Reviews

Dear White PeopleDear White People by Justin Simien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quick Witted

Justin Simien’s “Dear White People” is an ‘in your face’ with a load of humor on the side sort of perspective on racism in America. It addresses specific elements of racism and stereotypes that are commonly discussed amongst black people. The purpose of this piece is to make people in general aware that racism is still alive and well in America. It mainly focuses on the behaviors of white people and their ideas about what it means to be black and how they relate to blacks. There are also a few words of debatable wisdom to black people as well. It is filled with humorous illustrations and quizzes geared toward aiding both whites and blacks to be more aware of what type of person they are based on their responses towards the opposite groups. It is meant to be a lesson for Caucasians on how to successfully navigate the cultural divide and to become enlightened on the humanity of the African American race.

Though it was written with an ample dose of humor, much of it is thought provoking and yes, debatable.

This book is right on time as we witness racial tensions increase daily. The author is clever and has created a conversation piece for any get together.

Reviewed by: Trenika
3.5 stars

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When Love's Knot EnoughWhen Love’s Knot Enough by Ayesha L. Shoulders
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To Be or Knot To Be…

Mariah Langston is a twice divorced career woman with a handsome boyfriend Isaac, a successful and wealthy man who adores her. Life couldn’t get any better, but her insecurities, about her past marriages always rain on her sunny parade. Her sister Tina has three children with her husband Paul and a faltering catering business. Picture perfect…until you realize the glare is blinding and looks can be very deceiving. These two sisters wrestle with the many channels of love, life, and release. When to fight…when to love harder…when to walk away…when to stay…when love is just knot enough. Their tales testify that love is indeed real and sometimes you win and sometimes the cost of love is priceless…which will be their truth?

“When Love’s Knot Enough” was an enjoyable read. It was neatly packaged with just the perfect amount of riff to attest to being a realistic read. Relationships are challenging whether bound by marriage vows or trust. Sometimes the ties that bind aren’t strong enough but decisions have to be made because the changes affect everyone. There were no spine tingling scenes, it was merely a smooth read. The story line was well developed filtered with engaging characters, plots and the dialogue was tastefully penned and is entertaining enough to hold the readers’ interest. I would recommend this read.

Reviewed by: Tazzy
3.5 stars

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Success Is a Side Effect: Leadership, Relationships, and Selective AmnesiaSuccess Is a Side Effect: Leadership, Relationships, and Selective Amnesia by Monica Frazier Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We Matter

Practical. Useful. I enjoyed reading this book. “Success Is A Side Effect: Leadership, Relationships, and Selective Amnesia” by Monica F. Anderson is a book that I not only read but I’m actually putting into practice. It really is about being happier. I’m not big on self-help books, but I’d easily recommend this to others. Readers will be able to identify with at least something addressed within its pages.

Anderson’s approach is easy to follow and understand. Overall, I think this is an excellent book and could benefit many people. This book does what it says it will do – it gives readers a powerful and practical guide to achieving more fulfilling relationships at work, at home, and in your community.

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Desperately Seeking ExclusivityDesperately Seeking Exclusivity by Christopher Markland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You May Have to Kiss Some Frogs to Find Your Prince/Princess!

Four friends are all seeking that special one. They’ve dealt with lots of past hurts, bad relationships, and loveless relationships. Will Ethan, Walter, Angel, and Stacy ever find the one?

I really enjoyed Christopher Markland’s “Desperately Seeking Exclusivity.” He did a great job of individually painting a vivid picture of each of the four friends and their situations and lack of full fulfillment in the love department.

The story line was easy to follow. It was a pretty quick read full of drama. There were some errors and extra words used that were not needed, but I did enjoy this one. I will be on the lookout for other novels from this author.

Reviewed by: Lisa M.

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One NightOne Night by Eric Jerome Dickey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two strangers. One night.

Witty, fun, intelligent, layered, simple yet complex, “One Night” follows the course of two strangers as their lives intersect one night. A night that will change their lives forever.

This man, this man, this man! I’ve read practically everything Eric Jerome Dickey has written and he still blows me away. He never fails to awaken the intrigue in readers seemingly effortlessly. Every word matters. As I’ve said in a previous review, he taps into readers’ five senses. There are a lot of themes addressed between these two characters within the span of one night including second chances, marital conflicts, loss, guilt, social issues, and forgiveness. You enter the world he has created fully. You get to know the characters and their distinct personalities and flaws. Their problems, their issues, their pain, their joys become yours. Dickey allows his characters room for growth and readers get to see that. Full of vivid descriptions and details, Eric Jerome Dickey does not disappoint with “One Night.” I hope he revisits these characters again in the future. The only drawback I have with this novel is the slow start.

Reviewed by: Toni

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Every Breath You TakeEvery Breath You Take by Bianca Sloane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thought Provoking, Dark & Intriguing

“Every Breath You Take” is the story of Natalie. She has endured many losses as well as successes in her life. She refuses to become involved in another relationship for fear of losing out again. She meets Jason one night and everything changes. But what she fails to realize is her past is hiding in the shadows waiting to exact revenge, waiting to claim what he feels rightly belongs to him. Waiting and watching…

Bianca Sloane’s story had me up and reading until early the next morning. She has written a very thought provoking and serious novel. It deals with some deep issues including rape, kidnapping, sex, murder, and so much more. I found myself really intrigued. I was feeling all Natalie went through. There were parts where I wanted to cry and others where I wanted to scream! Very well written. My one and only complaint was the ending. It left me with some unanswered questions. Overall a great read!

Reviewed by: Lisa M.
4.5 stars

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DaymaresDaymares by Kenya Moss-Dyme
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Disturbing Little Collection

First let me say this, I love chills and horror but the imagination of this author threw me for a loop story after story. Kenya Moss Dyme, an author I have never heard of, must have some vivid dreams at night to come up with the seven stories that make up this interesting read. The stories in “Daymares” were a little more chilling and horror filled than I was prepared to read. Some endings left me confused, I suppose because they ended so abruptly. I had to go back and read parts of the story again to make sense of the ending. ‘A Colder Kind of Hell’ and ‘1st of the Month’ were my two favorites. Once I finished reading the book I realized many of the stories actually had a message attached if you could get past the bizarre. The author calls this book ‘a disturbing little collection’ and it surely lives up to that.

Reviewed by: Rosa

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Flawed HappinessFlawed Happiness by Cori Tadrus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Write in My Notebook

Athena Wallace is a journalist. She seems to have her life in order with a promising career, super friends, and a closet full of designer clothes. The only thing missing is a mate. A staff meeting introducing a new agenda for her column pairs her with a new and sexy photographer who has her imagination going wild. Each weekend proves to be even more exciting than the last as they traipse to New York’s hottest night spots and delve into the lives of their patrons. Readers are introduced to a faithful cab driver, a party girl who proves that looks can be deceiving, and a biker lady with the most enthralling story.

I enjoyed the storyline of “Flawed Happiness,” the diversity, and the journey the author penned. I imagined that I would be taken through the conversations between Athena and her besties, the light flirtation, the photographer, kind of expected a “Sex and the City” plot, but things were not as I imagined to my delight. I really enjoyed the fact that the author portrayed Athena as a single lady with morals as she sought answers within herself while interviewing perfect strangers. The beginning read like pages from a journal but eventually evolved into an entertaining tale. Be prepared for the unpredictable with “Flawed Happiness.” This was a refreshing read.
Reviewed by: Tazzy
3.5 stars

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Angel Bane: Book I & IIAngel Bane: Book I & II by Gregory Townes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good Versus Evil

Gregory Townes’ “Angel Bane” is truly a book of good versus evil. It starts off as a review of in the beginning God created the angels. We all know the story how of Lucifer felt he was more than what he was and he was thrown out of heaven with a third of the angels. After the beginning is established, the book gets very interesting to say the least!

The author does a great job describing of evil, sin, and the influences of the devil. A child, Enoch, from the lineage of Adam is sent to fulfill a prophecy. There will be battles, deaths, and so much more that takes place as the story unfolds.

“Angel Bane” for the most part is very dark and not for the faint of heart, but Mr. Townes does a good job of painting a picture of things to come though fictional. There are questions not answered and it left me wondering. There are a few grammatical errors. Overall, this is a pretty good read. I was intrigued as I kept reading but one will have to wait on the next novel to tell how the story will unfold. I’m sure it will be just as dark but I have a feeling God’s divine purpose will shine forth and evil will be conquered!

Reviewed by: Lisa M.
3.5 stars

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Unfamous [Dual Edition: Book One and Book Two]Unfamous [Dual Edition: Book One and Book Two] by Shakira Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What Becomes of a Misfit?

This is the story of Rio Greene, a recent high school graduate now college bound to the impressive Brompton University in London. She has a few goals in mind including not to be a straight A student, to create lasting friendships, and maybe even find a lifetime of happiness with that special someone as she experiences all that the university has to offer. She also wants to become ‘one of them,’ the elite group The Unfamous. What price will she have to pay to be in the ‘in’ group? You will really be surprised!!

I really enjoyed Shakira Scott’s “Unfamous.” It captured me from the beginning and I found myself reading when I should’ve been sleeping or working. It was just that powerful of a story. You wanted to keep reading to see what type of situations Rio would find herself in from page to page. This novel depicted the life and times of college students in a London school setting and all the things that go on outside of the classroom. There were lies, lust, betrayal, abuse, sex, drugs, alcohol, and so much more within the confines of Brompton University. And then there was the Unfamous, a group of rich students. They partied hard, were well known in the university world, spent lots of money, and school was like an afterthought.

The author did a great job of describing all that goes on in the day-to-day lives of the characters. The ending left me feeling some kind of way and I really need to know what happened after a certain incident. I enjoyed reading the novel but my biggest complaint: there were too many grammatical errors. Editing was really needed. At times it became distracting trying to figure out what was being said because of misuse of words, incorrect tense, extra words, and many misspelled words. In spite of all of the editing issues, however, it is really a good read and I look forward to the next book in this series.

Reviewed by: Lisa M.
3.5 stars

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The Columbus Day ConspiracyThe Columbus Day Conspiracy by Gibran Tariq
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Columbus Day

“The Columbus Day Conspiracy” opens with a dying white man, Paul Madsen, looking for an African American person so he can find redemption before he dies. To give information about the redemption will reveal too much of the storyline. But when he finds an African American, that person and his family will become the richest in the country. That is what makes up the thrill of this story; white people trying to find the black folk and take back control of America and black people trying to hide to stay alive and maintain control of America. To get to the thrill you have to dig through a whole lot of history.

If I could’ve read more about Jamal Morris of the rich African American family from the beginning and his girlfriend Venus, this book may have held my interest but it was too steeped in history and bogged down with too much detail for me to enjoy the read.

Reviewed by: Rosa

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Diary of a Disability ScholarDiary of a Disability Scholar by Roosevelt Mitchell III
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Intelligent

Roosevelt Mitchell was born with a physical disability and as a youngster suffered extreme poverty. He overcame many great challenges but pressed forward becoming an academic scholar with a primary focus on the disability discussion. A discussion in which he has intimate knowledge of.

“Diary of a Disability Scholar.” The title caught my eye because it suggested to me that I would have an opportunity to read the personal journaling of an individual and his personal experience as a disabled person. I quickly understood that what I thought was not entirely the case. Mitchell focused more on educating the public about the treatment of disabled individuals and the synopsis on the back clearly supports the writing.

Because I have a child who is disabled, I would’ve loved to have read more about his personal disability of which I don’t think he was very clear. He did include some stories of his childhood which helped balance out a lot of the soap box redundancy. Not that this resource is not needed; it is very much needed and I feel the piece was a valiant effort. The latter half was much stronger as it focused on the education of children with disabilities. There was the famous public school vs. charter school debate and need for reconstruction of the special education system as a whole.

“Diary of a Disability Scholar” is intelligently written and could be categorized not only as educational reading but inspirational as well.

Reviewed by: Trenika

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