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review 2018-02-24 18:35
Crick Crack, Monkey by Merle Hodge
Crick Crack, Monkey (Caribbean Writers Series) - Merle Hodge

Published in 1970, this novella from Trinidad is classic postcolonial writing, but also the enjoyable story of the life of a young girl. Cynthia, called Cyntie or Tee, and her younger brother are raised by extended family after their mother dies and their father goes abroad. She has childhood escapades and attends a couple of different schools and it’s all vividly portrayed. But she also has a well-off aunt who prizes whiteness in all its forms – physical and cultural – and who makes Tee her project. And so it turns into a story about what in book-critic speech might be called the colonization of a person’s mind: how Tee turns against her upbringing and the people who really love her, but without gaining anything of value to take their place.

 

There’s a lot of postcolonial literature out there that follows children as they leave behind their traditional upbringings to attend school and encounter the white world – The Dark Child, Nervous Conditions and Mema all come to mind – but this one stands out for its exploration of how internalized racism works. It’s also different for being set in Trinidad, where there isn’t quite the “traditional” lifestyle that exists in Africa; the population is mostly descended from African slaves and South Asian indentured servants, a cultural mix that’s clearly present in the book and gives it a unique color.

 

But this isn’t only a political book, and I was a little surprised by how well the characters came to life, after seeing them discussed mostly for their ideological roles. Tee’s Auntie Beatrice, for instance, the symbol of colonial thought, turned out to be a surprisingly vulnerable and complex character. She lacks power at home, where her daughters flout her authority and her husband refuses to engage with the family, and in trying to change Tee she seems largely motivated by a desire for the ideal family she’s never had. Other characters likewise feel real and nuanced despite the brevity of the story.

 

Overall, this book was a pleasant surprise and one I would recommend; social justice oriented readers will particularly appreciate it, but in the complex characters, the vivid descriptions of Tee’s childhood, the rhythms of local speech and the colors of island life, it is also simply a good book.

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text 2018-02-24 18:17
Bookstagram Saturday

 

Books I got from the library today. 

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review 2018-02-24 16:18
Review: Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop
Written In Red - Anne Bishop

Enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities - vampires and shape-shifters among them - who rule the earth and whose prey are humans.

 

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others.

 

Shape-shifter SImon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg a job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide whether she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

 

 

I had this book sitting on my shelve forever along with the three next books. I just never got around it. So now that I finally have I think I’m totally hooked on the series, well based on the first book. I loved pretty much everything about it. The fantastic world building, the characters, the writing, the story that is different than what I read before alongh with the plot twists.

While the overall tone is fairly dark, with humans being the prey and could end up as a meal anytime for the Others at any time, we still get plenty of humor and heartbreaking and warming moments. We also get plenty of action and suspense along the way as we get to know the world of the Others. I loved that no matter how far we get they still remain a threat t  humans, no matter how much the deal with them and they. If not maybe a little bit more the more we get into it.

I went blind into the book and I really enjoyed that not knowing much and discovering this world and characters as I went along.

I loved all the characters, the good, the bad and the ugly . I love that it is very clear early on who and or what the villains are.

I really enjoyed Meg, while she is a bit naïve but that is part of the story and she is supposed to be, I love her will. She learns fast and also has a way to sneak into your heart. She is strong and will fight for what she believes in is right no matter the cost to her. I loved learning with her and I also loved how she found a way to work with the others. Overall I can just keep going how much I enjoyed Meg, even with all her flaws if not even more so. I can’t wait to learn more about her.

Sam.I loved Sam but his story also broke my heart a bit. But again I loved learning and coming back from trauma with him. I cant say too much without giving anything away so I just leave it as is and say I love the whole dam storyline, the good and bad.

Simon, ugh … I did really like him but there were a few times that I really didn’t and just couldn’t make up my mind about him. Overall I really enjoyed him and his internal struggle about Meg or really any human but mostly Meg. He is also someone I can’t wait to read more about.

The different clans ,the Crows, Owls, Wolfs, Bears and so on, is also something I enjoyed. They all brought something new and different  to the story and while all are different they all have a common enemy , the humans.  

Tess, was also one of my favorite characters and it was made clear early in that she is something completely different and we learn more and more throughout the book and get some hints on what or who she might be. I just really enjoyed her charterers arc.

While not Other , the elementals were a huge part and I reckon will be a huge part of the story arc . I’m really looking forward t read more and get to know some more of them as we move along in the series.

The Ponies were so much fun, unlike Asia. Ugh I really did not like that weasel and I kept waiting for a special at the butchers to show up.

We of course meet a few humans along the way besides Meg, obviously some good some are not so much. But I enjoyed getting the POV and their thoughts about the Others.

Overall I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this book and if you have not read it yet and like Urban fantasy I highly recommend it.

I rate it 4 ½ -5 ★

 

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url 2018-02-24 13:30
Alchemy of Love Giveaways: Free Books and Courses FREE to download TODAY
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Chanting Mantras with Best Chords - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Spiritual Symbols - Nataša Pantović Nuit

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review 2018-02-24 12:29
Review: One Moment
One Moment - Kristina McBride

 

An okay YA mystery novel. I read the first 20% or so then the rest of it in a couple of hours the following evening. It tells the story of Maggie who’s perfect boyfriend Joey dies in a tragic accident whilst they are hanging out with their group of friends. 

 

Joey was handsome, witty popular and friends with the most popular kids in their grades. Maggie was sort of on the edge for years and started becoming part of the group when she dated Joey. Maggie was with Joey just before he died, they were doing some stupid jump of a cliff into the lake below stunt, and something happened. Only now Joey’s dead and Maggie can’t remember what happened.

 

The group are interrogated by police and parents about what happened but no one has any answers. It all lies on Maggie who seems to be so traumatised she can’t focus or remember on anything that happened at that time. She can remember up to a certain point and then some time afterwards but is blocking the actual event. 

 

The focus of the novel is Maggie grieving over Joey’s death and trying to figure out what happened, reflecting on her relationship with Joey and her friends. Joey’s best friend Adam is by Maggie’s side and the most supportive, joker Pete doesn’t really seem to want to know what’s going on, party girl Tanna is there to lend a hand and popularity queen Shannon seems to be taking Joey’s demise harder than Maggie herself. 

 

Of course everyone is looking at Joey through rose-coloured glasses. This particular reader thought Joey was a dick. He was a massive douchebag. Cruel, manipulative and two faced. This came through as the story progressed and the reader learns of some of the things going on with Joey that Maggie never knew about. 

 

Maggie’s voice is believable, and she was a likeable enough lead. I didn’t get a particular sense of emotion or closeness to any of the characters or the story itself. It was a fairly fast paced read. It was interesting enough and the story was quite compelling and well written enough that I needed to know what happened. Given the events of the book when the questions are finally answered the were no overwhelming surprises at the end. At least not for me. 

 

I liked seeing Maggie finally getting the cloud lifted and realising she can move on with her life and finally seeing the truth about some of the people she thought were her friends.  Ultimately it’s a novel about dealing with grief when a loved one passes, and how friendships can change and how people can change and grow. 

 

Well written and while this particular book wasn’t necessarily something I would read again but I would definitely read something by this author again.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Sky Pony Press for approving my request to view the title. 

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