I have a confession while I love reading and talking about books, I’m pitiful when it comes to taking time to write reviews. I confess my poor record for getting them done is partly because of laziness. I could give you other reasons but the truth is reviews are not my favorite way to talk about books. I’m convinced the joy of taking an abundance of English courses where we had the luxury of engaging one another in extended discussions is to blame.
Well the book fairy was looking out for me. I read Eva’s at The Striped Armchair’s recent Sunday Salon post. She shared summaries and asked her readers to ask her questions. She'll use the questions and answers as the basis for her reviews. Love this!
Are you willing to indulge me? Below are four of my recent reads, books that deserve a good review. I’d love to answer your questions. Please ask me, the more the better. Post your questions in the comments between now and next Tuesday.
Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
Seventeen-year-old Samar — a.k.a. Sam — has never known much about her Indian heritage. Her mom has deliberately kept Sam away from her old-fashioned family. It's never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a really cute but demanding boyfriend.
But things change after 9/11. A guy in a turban shows up at Sam's house, and he turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage.
Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins
When her father loses his job and leaves India to look for work in America, Asha Gupta, her older sister, Reet, and their mother must wait with Baba’s brother and his family, as well as their grandmother, in Calcutta. Uncle is welcoming, but in a country steeped in tradition, the three women must abide by his decisions. Asha knows this is temporary—just until Baba sends for them. But with scant savings and time passing, the tension builds: Ma, prone to spells of sadness, finds it hard to submit to her mother- and sister-in-law; Reet’s beauty attracts unwanted marriage proposals; and Asha's promise to take care of Ma and Reet leads to impulsive behavior.
Aya by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie
Ivory Coast, 1978. Family and friends gather at Aya's house every evening to watch the country's first television ad campaign promoting the fortifying effects of Solibra, "the strong man's beer." It's a golden time, and the nation, too — an oasis of affluence and stability in West Africa — seems fueled by something wondrous…
Aya tells the story of its nineteen-year-old heroine, the studious and clear-sighted Aya, her easygoing friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbors. It's a breezy and wryly funny account of the desire for joy and freedom, and of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in Yop City.
Brown Girl In The Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
It tells the story of Ti-Jeanne, a young woman in a near-future Toronto that's been all but abandoned by the Canadian government. Anyone who can has retreated from the chaos of the city to the relative safety of the suburbs, and those left in "the burn" must fend for themselves. Ti-Jeanne is a new mother who's trying to come to grips with her as- yet-unnamed baby and also trying to end her relationship with her drug-addict boyfriend Tony. But a passion still burns between the young lovers, and when Tony runs afoul of Rudy, the local ganglord, Ti-Jeanne convinces her grandmother Gros-Jeanne to help out. Gros-Jeanne is a Voudoun priestess, and it's clear that Ti-Jeanne has inherited some of her gifts. Although Ti-Jeanne wants nothing to do with the spirit world, she soon finds herself caught up in a battle to the death with Rudy and the mother she thought she lost long ago.
Find more confessions at Poet Mom's.