Book Review #274

17899392

Hardcover, 340 pages

Published December 30th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published December 1st 2013)

Original Title: First Love
ISBN: 0316239992 (ISBN13: 9780316239998)

Short yet sweet story about two young people who fall in love despite the challenges they hope to outrun.

I came across First Love and for a couple of reasons it caught my attention. First, I’ve seen it compared to the The Fault in Our Stars many times and second, there was a road trip in the story. Putting these two elements together, I was sure First Love would capture my interest.

In this novel, Axi Moore and her best friend Robinson decide to throw caution to the wind and take an epic road trip while time is still on their side. This decision is huge because everyone knows that Axi is the straight and narrow girl who gets good grades and always does what is expected of her. Her best friend Robinson is the charming boy who can get away with murder and charm the pants off of anyone.

As they make their plans and travel from the west to east coast, we get to experience Axi and Robinson’s love unfold along with the reasons that brought them together.

There were a few things that seemed a bit choppy with this story. I was surprised the author didn’t bother to make the story more believable when it came to the road trip and Robinson’s condition. I find it hard to believe that two teenagers can do so much in three weeks on such limited funds, as well as committing a few crimes along the way. What also caught me off guard was the sudden and drastic decline of Robinson’s condition. If this novel were a bit longer and better developed, I think their story would have been more plausible and believable.

Overall, this was a quick and heartfelt story despite its flaws. I’m always a sucker for dramatic endings and romance, so it wasn’t too bad… just could have been so much better.  

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Book Review #273

33559198

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Touchstone
ASIN: B01LLXCGYC
Edition Language: English
To say Black Privilege:Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It wasn’t compulsively readable, I’d be making the understatement of the century and I’ll gladly expound on that matter in this review.

My initial interest in Black Privilege was based on the current racial makeup this country is experiencing where more and more of the systemic “white privilege”, the black community has been speaking of, is proving to be true. With video footage of cops being Judge and Jury to people of color, the racist undertones that the current administration has said against President Obama during his tenure that blatantly ignored or chalked up to fake news… never mind all that. My point is that, I was captivated by the title Black Privilege because I wanted to understand what that meant.

Thankfully Charlamagne tha God doesn’t use this platform as a way to further the divide but rather to encourage anyone reading to use their “white privilege”, “black privilege”, or “gay privilege” to achieve their goals in life.

Now! I don’t listen to radio… usually ever and I don’t particularly listen to The Breakfast Club, the syndicated hip-hop radio show that Charlamagne co-hosts with Angela Yee and DJ Envy. Since I do listen to hip-hop and R&B, I’d have to be living under a rock not to know what Charlamagne tha God is. Plus, the infamous Birdman interview flooded my timeline for months. There wasn’t anyone I didn’t know who didn’t want “respeck” when you mentioned their name. So yes, Charlamange and company are a big part of hip-hop history and his voice is one of the strongest (and boldest) in the radio community.

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It is a memoir/coming-of-age/cautionary/self-help book all rolled into one. Charlamange in his own words and voice, provides 8 nuggets of information that encourage the reader to live, speak, aspire to their truth. He found early in life that he was going to speak his mind and his opinion no matter what because it was his truth. And because of his often controversial stance and willingness to be heard he’s one of the most revered names in radio and the hip-hop community.

Larry Mckelvey, aka Charlamagne, uses his experiences as a youth in an effort to stand behind the nuggets of truth he drops. Charlamange explains that he could have been someone out there lost with no future where he “was caught up in building street cred during my teenage years. But fifteen years later, I can report there is not one major purchase I’ve even been able to make using it.”
I almost feel like that line nugget of truth should be required reading and reflection for the youth in Chicago that are terrorizing the city with unprecedented violence. He learned that thinking that the streets was where it’s at was only going to lead him to jail or death, or somewhere drunk under a tree.

Black Privilege also encourages the reader to find their truth and not everyone telling you a different route is being a hater. Many people need to hear Simon Cowell say their performance was the worse or that they just don’t have the skills to be a hoop star. Many people think the only success there is is what the media purports it to be. Not everyone one can be a Jay-Z or Beyoncé. Those roles are already taken. But, you could be the person that cures AIDS or cancer if you follow your truth and not someone else’s.

Honestly, as I read Black Privilege, I couldn’t help but Google some of the interviews he spoke of in this book and I think that’s what makes this title even more enjoyable to read. Like I mentioned, I wasn’t a fan nor a hater of Charlamagne. I had very limited information of who he is/was in the radio industry so to see that he wasn’t blowing steam up my ass was refreshing. There are so many memoir out there that have been proven to be fudged a little, I was more than excited that this wasn’t.

Really, I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed reading Black Privilege all day. There are tons of people (myself included) that need credit for the stupid things I’ve done as well as an overhaul in time management. Maybe I’m reading this book at the right time in my life where I’ve decided to go back to school (for the 3rd time) in an effort to “put the weed in the bag” and pursue a career. Either way it goes, Charlagmange is a very relevant voice that should be heard and this book, Black Privilege should be read. Yes it is vulgar and extremely jarring at times but really… could we expect anything less from the “Prince of Pissing People off”?

6 Things to Know About the Upcoming ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Adaptation

Exciting news for Ray Bradbury fans! HBO is adapting his iconic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 into a TV movie. Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of Guy Montag, a fireman tasked with destroying books — the most illegal and threatening contraband in his society. As such, the book’s title refers to the temperature at which paper burns. It’s a riveting dystopian classic that has gripped readers for half a century. Here are some things to know about the upcoming Fahrenheit 451 movie.

1. The movie already boasts an impressive cast.

Michael B. Jordan (Creed) will play protagonist Guy Montag, a young fireman struggling to save his humanity in a book-burning world. Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) will play Beatty, his fire captain and mentor.

18 Gorgeous Ways to Decorate with Book Quotes

Do you have a favorite book quote — one that inspires you, encourages you, and motivates you each day? If so, you may consider finding it a permanent place in your home, whether that be in the form of a throw pillow, a piece of art, or perhaps painting the words directly across your walls (for the truly committed)! Check out these gorgeous and creative ways to display literary quotes throughout your home.  

Book Review #272

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Mass Market Paperback, 309 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

ISBN: 1250083419 (ISBN13: 9781250083418)
Series: Sons of Texas #3
The story picks up right after book two and the action and danger is alive and kicking.
This can definitely be read as a stand alone, trust me, you won’t miss much as the plot is easy to follow and recaps are plentiful.

Wyatt is back home to deal with the terrorist group targeting his family. For the last fifteen years he’s stayed away. Now a decorated and highly skilled Delta Force operative, Wyatt is read to fight alongside his brothers and face the girl he left behind.

Callie loved Wyatt fifteen years ago with stars in her eyes but when he pushed her away and left home without a backwards look, she tirelessly worked to eradicate him from her life and her heart. With their lives in danger and enemies at every turn, Callie finds herself working alongside the one man capable of bringing her up or tearing her down.

As Callie and Wyatt try to out wit and out fight the Saints, they have to face the fact that there is still a love stronger then either imagined linking them together.

Some light is shed on the murder of the Loughmans’ mother, we get to see the rest of the gang in action and the good guys just barely manage to stay one step ahead of the sinister Saints.

What I liked:
Wyatt and Callie were fleshed out and in depth characters. They both had baggage but slowly worked out their issues to finally be able to claim the future of love and acceptance that they both craved.

I liked that Callie was such a strong woman, her love for Wyatt was complicated and messy and emotionally draining but she remained a brave and intelligent woman. There were no TSTL moments for Callie. She called Wyatt out on his BS, stood up to him, and gave as good as she got.

Wyatt was definitely the self sacrificing martyr type Hero. He loved deeply and whole-heartedly, it just took him a bit longer to admit it and accept it. He makes up for it with his feelings and inner dialogue that shows his more vulnerable side.

For years, he’d kept the memory of a girl alive, but now, the woman was in his arms. A woman who stole his heart with a smile. A woman with a fiery spirit who laughed in the face of overwhelming odds.

The fast pacing and on-going plot kept me engaged and pretty hooked on the main story line. The light romance kept this read light and optimistic.

The ending did feel a bit rushed but it could be that I just wanted to keep reading about Wyatt, Callie and the rest of the Whitehorse team. I hope the war against the Saints will live up to the hype because so far, leading up to it, has been completely worth it and a great opening to more action fighting suspense with just the right about of light-hearted romance.

Favorite Line(s):
“He was the only one for her. She was willing to fight to the death for him, to have him any way she could – because he was the other have of her heart.”
It was a poignant moment when Callie accepts Wyatt just the way he is, no compromise, no lies, just unconditional support and love for her man. It was a hard core declaration of her love for him.