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review 2018-09-20 18:12
Phew.
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy

This book has broken me. Heart, soul, body, all entirely shattered because of this damn book. I'd read it again though, because it was honestly that good of a book. David Joy has my utmost admiration and respect for his writing abilities. He's definitely going on my list of authors to watch.

 

Hilariously, this book affected me so much that I tried to listen to my cozy mystery book this morning and I wanted to scream at the protagonist about how easy of a life she had and would she just SHUT UP about all her woes? I might need a buffer book before I read anything cheesy.

 

Phew.

 

 

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text 2018-09-17 23:43
Reading progress update: I've read 45%.
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy

Quote that just sticks with me:

 

“It’s funny how it only takes one person taking the time to show you they care for all that bad shit to not seem so bad for a moment. It’s not like the demons go anywhere. What haunts you is still right there when you go back under, but that one gesture from one person can bring you to the surface for a second or two. And for a very long time, all I’d really needed was to come up for air.”

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text 2018-09-17 22:07
Reading progress update: I've read 45%.
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy

This book is really bleak overall, which would normally put me off, but Joy has managed to keep Jacob just above all the shit that's trying to drown him.

 

In fact, I can't even being to explain how impressed I am with Joy's ability to keep this book from getting too depressing. Don't get me wrong, the subject matter is rough. Jacob's family is like shattered glass. His mom is an addict, his dad is a drug pusher and yet, somehow, Jacob still shines through. He's not perfect. He's not even close to being a normal young adult, because of everything that he lives through on a daily basis, but he has a huge heart. He has some empathy and avoids the "meanness" that his dad radiates.

 

I'm wondering if that heart is going to get him in trouble.

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review 2018-09-15 21:17
Well, at least I got my Southern Gothic Square checked off by forcing myself through this.
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls - Clara Emily Carpenter

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~BOOK BLURB~

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Emily Carpenter

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Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Ugh!  I tried to get into this, but I just couldn't.  I read a couple other books by this Author and really liked them.  So, what gives?  First and foremost we learn early on, that all the women in her family going back a few generations have suddenly become schizophrenic on their 30th birthday.  I really couldn't buy into this scenario, and it pretty much made it impossible for me to like the rest of the story.  This could also be why I didn't connect with the characters, no matter how hard I tried.  All of them came off as pretty unlikable, and I couldn't care less about their fates.  Lastly, I can't stress enough how important it is to have a different narrator for each characters POV, because I couldn't distinguish between Althea and Jinn's characters, and I was left confused most of the time.

 

Overall, a lackluster mystery for me with an equally lackluster ending.  But I might be in the minority with these feelings...there are lots of great reviews for this, after all.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

2STARS - GRADE=D

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 1.5/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 2/5

Theme or Tone~ 2/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Ending~ 2/5

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Book Cover~ Meh…it's underwhelming for sure.

Narration~ ☆3 for Kate Orsini…she was okay, but she should have used a different variation of her voice for each of the MC's.

Setting~ Alabama

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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I used this for Southern Gothic Square in Halloween Bingo

 

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review 2018-09-11 14:34
The Three Faces of Black Women
Tales from the Haunted South: Dark Tourism and Memories of Slavery from the Civil War Era - Tiya Miles

Wow. Tiya Miles does a very good job of showcasing some of the popular ghost plantation tours in her book and dissecting them. I honestly didn't even get that ghost trails were a thing let alone ghost plantation tours.

 

Miles shows that for the most part, the stories told about slaves were not truthful at all, or if there are some truth to things (Delphine Lalaurie) some parts were embellished. She also gets into looking at how many African American women were portrayed in these stories. They were either Mammies, Jezebels, or Voodoo queens. They were shown to be sneaking, lying, or trying to seduce the poor slave owner and take him away from his wife.

 

I loved that she showed historical evidence and context in her book and showed that many things we believe about the south and plantations is fiction. It wasn't Gone With the Wind, people owned others and treated them terribly. You had to worry about being raped, being forced to "breed", and having your family sold off from you. It's still mind boggling to me anyone would be interested in doing any type of plantation tour. 

 

Miles is able to peel back stories told about Molly and Matilda (see Sorrel-Weed House in Savannah), Delphine Lalaurie (see Lalaurie Mansion in New Orleans), and Chloe and Cleo (Mrytles Plantation in Louisana) and have you see them as living and breathing women. If you are interested in hearing about these women, you can Google and include the word "ghost" and see what pops up. I do concur with Miles findings though and don't believe that most of the people described in this stories existed besides Matilda and Delphine. 

 

I really loved the writing and there were a lot of passages I highlighted in this book.

 

"African American bondsmen and bondswomen had been transformed into virtual ghosts, absent and yet eerily present in historical tours as invisible laboring bodies that made their owners’ fortunes shine."

 

"Enslaved black women on plantations were particularly vulnerable. Historians of black women in slavery have detailed the pervasiveness of sexual coercion and rape in a system that not only offered no legal protection for black women but also rewarded masters economically for forced sex and impregnation that resulted in the growth of the slave population."

 

I also loved that Miles included some information about Native Americas too. 

 

"The enslaved African American ghost is the Indian ghost’s double. While the red ghost keeps alive the memory of Indian removal in U.S. history, representing white “terror and lament,” the black ghost marks the demonic spirit of possession through which Americans transformed people into things."

 

I also never really thought too much about who was behind that whole Mammy thing that many people in the south seemed to talk about. Those that read and saw "The Help" showed that it got pushed into another generation until the Civil Rights Movement. Black women are either supposed to be motherly or we are shown as being "fast", or angry if we dare to speak up for ourselves. It's frustrating to be a black woman in this world right now. 

 

"As scholarship on black women’s history shows, the Mammy myth was called into discursive being by defenders of slavery in the 1830s who sought to challenge abolitionist critiques of the sexual abuse of slave women. Mammy’s image was embellished by memoirs of slaveholders’ children published during the Civil War as well as by tributes to her memory in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the Aunt Jemima pancake-mix brand and plans for a national Mammy memorial spurred by the Daughters of the Confederacy."

The locations that Miles goes to in order to investigate this ghost plantation tours are Old Savannah, the French Quarter, and Louisiana plantations. 

 

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