07-06-2020

YA Review-Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta

I have to thank Ann Marie Harvey, Librarian at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, for bringing this book to the top of my reading list on which it has been languishing since it was first published last year. Ann Marie invited me to a virtual book club meeting which I would not have been able to attend if it had been held in person (#covidsilverlining) and Frying Plantain was the book being discussed. I was unable to read it before the meeting, but it sparked such an interesting discussion that I decided to read it afterwards, and I am glad I did. Continue reading “YA Review-Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta”

05-06-2020

Review-The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

It’s 2015 and we meet David Baptiste, his “dreads…grey and his body wizened to twigs of hard black coral.” He is a fisherman on St Constance, a tiny Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch, who had been the center of “the events of 1976” when a mermaid came to shore on the island and challenged the hearts and ideals of the villagers. Through a combination of points-of-view: deeply-introspective entries from David’s diary entries; haunting poems from Aycayia, the mermaid; and a third person narrative, Roffey throws us into the world of Black Conch where the people must decide what to do with the discovery that mermaids actually exist.

Continue reading “Review-The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey”

25-05-2020

Review-Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma

When I heard the premise of this book, I was intrigued and skeptical. A woman of African descent from Trinidad ends up in what is now known as Big Horn, Montana in 1830? Really? The likelihood and the logistics baffled me. Well, Francis-Sharma handles this masterfully with confidence backed up by compelling characters, complicated relationships, and what must have been a tremendous amount of research.  Continue reading “Review-Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma”

01-05-2020

Review-A Girl is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

A Girl is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is essentially a coming-of-age story set in Uganda in the 1970s. The story begins with Kirabo Nnamiiro, a smart, feisty, twelve-year-old girl who consults a blind elderly neighbor, Nsuuta-labeled by the village as a witch-, to help search for her mother and also to help her to deal with the conflicting emotions wracking her teenage body that make her “feel squeezed inside this body as if there is no space.” The relationship Kirabo develops with Nsuuta is complicated by the contentious relationship between Nsuuta and Kirabo’s grandmother, Muka Miiro, an intriguing relationship which becomes the centerpiece of the story at one point. Continue reading “Review-A Girl is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi”

24-04-2020

Review-One Year of Ugly by Caroline MacKenzie

This review is of what I believe is a pre-final-edited-version of this book provided to me by Simon and Schuster via Net Galley. The book is set to be released July 14, 2020.

One Year of Ugly takes readers on a riotous ride of family and romantic drama. Twenty-four-year-old Yola Palacio and her family are middle-class Venezuelans living illegally in Trinidad and thrown into a situation involving a criminal who goes by the name Ugly. Ugly takes advantage of the Palacio’s precarious position as illegals and blackmails them into supporting his criminal activities. In the story that unfolds, Yola struggles with a forbidden love interest and discovers that there is more to the people in her family, and more to life in general than she thought. Her family grows closer, mature, and emerge at the other end of this personal crisis scarred, transformed, but somewhat in tact. Continue reading “Review-One Year of Ugly by Caroline MacKenzie”

12-04-2020

Review-Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson

Sometimes when I stay up reading until 3 am, it’s because I can’t sleep, and sometimes it’s because a book is so captivating I cannot stand to go to sleep until I know what happens to the protagonist. Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson  fell in the latter category. I needed to know the Tan Tan’s fate before I could sleep soundly. This is not a new book, it was first published in 2000, however, it is now April 2020 and so I have a little extra time on my hands. Continue reading “Review-Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson”

20-01-2020

Review-The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

It has been a long time since I have had the time to review a book on this site, so please pardon my extended hiatus. I listened to the audio book version of Sara Collin’s The Confessions of Frannie Langton last week and have not been able to stop thinking about it since. If you are interested in historical fiction with a gothic Frankenstein-esque twist which highlights women’s experiences and does not shy away from the worst of man’s predilection for inhumanity, I highly recommend this book.

It is the late 1800s and Frannie Langton, a formerly enslaved Jamaican woman, is on trial for her life in a London court. Continue reading “Review-The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins”

05-07-2018

YA Review-American Street

Sixteen-year-old Fabiola and her mother are separated at US Immigration when they enter the US traveling from Haiti to Detroit. Fabiola is an American citizen and her mother has a valid visa, however, Immigration agents refuse her mother entry and Fabiola, who has not been to the US since leaving as an infant, must travel from New Jersey to Detroit to meet her aunt and cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess. Continue reading “YA Review-American Street”

05-06-2018

YA Review-Rise from Dirt

In this, the third book in the science-fiction YA Dirt and Stars series, we find the continued adventures of Mara, Jael, and Beth along with a new and increasingly diverse cast of young people.

Mara is a “spacer” born on a man-made space station, who came down to Earth in a previous book prepared to endure six weeks of exile on the disease-ridden, war-torn wasteland that spacers call dirt. Instead she makes friends, most surprisingly with Jael, an “earther” of African-American descent. Continue reading “YA Review-Rise from Dirt”

31-05-2018

Review-Stir It Up!

Thirteen-year-old Anjali is first-generation American. Her parents are from Trinidad and they live in the Indo-Caribbean neighborhood of Richmond Hill where her father owns a roti shop. Anjali’s grandmother also works and Anjali helps after school. Anjali has a strong passion for cooking and a dream to take part in a national kids’ cooking show.  Continue reading “Review-Stir It Up!”