Like those of you who come to my blog looking for book recommendations, I often check out book vloggers/bloggers and 'what's new in children's lit' to see what I should be checking out next. That's how I heard about Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami. Firstly, I don't think I've ready any children's books from an Indian author before so I was interested to see if the styles would be at all similar and what kind of themes would be explored. Secondly, this book is about two of my favorite things: books and community activism. :-D Our main character, Yasmin, is a voracious reader and she gets all of her books from a lending library run by Book Uncle who sets up his 'shop' on the corner by her apartment building. There is no price for these books and if you want to keep it then that's perfectly okay. Yasmin and many members of her community come to see this little library as a constant in their lives but one day their world is upended because Book Uncle has been told that he must leave. What transpires next is nothing short of inspiring and that's just what I think is so phenomenal about this book. It teaches children that their actions matter and that activism can be accomplished by every member of the community. It's a great way to talk about 'doing your part' that doesn't make it overbearing or heavy-handed. It's also a great way to expose children to a different part of the world. 8/10
Note: This book will also make you extraordinarily hungry.
It did have some humorous moments, but it wasn't a comedy. At least not to me.
There were too many issues that each character had to battle.
It was very well written, with interesting, un-perfect characters and a solid plot.
And the part that was hinted at in the blurb with nephew and uncle trying to set each other up, was the most uninteresting part of the whole book.
It was less gritty than the boystown series (no murders, huh), but it had some of the themes (relationship and committment issues - fidelity, aids etc.) and also the teenager who was mistreated by the conversion therapy people that his parents delivered him to.
So, not exactly light comedy material. Still fun to read and also some substance.
Today’s stop is for Gillian Felix’s Bad Uncle. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway. Happy Reading :)
Who needs enemies when you’ve got family The stars are aligned in Adriana’s favor, but secrets have a way of exposing themselves just when everything is perfect. As Adriana and Haze’s relationship heads south, Carys is ready to pounce. Will Adriana’s lies drive the man she loves into the arms of another? Meanwhile, Zax is finally with his dream girl, but why can’t he get his best friend’s girl out of his mind? When she turns to him for advice on how to be a better girlfriend, can he put his selfish desires aside, or will he follow his siblings and take what he wants despite the consequences? When Kevin’s lifestyle puts innocent L’Wren in danger, his retaliation brings his ruthless uncle back to Los Angeles and into the lives of his family. In Bad Uncle, you’ll get to know the man who has the power to change the legacy of the Banovic family forever. For Readers 18+, Can easily be read as a standalone!
Haze sat in his car outside of the high school that Adriana attended. He was early and classes were still in session. It made sense to him why she didn’t want to tell her parents about them. He’d also sensed that she was hiding something, and now he knew. All those months she’d played him for a fool. She made him fall in love with her. What kind of sick game was she playing? He went over their times together and wondered if she had been honest with him but he heard what he wanted. Was he so desperate that he imagined that she was older than she really was? The bell rang and the girls came out in their uniforms. He saw them scatter off in different directions; then he spotted Adriana. She was in uniform, her raven hair was in a single long braid down to her waist, and her blue eyes shone as she talked and laughed with one of the girls. Haze looked at her as if seeing her for the first time. She looked fifteen; why didn’t he see it before? Her smile disappeared when she spotted his Toyota Rav4. “Haze.” She looked in through the passenger window. “Get in. Your dad sent me to pick you up,” Haze said icily without looking at her. Adriana got in and sat quietly. She placed her books on her lap and buckled her seatbelt. Haze drove off without saying a word.
The tension in the air was so thick that Adriana felt that she couldn’t breathe. “My love, I can explain,” Adriana said quietly. “Don’t call me that.” Haze gritted his teeth. “Don’t EVER call me that!” “I’m sorry, Haze.” Adriana felt her heart ripping out of her chest. She had never seen him so angry. “You lied to me, Adriana! For months you fucked with my feelings for your own personal enjoyment.” “I love you,” she cried. “Shut up! You don’t know what love is! I fucking loved you, Adriana!” A tear rolled down his cheek. “I wanted a life with you! I wanted a future with you!” He slammed his fist on the steering wheel. Adriana saw his knuckles turn white as he gripped the steering wheel. “Did you laugh at me? Did you tell your little friends what you were doing to me? Did you tell them that I almost fucked you?” “Don’t say it like that! You make it sound dirty!” Adriana wept openly. “I’m a pervert or pedophile.” More tears rolled down Haze’s cheeks. “I lied because I love you, and I was afraid that if you knew the truth, you’d leave me.” “Yeah? Well, I guess you’re right about something.” “Haze, please.” “I don’t ever want to see you again, Adriana. When you get home, tell your parents I quit. Tell them why I quit; tell them YOU BROKE ME.” Haze pulled up to the curb in front of the gates of the manor. “Haze, this can’t be over. Please, Haze, please try to understand,” Adriana pleaded. She tried to touch him, but he flinched. “Get out.” “I can’t, I don’t want this to be over. You have to believe that I love you. I love you more than anything.” “GET OUT, Adriana!” he shouted. “NO! I’m not leaving. I don’t care who knows.” Haze got out of his car and started walking down the street. Adriana got out and ran after him. “I love you, Haze, please!” she cried and Haze turned away. She stepped in front of him and forced him to look at her. “I know you love me. I know what we have is real.” “It was all a lie.” She held on to him. “No, baby, it wasn’t. I promise I’ll be good. I’ll tell you everything. I’ll never keep anything from you. I promise.” Haze pried her away from him. “I have to go.” He walked back to his car and Adriana watched him drive away. She sank to the sidewalk and sobbed.
Gillian Felix has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She enjoys creating characters that could be your next-door neighbor, but would you want them as your neighbor is another story. Originally from the island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Felix moved to the United States in 1998. Since then she has been involved in the entertainment industry for over ten years. Her experience ranges from script supervisor to production manager on many independent features. She is trained in the Meisner and Stanislavski technique of acting, which she credits as an asset to her character development and writing. Miss Felix is also an entrepreneur and advocate for children's and women's rights.
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In Uncle Silas, Sheridan Le Fanu's most celebrated novel, Maud Ruthyn, the young, naïve heroine, is plagued by Madame de la Rougierre from the moment the enigmatic older woman is hired as her governess. A liar, bully, and spy, when Madame leaves the house, she takes her dark secret with her. But when Maud is orphaned, she is sent to live with her Uncle Silas, her father's mysterious brother and a man with a scandalous--even murderous--past. And, once again, she encounters Madame, whose sinister role in Maud's destiny becomes all too clear.
Could a book get any more gothic? An orphaned “girl” (she is 17 after all, a young woman really), a sinister uncle, a crumbling house on a neglected estate, a conniving cousin, a sinister governess, and everyone with mysterious reasons for their actions.
The horror of this novel is all atmosphere and the unknown. Our main character, Maud, is a strange combination of naïve and knowledgeable, with just enough knowledge to keep her alive and enough naiveté to keep her bumping along into trouble.
A major part of the suspense is waiting for the death of Maud’s eccentric father and then watching as her affairs are left in the hands of a man whom she has never met, her father’s disgraced brother, Silas. Typically Victorian, we do not meet the man who gives the book its title until we are into the 190s page-wise. I was also left wondering how deeply involved in the actual nefarious schemes Maud’ father actually was—he seemed to be aiding & abetting on more than one occasion. If you can’t trust the men who are appointed by society to run your life, what’s an inexperienced heiress to do?
Modern women will be left with a great sense of relief that we can now be responsible for our own futures and relationships, without being expected to obey the dictates of men who clearly have their own best interests at heart, rather than ours.
Read to fill the Classic Horror square of my 2016 Halloween Book Bingo card.