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review 2017-06-30 19:56
Primarily Giving This 4 Stars for Nostalgia Reasons
The Color of Love - Sandra Kitt

I have to say, that I am really glad that I kept my copy of this book all these years. I really enjoyed reading it as a teenager and I thank Kitt for exposing me to interracial romances as a teenager as well. I didn't even know that was a genre til I got older. 


In "The Color of Love", Kitt explores an interracial relationship between an African American woman named Leah who is a graphic designer and a white man named Jason, who is a New York City police officer.


Kitt tells the story focusing on now just Leah and Jason, but also a street wise kid who is also African American who is angry that he feels that Jason is now overlooking him due to dating Leah. He gets weirdly obsessed with her, and I honestly don't get why that character was included. It just didn't fit the overall story that Kitt was trying to tell in my opinion. 


Besides the interracial aspects of this relationship that Kitt takes a close look at, she also looks at how Jason's views of African Americans shifts since he may be what would be called a "casual racist." When he's interacting with suspects he thinks nothing of letting the "N" word slip, but quickly feels sickened by what he has said and thinks that he doesn't view Leah that way at all. If Kitt had more moments like that in this book, it would have been five starts to me. I like that it was open and honest about the issues that many black women have with dating outside of their race that it would have worked for me more. Leah does get accused of not being "black" anymore by a few people, but in the end, the book just wraps things up neatly and I really wish there had been a follow-up to this one. 


Some of the characters did not work well at all. Leah's sister needed slapped upside her head. She does something that Leah ends up hard shrugging about that really didn't work for me at all. Let's just say that it would never occur to my sister or I to do something foul to each other like what happens in this book. 


The setting of New York felt very alive and just dark to me at times. Maybe because of all the recent police shootings that involve African Americans, I just could not get into this book the way that I was able to as a teen. I just found the whole thing implausible. 


Still enjoyed this look back at an older romance fave. 

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text 2017-06-30 19:44
Reading progress update: I've read 398 out of 398 pages.
The Color of Love - Sandra Kitt

Very poignant story I was happy to read again.

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review 2017-06-29 18:08
Rag and Bone (Rag and Bone #1)
Rag and Bone - K.J. Charles

KJ Charles is a great writer, and this is one of her only series I'm aware of where one of the MCs isn't a raging blowhole. We've got Ned and Crispin, who certainly have their conflicts to work out, since Ned doesn't trust magic and Crispin is trying to unlearn so bad magical practices he was taught by his first mentor. They care about each other, and support each other, but they have their hangups and their insecurities and much of this is about how they navigate a relationship with each other given all these conflicts. That doesn't even bring into account that if the wrong person finds out about their relationship, they could end up in jail or hung. 


Crispin finally finds a new teacher who is interested in helping use his magical abilities, and while this is a bit too close to the prequel's plot, there is a mystery involving the strange deaths of some rag and bottle store owners to help detract from that. There's a lot of tension built into the climax, and it doesn't just fizzle out afterward, since there are still other issues to resolve.


Since I've only read the first book in the Magpie Lord series, I only recognized Stephan Day from that series here. I'm sure there were others, but it wasn't necessary to have prior knowledge of them, or even of Day. If you know the other characters' backstories, you'd obviously get a lot more out of seeing them, but if you don't know then you're not going to be confused or lost.


I hope Ms. Charles writes more about these two. I love her writing, but since I'm allergic to her douche MCs I usually avoid her books. This series is the exception.

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text 2017-06-29 02:35
Reading progress update: I've read 151 out of 398 pages.
The Color of Love - Sandra Kitt

Author Sandra Kitt was the first author that I read that ever had an interracial relationship as the main story in a romance book.


I read this when I was about 16 or 17 years old and I remember just being astounded because at that time in my life I didn't even understand that I could date somebody outside of my race because it was always seen as not being acceptable as a black girl for me to date a white boy.


What I really like about this book and why I kept this for all these years is that I liked Kitt initially has these two people who honestly shouldn't be together. The two main leads (one is a black woman and the others a white man and she's a graphic designer and he's a police officer in New York City)  come together because of a set of circumstances and though everybody's telling them not to be together, can't help feeling close to each other.


I wish it had dealt a little bit deeper in the some of the interracial issues when a black woman dates a white man. I mean take a look at what's going on with the bachelorette right now. If any of you guys have seen this new season for the first time ever we have a black bachelorette and she is dating these sorry-ass men. Excuse my language. And it's infuriating because as a black woman, if one is successful, heck even if you are doing okay, it is still hard to find a guy to date.


You will meet somebody, you click, and you like them, but then you have to kind of do the whole well he might not be into black woman dance that we have to do because then it's super awkward when somebody tells you oh no I like you I just don't date black women.


And even then when you do meet somebody that likes you there's all these host of issues you have to be careful about. You have to be careful that they don't like you because they think we're going to do something weird in bed, you have to be careful that they don't like you just because they think that they can use you for something, which often seems to be the case, they don't have to make you their real girlfriend they can just keep you as this person that they see who they never really want to be committed to.


So this book is bringing up all kinds of feelings in me right now as I read it.  


And I'm also going to say though though I do like this book I think the writing could just be a little bit better. I mean this book takes place in the 90s so there's obviously some references that don't hold any more in this day in age And of course I wonder how this book would be perceived taking place in 2017 with all the black lives matter movement and issues with police. But other than that, I like I'm really enjoying it and I'm glad I'm reading it tonight before I go to bed.

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review 2017-06-17 17:51
Good background and historical information.
Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America ... Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy - Sheryll Cashin

With the recent anniversary of Loving v. Virginia case I was excited to see this book become available at my library. I recently watched the 2016 film about the case and so thought this would be a good pickup.


This wasn't quite what I expected at first. Author Cashin takes the reader though the history of interracial relationships in US history, from the first settlers through the present. Sometimes when authors do this it can be a really dry and boring retelling but it was quite intriguing to see cases and stories of couples who were willing to defy convention, societal ridicule, violence/death, financial hardships, etc. to be together. That is not to say Cashin focuses solely on the happier and consensual relationships but it was nice to see examples that I had never heard of.


Unfortunately though, those were the exceptions. Cashin traces how these relationships were ignored, tolerated, etc. but eventually laws and slavery made these relationships illegal. Of course, that never stopped slave owners or even the Founding Fathers as Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings are discussed. Not being a Jefferson scholar by any means I was interested to know a bit more about Hemings and read a bit about her, her family and her descendants fared after Jefferson died. 


Cashin also notes how even rumors of these relationships were used as dog whistles in political battles, how sons of slave owners took public office during and after Reconstruction, etc. It was quite interesting and it was not an angle I had thought of or knew much about. 


The parts about the Lovings were admittedly a bit boring to me. I already knew some of this from the movie and research/reading I had done after (plus the various reviews and articles that reiterate the case's journey and the life stories of the Lovings). I also was not that interested in some of the post-Loving effects, although it reinforced the stereotypes of how people fear what they don't understand and what they are not exposed to. As an aside it reminded me of the need for greater diverse representation of all types in the media and of one recent story that told of a man who hated the idea of refugees moving into his town and apartment building. The man was afraid they were terrorists but when these people moved in he saw the changes in his neighbors go from drug addicts to being replaced with families who would bring food over or have children who'd knock on his door to ask him to fix their bikes. He admitted he no longer felt the same once he heard their stories and saw these refugees as actual people.


Overall I'm glad I read it. At times it does get a bit dry and academic but it was quite informative and I'd say it's a good compliment to the 2016 movie if you want more information. It's also not that thick but Cashin does an excellent job in packing in a ton of knowledge in the text. It was right for me to borrow from the library but I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up on a college syllabus either. 

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