This complex and heartfelt story is told through alternating perspectives.”

“I took one last look at the mother who never gave up and the prodigal daughter who found her way home, and it gave me hope that we imperfect creatures can find other imperfect creatures through the power of the imperfect emotion we called love.”

Continue here for my full review of Hum If You Don’t Know the Words



QOTD:

Have you read Hum If You Don’t Know the Words or is it on your TBR?

Miracle Creek [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

July 22, 2021

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
#throwbackthursday

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (cover) looking up at a night sky through several trees

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Murder Mystery, Crime Fiction, Courtroom Drama, Korean American, Virginia

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of a multilayered and character-driven crime fiction, Miracle Creek by Angie Kim.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Miracle Creek takes place in a small town in Virginia of the same name. In this town, there is a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions. As the story begins, the chamber explodes and two people die. Is this an accident or sabotage or insurance fraud? Through multiple perspectives, we become acquainted with the owners and surviving patients and learn about their secrets, their anguish, their frustrations, their best intentions, their misconceptions, and their rivalries. The story is rich in vivid details about the trial, parenting a special needs child, and the immigrant experience.”

An expertly written, character-driven, and multi-layered mystery and courtroom drama ….

Continue here for my full review of Miracle Creek



QOTD:

Have you read Miracle Creek or is it on your TBR?