Thursday, October 8, 2020

Book Reviews - Absolute Must Reads!

Y'all, three of the books are recent releases that I couldn't read fast enough. So much so that I read them in one sitting. You NEED these reads in your life!

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole was a thriller built around the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood. Sydney notices her Brooklyn neighborhood is changing. She is frustrated by the shift, and she also gets the sense something is awry. When she delves further into the history of this place, she becomes even more committed to saving the neighborhood. She also finds an ally in her work in Theo although she does wonder if she can fully trust him. However, she needs help in her quest, so she decides she must work with him. Y'all, this was brilliantly done. It was a deep dive into what gentrification is and does which was really informative. Layered on this gentrification was this eerie suspense-filled plot of what was really happening. Yes, the neighborhood is changing, but why? And where are these people going? This is one that was so darn captivating. It was a different spin on a thriller, and I just loved it!

Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds grabbed me by the feels so hard. It was such a unique premise and such a wonderful and emotional story of friendship. Jamal and Q are estranged best friends. Then, Q dies in a tragic accident. Through an experimental procedure, Q is able to come back to life. The only thing is this is a time-bound return, and he has a limited number of days left. During this return, Jamal commits to reconciling with Q and making the most of this time. This means working through the reason the relationship was fractured in the first place. The story then explores the past where the friendship fell apart and what Q's real-time return looks like. This was just so, so well done. I was so drawn into the characters, and I was in literal tears by the end. I don't want to delve too, too much into what really drew me in because that's where the power of this story lies. This is my second Justin A. Reynolds (and I'm ready for me), and I love the masterful way he uses time as a plot device.

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger is a book I featured on a recent blog tour stop here.

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson was a powerful and difficult read. The story begins with the murder of R&B singer Korey Fields. Enchanted Jones wakes up covered in blood with no memory of what happened. Surely, she's not responsible for this? The story then treks back through how Korey and Enchanted became connected. Enchanted was a young aspiring singer with dreams of making it big. Korey spots her at a talent competition and takes her under his wing. Taking her under his wing begins to evolve into a very toxic relationship. Korey controls Enchanted's every move through isolation and power plays. Enchanted is literally trapped, and Korey uses lies to further exert his control over her, but also reminds her he's doing it to give her a big break. This was a heavy read given its subject matter, AND it's so important a story like this told. This author covers tough topics in her books in such a captivating and compelling way. 

Onto the next ones!