Fire Sermon

I didn’t get it. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Honestly, as I sit here, nothing is memorable about this book.

It’s about a woman who is deeply committed to her husband, yet has a passionate affair (one-night stand??) with a man she met online (??).

Obviously, the story didn’t connect with me AT ALL.

It could have been so good, but it was really just a bunch of nonsensical rambling with a side of oddly-themed religious musings.

I probably should have DNFed his one, but we all know I have a hard time with that. #maybesomeday🙈

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Fingerprints of Previous Owners

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Thank you to TLC Book Tours for the free copy to read and review. All opinions are my own. (Click the link above to see the other Instagram tour stops for this book!)

Footprints of Previous Owners by Rebecca Entel explores the violent past of a slave plantation on a fictional island in the Caribbean.

I read this one while in Mexico, so while the tropical descriptions were easy to visualize, Entel’s descriptive writing helped me paint those images in my head with ease.

Myrna, the book’s main character, is a maid at the tourist resort by day, but at night she explores the resort’s grounds to uncover a past that locals chose to ignore.

When a rich African American arrives on the island, she brings new information that also increases tensions between the resort and the locals.

Still Me

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Thank you to the publisher for my free finished copy to review. All opinions are my own.

In general, this is why I shy away from series (with the exception of Harry Potter ⚡️).

By the time I get to the end, I no longer care. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I skimmed most of this one because I couldn’t connect with any of the characters.

Compared to the first two books in the series, this one felt forced.

I know many highly recommended this one, so maybe I’m just not connecting because I’m too distracted while on vacation. 🌴☀️

Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure

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I started this last night and planned on reading it while on vacation, but I flew through it and finished it on the way to the airport this morning.

It’s a quick read (#obs) and I enjoyed it, but I had already heard many of the #insidersecrets from social media. The few I didn’t know, I’m sure I could have found out easily through some #googling.

If you’re part of #bachelornation and don’t follow the podcasts/bloggers that routinely dish on the show, you’ll be fascinated with this one.

A Little Life

There are no words that can do this book justice, other than READ IT!

It is hauntingly beautiful – a deep character study into the life of Jude St. Francis.

Your heart will be ripped out, ripped up, and pieced back together, but never quite as whole as it was before you started.

You won’t ever forget this story, and you will feel all the feels – love, hope, despair, hurt, anger, sadness.

Reminiscent of The Heart’s Invisible Furies, Jude and Cyril are characters I will never forget and will forever love.

Their stories teach the reader important lessons about life – empathy, love, compassion, kindness, understanding, acceptance.

(Literally, the only criticism I could make of this book is the cover…it’s just not my favorite.)

Do your reading life a favor and read at least on of these titles this year. Don’t let the size or subject matter intimidate you – all are totally worth it!

This book is definitely for fans of A Heart’s Invisible Furies and A Secret History.

The Broken Girls

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When an old, abandoned boarding school is purchased and a massive remodeling begins, the secrets of the past begin to rise up as well. Idlewild Hall has always had a stronghold on Fiona, now a journalist, because it’s the place where her sister was found murdered. With the restoration under way, Fiona decides to write a feature article on the project in order to dig deeper into the mysterious death of her sister, Deb. But as she heads into her investigation, she will uncover more than just information on Deb.

What I loved about this book was that there were multiple stories going on within the main, present-day plot. Not only is the reader trying to figure out what exactly happened to Deb twenty years ago, but they’re also submerged into a mysterious disappearance that occurred over fifty years ago. Was one of the boarding school girls killed or did she runaway? Was there a ghost haunting the girls at Idlewild Hall, and is the ghost still there? Who is she and what’s her story?

Surprisingly, St. James does a great job of handling all of these subplots. While they are all separate mysteries, eventually St. James weaves them together in the most epic way. Some twists I saw coming; some I didn’t. I loved St. James’ writing style and had a hard time putting this one down.

It releases on March 20, 2018, so mark your calendars – you won’t be disappointed!

Girls Burn Brighter

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**Thank you to the publisher, Flatiron Books, for an advanced reader copy (ARC) to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

In general, I don’t need a book to remind me how fortunate I am or to help me be more grateful for the life I live. But Girls Burn Brighter was one of them that had me on my knees thanking God for the blessings I have!

This story is heartbreaking in so many ways. Poornima, a young girl coming-of-age in India, loses her mother just as her family is getting ready to marry her off. As is custom in India, the wedding was put on hold after her mother’s death, and while this should seem like an insignificant part of the story, it is, in fact, the turning point for everything that will happen to Poornima.

Once Poornima is finally married off, she must leave her family and best friend behind. But once she’s gone, her best friend, Savitha, is never far from her mind. They have a special bond that will tie them together forever, regardless of time or distance. This bond allows each of the girls to survive with hope that they will one day be united again.

What I loved about this book was the friendship between Poornima and Savitha. It was the definition of true love – ultimately, the only thing that mattered was the other person’s well-being and happiness. They cared deeply for each other, and even after being separated without knowing anything about the other’s whereabouts or circumstances, they had an inexplicable connection to each other. Rao conveyed this commitment to each other so beautifully; it was my favorite aspect of the book.

Sadly, the thing about this book that didn’t work for me was what the book was about: human trafficking. I’ve heard the statistics about human and sex trafficking; it’s a lot more prevalent than many of us realize. This book brings to light the ease with which these men so callously buy, sell, and trade these women (oftentimes, they truly are still children). They are subjected to horrific and inhumane treatment. Some of the parts of the book are incredibly hard to read.

Any time a story comes along that sheds some light on atrocities, I’m all for it! That’s one of the reasons I read: to learn about things I don’t know about. However, in my opinion, when an author chooses to take on such emotionally difficult subject matter, they are taking on a huge responsibility. It isn’t enough to just bring the issue to light – you must also make that emotional connection to the reader as a call to action. Upset them, enrage them, make them cry! Then, maybe you will inspire action and change. Maybe then someone will rise up to be the voice for these girls that they don’t have themselves.

The book didn’t do this for me. And I think it’s a huge travesty for me to say that I actually felt very indifferent to it all. It read like fiction instead of reality – which it very much is real and happening right now, in this country! Let me be clear: it was difficult to read, but instead of outraging me and forcing me to connect the story with real life, it felt like the author just included it for shock value. And that, to me, is unacceptable given the subject matter.