Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Book Reviews - A Round of Feels

The Girls With No Names by Serena Burdick was kind of like the parts of Annie where she's in the orphanage, but there wasn't any music, and it was just really, really sad. The story focuses on two sisters Luella and Effie. One day Luella disappears. Effie suspects that Luella might have gone to the House of Mercy, a home for wayward girls in their neighborhood. So, Effie decides she's going to get admitted to the house to find and rescue her sister. Except here's the thing, she's not there. However, Effie cannot just leave the House. This is her new reality, and she must do the work expected of her. The environment of the House of Mercy is rough, and it was hard to read about this place that was offering anything but mercy. It was also hard to read about the anguish Effie's family felt as they tried to find her. This was a really, really heavy read. I knew this might be the case when I read the description, but it was also more feels than even that led on. Thanks to NetGalley for the look at this recent release. 

Happily Ever After and Everything In Between by Debbie Tung was another delightful comic set by this creator. I've read all three of her collections, and I just love everything about them. This one focuses on the realities of love and marriage. The beauty is in the way it spotlights the everyday love that is present in relationships. It spotlights the "lovey" stuff, but also the quirkiness and the laughs. These collections do such a fantastic job of giving voice/illustration to what life is like. There were so many of these vignettes where I nodded and chuckled as I read. These collections I turn to when I just need a smile, and yet again, this one hit the spot.

The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun King was spotlighted on a recent blog tour available here.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett was such a unique and captivating read. The story starts with twins - Desiree and Stella. As teenagers, they decide to run away from their small Louisiana hometown. With time, the sisters go different ways. The story then picks up years later. One sister has moved back to that small town with her black daughter, while the other sister is living a lie as everyone in her life believes she is white, including her husband and daughter. The story then goes through the years as these stories unexpectedly intersect. I'll be honest that this one started a little slow as I wasn't quite sure what I was reading, but once I was sucked in, I couldn't read fast enough! The story really built as it went, especially as the sisters' paths converged once more in ways I just did not see coming. This was such a wonderful story about identities - both the ones we have, the ones we choose, and of course, the ones we hide. This was also a story unlike any I'd read in such a great way. Also, I really, really wanted to know more. I was so drawn into their worlds that I wanted more of their lives, and I would love to know what's next! 

Onto the next ones!