Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting—working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice told her she's asexual). Alice is done with dating—no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
I read this one as part of the monthly buddy read of the Dragons & Tea Book Club on Goodreads. What did I expect from this book before I read it? To be honest, romance is not among my favorite genres. I have heard so many good things and went into this book with only one expectation: I have friends who are ace and I wanted to read a book that is written from the POV of a person who is ace. And man, was a surprised! This book has just the right amount of romance! I think Takumi is now on my list of book boyfriends. He is interesting, mature, gentle (and still manly), and how can you not like a man who loves being a kindergarten teacher???? I loved being immersed in Alice's thoughts and emotions. I felt like I could relate a lot to her. This was such a cute book and such a surprise! I really didn't expect much from this book, but it was a great read! Claire Kann perfectly combined the different facets of a marginalized character in this book. I can only imagine how hard it must be to not only be African American, but also pretty and ACE. This book definitely helped me understand the struggles of someone who is asexual.
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
First, let me tell you that I listened to the audiobook while reading along. Maya Angelou read her book herself and it was amazing!!!
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space.
The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
This book...I can't, I just can't!!!!! It's brutal, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking!! I love how this book is structured. The story is divided up into the different stages of Cora's journey, but also split up by interludes involving secondary characters. These interludes give us a glimpse into the ways slavery affected different members of society. You felt like you were on the journey with Cora and the interludes were like rest stops on the way to the destination. I love dual timeline stories. Whitehead was able to juggle the timelines without getting the reader confused or losing the reader on the way. It was interesting to see that he even included an African American boy who helped catch slaves. The Underground Railroad is not real. It merely represents the network of support along the route to a destination that many slaves didn't reach--freedom! The description of some of the scenes was gruesome, but they made the story authentic and gave the message more emphasis. Just as with the Holocaust, it is hard to comprehend that humans can do such cruel things to other humans. The events in this book may be fictional, but they are events that really happened like this in one way or another! And that makes my heart bleed!
A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreaking satirical look at what it's like to be young and black in America.
From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country.
These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world.
Friday Black needs many trigger warnings!!! It contains strong language, including the N word and the F bomb, it mentions child abuse, mass shootings, and abortion. Read this one at your own discretion!
This book touches all kinds of subjects in a number of short stories, some longer, some shorter, but all of them beautifully written! The description makes you think that this is a pro-Black and anti-White book, but I can tell you that this book does not throw every non-Black person into one pot and call them racists.
This book leaves you heartbroken, angry, and wondering in stories such as "The Finkelstein 5"--a short story that shows how easy it is to lose your humanity and turn from prey to predator. This story left me wanting more! While I know I would be an emotional wreck after reading an entire book based on this short story, it would be great to dig deeper into the lives of all those involved. This would make a great multiple POV novel!
Another story that played on my heartstrings is "Lark Street." As a child loss survivor, this story brought me to tears. A dad struggles with the ghosts of his twins that the couple decided to terminate. While I didn't lose our twins due to an abortion, but because one of our sons was sick and passed away in my womb taking his identical twin brother with him, this story made me think of my boys. Abortion is not something I consider unless there are very specific circumstances, but I felt for this couple.
Then there are stories that I just "don't get," for example "The Lion and the Spider" or "Zimmer Land." After reading those, I felt a little lost and was wondering if my philosophical skills were just not strong enough for those.
And just when I thought that the book would stop drawing me in, the author throws "Light Spitter" at me. Mind blown!!!! This story is so painful, but also so insightful, and thought-provoking! While I didn't care for the language used (including the name of the "villain" who used to be the "victim"), the story and the characters, plus the "time travel" and "out-of-body experience" segments were fantastic! I didn't want this story to end! Great job, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah!