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Sunday Post #2 April 22, 2018

April 22, 2018
Sunday Post, InToriLex
 Sunday Post is a Book Blog Meme hosted at the Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a post used to summarize what has happened on your blog for the past week, and preview what's next.

LAST WEEK

Review: The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein 

Review: Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

 
Book Scoop April 13- April 20, 2018

 COMING SOON 

Review: Dread Nation Justina Ireland
 
Audio Book Review: The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

Review: The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff

Review: Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun

Audio Book Review: An Unkindness of Ghost by Rivers Solomon

AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE 

Jazmen Started A Wonderful new blog: Literally Black

Avery Discusses Non #OwnVoice Reviews

Shealea list 9 reasons reading Secondhand Origin Stories (by Lee Blauersouth) should be on your priorities  
Bogi Compiles A Hugo Award Packet

BOOKS HAULED

Whiskey & Ribbons, Leesa Cross-Smith, InToriLex 
Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith ( Hub City Press ebook) 
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters Vol. 1, (My Favorite Thing Is Monsters #1), Emil Ferris
 My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 1 (My Favorite Thing Is Monsters #1) by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics Books Purchased)


How to Love A Jamaican, Alexis Arthurs, InToriLex

How to Love A Jamaican by Alexis Arthurs (Ballantine Books OUT JULY 24th Won) 

Brightly Burning, Alexa Donne, InToriLex

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne (HMH Books for Young Readers OUT MAY 1st Won) 


Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir, Jean Guerrero, InToriLexCrux: A Cross-Border Memoir by Jean Guerrero (One World OUT JULY 17th Won)

I've been really busy with work this week, so it was hard for me to post. I'm hoping this week will go better. I'm currently reading Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1) by L. Penelope
and listening to The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater Audio Book. I'm happy I've been able to read as much as I have despite my busy schedule. I've been on a role lately with winning books, which has helped me say no to buying books. 

How did your reading go this week?
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Book Scoop April 13- April 20, 2018

April 20, 2018

Book Industry News, Links & New Book Releases

HEADLINES

In Her Skin by Kim Savage
In Her Skin, Kim Savage, InToriLex
In Her Skin
Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest scam of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.

When Jo takes on Vivi's identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety, or escape the danger around her before it’s too late.
Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller
Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller, InToriLex
Blackfish City
~Amazon~
After the climate wars, a floating city is constructed in the Arctic Circle, a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, complete with geothermal heating and sustainable energy. The city’s denizens have become accustomed to a roughshod new way of living, however, the city is starting to fray along the edges—crime and corruption have set in, the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside direst poverty are spawning unrest, and a new disease called “the breaks” is ravaging the population.

When a strange new visitor arrives—a woman riding an orca, with a polar bear at her side—the city is entranced. The “orcamancer,” as she’s known, very subtly brings together four people—each living on the periphery—to stage unprecedented acts of resistance. By banding together to save their city before it crumbles under the weight of its own decay, they will learn shocking truths about themselves.

Blackfish City is a remarkably urgent—and ultimately very hopeful—novel about political corruption, organized crime, technology run amok, the consequences of climate change, gender identity, and the unifying power of human connection.
The Elizas by Sara Shephard
The Elizas, Sara Shephard, InToriLex
The Elizas
~Amazon~
When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ghost Boys
~Amazon~
Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that’s been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.

Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions.

Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today’s world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below
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Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

April 18, 2018
 Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Knopf on September 9, 2014
Format Read: Paperback Edition (333 pages)
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic / Sci-fi /Contemporary
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Purchased
Rating: THREE STARS
Station Eleven
~Amazon~ 
An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains - this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Rape, Violence, Cult

REVIEW:

I really want to love this story, but the enjoyable parts weren't long enough for me to stay invested with the characters. This book follows characters after a plague has killed off most people on earth. The premise sounded great and I was ready to read more about what happened after the plague and how people coped. Instead the book alternates between the past and the present, detailing characters lives that I could not relate to. The most engaging parts of the book happened in the present with characters who managed to stay sane and make a life for themselves the best way that they know how.
"...this collection of petty jealousies, neurosis, undiagnosed PTSD cases, and simmering resentments, lived together, traveled together, rehearsed together, performed together 365 days of the year, permanent company, permanent tour."
The Traveling Symphony only performs Shakespeare for small towns they encounter on the road. I have only read Romeo and Juliet, so was unfamiliar with the references and descriptions within. This was not a bad book, but the multi-genre approach to the narrative didn't work well for me. There were story lines that led no where and long descriptions of characters doing normal things. I wanted more mystery and there just wasn't enough.
"Hell is the absence of the people you long for."
The book focuses on the connections between people and had some surprising revelations along the way. Your enjoyment will hinge on whether your able to relate to the characters. The writing was great and made me thing of how much stake I have in modern technology. The many glowing reviews of this book means there is some magic here, I just didn't find it.

Recommended for Readers who
-are familiar with Shakespeare
-enjoy slow burn plot lines
-enjoy post apocalyptic stories

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York.

Her fourth novel, Station Eleven, is forthcoming in September 2014. All three of her previous novels—Last Night in Montreal, The Singer's Gun, and The Lola Quartet—were Indie Next Picks, and The Singer's Gun was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Website
Twitter
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Review: The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein

April 17, 2018
One Woman's Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death Decay and Disaster, Sarah Krasnostein, Book Review,
Published By: St Martin's Press on April 10, 2018
Format Read: ARC Edition (371 pages)
Genre: Non-fiction/ Memoir/ LGBTQA
Series: StandAlone
Source: Publisher Request
Rating: THREE POINT FIVE STARS
The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster
~Amazon~ 
Sandra Pankhurst founded her trauma cleaning business to help people whose emotional scars are written on their houses. From the forgotten flat of a drug addict to the infested home of a hoarder, Sandra enters properties and lives at the same time. But few of the people she looks after know anything of the complexity of Sandra's own life. Raised in an uncaring home, Sandra's miraculous gift for warmth and humour in the face of unspeakable personal tragedy mark her out as a one-off and make this biography unmissable.

VERDICT:

 Content Warning: Rape, Drug Use, Child Abuse, Suicide, Mental Illness, Violence

REVIEW:

Sandra is a incredible woman who has learned to be herself while dealing with the dangers and discrimination that comes when people know who she is. The book goes through Sandra's life while describing the trauma cleaning jobs Sandra manages with her cleaning crew.  She experiences serious crisis throughout her life when she lived as a male and later a woman.  Sandra however is a unreliable narrator of her life. The author explains that she has kept most of her experiences to herself and has buried a lot of what happened through her own drug use along the way.
"Her work, in short, is a catalog of the ways we die physically and emotionally, and the strength and delicacy needed to lift the things we leave behind."
Sandra has a hard life growing up, she is abused by the adopted family she lives with. Although she survives that ordeal she tries to live a normal life in a traditional sense by getting married, having children, and living as a man in adulthood. The need to be herself completely takes precedent over everyone else in her life, so she sets out on her own. Sandra does whatever she can to survive and live as a woman. Her life as a prostitute is dangerous but gives her freedom to express her identity. Sandra experiences brutal mistreatment, at the hands of her lovers, strangers and an Australian government that doesn't  have a mechanism for someone to change genders.
"But the opposite of trauma is not the absence of trauma. The opposite of trauma is order, proportion; it is everything in its place."
Despite the numerous obstacles Sandra overcomes, she manages to stay positive and dedicate her life to helping others. The stories of people struggling with mental illness who have hoarded their home, were fascinating. The author did  a great job piecing together what she could from Sandra's life while reminding the reader how trauma unchecked can end up in piles of regret around us. I was engaged with the stories but wish I could have learned more about Sandra's family. This was a harsh reminder of how fiercely some people have to fight to live as themselves. Overall a great reflection on a resilient woman's life we can all learn from.

Recommended for Readers Who
-enjoy reading memoirs of powerful women
-are interested in learning more about Trans Women
-can tolerate a unreliable narrator and disturbing experiences

I received this ARC Print from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Krasnostein is a writer and a lawyer with a doctorate in criminal law. A fourth generation American and a third generation Australian, she has lived and worked in both countries. She lives in Melbourne and spends part of the year working in New York City. The Trauma Cleaner (Text Publishing / St Martin's Press) is her first book.
Twitter
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Sunday Post #1 April 15, 2018

April 15, 2018
Sunday Post, Book Blog Meme, InToriLex
Sunday Post is a Book Blog Meme hosted at the Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a post used to summarize what has happened on your blog for the past week, and preview what's next.This is my first post but I look forward to  interacting with more bloggers who participate.

LAST WEEK

COMING SOON

Review: The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein

Audio Book Review: The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

Review: The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff

Review: Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun

Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Book Scoop April 13- April 20, 2018

BOOKS HAULED

You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks (Little Brown and Company June 19, 2018) Won ARC Print
You Were Made for This, Michelle Sacks, InToriLex
All Systems Red (Murderbot #1) by Martha Wells (Tor.com free ebook club) Ebook
All Systems Red, (Murderbot #1),Martha Wells, InToriLex
I had a OK reading week. This past weekend I've been focused on doing some major spring cleaning, which has limited my reading time. I'm currently listening to An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon which has a fantastic voice narrator, and reading Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1) by Justina Ireland which I'm loving. I'm proud that I'm slowing down the amount of books I bring in. I have lots of physical books, ebooks and ARC's but I still struggle not to pick up new releases and check out book sales. 

How did your reading go this week?
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Book Scoop April 6- April 13, 2018

April 13, 2018
Book Scoop, Weekly Feature
Book Industry News, Links & New Book Releases
Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1)
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.
Picture Us in the Light,  Kelly Loy Gilbert, InToriLexPicture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Picture Us in the Light
Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But when he discovers a taped-up box in his father's closet filled with old letters and a file on a powerful Silicon Valley family, he realizes there's much more to his family's past than he ever imagined.

Danny has been an artist for as long as he can remember and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD and his family's blessing to pursue the career he's always dreamed of. Still, contemplating a future without his best friend, Harry Wong, by his side makes Danny feel a panic he can barely put into words. Harry and Danny's lives are deeply intertwined and as they approach the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that shook their friend group to its core, Danny can't stop asking himself if Harry is truly in love with his girlfriend, Regina Chan.

When Danny digs deeper into his parents' past, he uncovers a secret that disturbs the foundations of his family history and the carefully constructed facade his parents have maintained begins to crumble. With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past in order to build a future that belongs to him.
Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller
Blackfish City
After the climate wars, a floating city is constructed in the Arctic Circle, a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, complete with geothermal heating and sustainable energy. The city’s denizens have become accustomed to a roughshod new way of living, however, the city is starting to fray along the edges—crime and corruption have set in, the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside direst poverty are spawning unrest, and a new disease called “the breaks” is ravaging the population.

When a strange new visitor arrives—a woman riding an orca, with a polar bear at her side—the city is entranced. The “orcamancer,” as she’s known, very subtly brings together four people—each living on the periphery—to stage unprecedented acts of resistance. By banding together to save their city before it crumbles under the weight of its own decay, they will learn shocking truths about themselves.

Blackfish City is a remarkably urgent—and ultimately very hopeful—novel about political corruption, organized crime, technology run amok, the consequences of climate change, gender identity, and the unifying power of human connection.
Isle of Blood and Stone (Isle of Blood and Stone #1) by Makiia Lucier
Isle of Blood and Stone, Isle of Blood and Stone #1, Makiia Lucier, InToriLex
Isle of Blood and Stone (Isle of Blood and Stone, #1)
~Amazon~
Ulises asked, "How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers."

Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. "It's bound to be a goose chase. You know that?"

"Or a treasure hunt," Ulises countered, "and you've always been good at those."

Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar's oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way...until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias's father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king's beautiful cousin by his side—whether he wants her there or not—Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried...and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below
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Top Ten Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read

April 11, 2018
Book Blog Meme, Top Ten Tuesday, InToriLex  
I don't  re-read at all, there's way to many books in the world to justify re-reading for me. For this list I've included some of my favorite books, many of which made me sob.

1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness, InToriLex
A Monster Calls
~Amazon~
Review
This is one of the saddest books I've ever read. It's about a boy grappling with his Mom going through cancer. I didn't even watch the film adaptation because of what this did to me.  
2. Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko

Almanac of the Dead, Leslie Marmon Silko, InToriLex
Almanac of the Dead
This was full of Native American history anguish and people that I will never forget. The characters were great and the drama and violence has been unmatched in any other book I've read since. It is a whooping 768 pages long, I enjoyed every page.





3. Maus I & Maus II by Art Spiegelman

Maus I,  Maus II, Art Spiegelman, InToriLex
Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1)
~Amazon~
Reviews
Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus #1)
Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus #2)

These graphic novels are must read non-fiction. The author tells his father's extraordinary tale of survival as a Jewish man in Hitler's Europe. He writes this semi-autobiographical work to understand who his father is and honor what he has been through. It is heartbreaking and fantastic.
 4. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy, InToriLex
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
~Amazon~
Review
This book follows characters who steal babies, live in cemeteries, survive war and learn to love again. A great emotionally draining character study which also includes actual Indian history. 







5. Fifteen Lanes by S.J. Laidlaw

Fifteen Lanes, S.J. Laidlaw, InToriLex

Fifteen Lanes
~Amazon~   
Two unlikely friends meet and form a wonderful friendship. Noor grows up in a brothel, while Grace lives a very comfortable and privileged life. The descriptions of sexual violence and poverty in this book has stayed with me for a long time.
 

6. The Three-Body Problem (Three Body #1) by Liu Cixin, Ken Liu (Translation)
The Three-Body Problem,(Three Body #1), Liu Cixin, Ken Liu (Translation), InToriLex


~Amazon~
Review


This is hard sci-fi, mystery, historical fiction, and thriller. It is a long book which describes some painful parts of the Cultural Revolution. The length fits in so much good I was sad when the book ended. I want to finish the next two books in the series this year.




7. Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

Girls Burn Brighter, Shobha Rao, InToriLex
Girls Burn Brighter
Poornima and Savitha develop a lasting friendship that crosses borders and the tremendous amount of tragedy that they survive. The things that happened in this book hurt my heart, you should be prepared to read about serious topics and cry when you pick this up. 


8. The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)
~Amazon~
I read this book before I had my blog, and loved it. Children develop super powers and the government lives in fear of them.  I'm excited it's being adapted for the big screen. However my five star rating would likely change if I was to pick it up now, because I read and analyze books more closely these days. 








9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer, InToriLex
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
~Amazon~
Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

I read this book in college and fell in love with it. I have not seen the movie adaptation because I don't want this story to be interpreted in any other way then it was in my head. This is a masterpiece.
10. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
~Amazon~
 In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.  Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave.  She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last—glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing page-turner, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream, Mathis’s first novel heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. 


A family drama that explores love, racism, and what it means to be family. I loved this book even though many parts of it made me really angry. A wonderful reading experience. 
Have you read any of the books above? Let me know in the comments
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