In The Dream House

Review: In The Dream House

Author: Carmen Maria Machado

Stars: 5/5

 

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I must preface this by saying, that this was one of the hardest books I have had to read. Not because of the writing, the writing was beautiful. But because the story that Machado shared is a story that I know all too well. Reading this book made me examine some of the things I experienced. And none of what I say below will do this book the justice it deserves.

“Love cannot be won or lost; a relationship doesn’t have a scoring system. We are partners, paired against the world. We cannot succeed if we are at odds with each other.”

I came from a household where I saw abuse, so naturally I stayed in a relationship that was abusive. At the time, I did not know better, my idea of “love” was to stay. I held myself responsible for the rage this person held, and blamed myself for the emotional and physical abuse I endured. As I was reading In The Dream House, Machado expressed thoughts and feelings that I too felt in those dark months.

Reading this was certainly an interactive experience for me. And I say that because there were moments that I connected with the words on the pages as if I was Machado, as if I was in The Dream House. I know our stories are different, but the experiences hold the same essence. I was afraid to share my experience because queer abuse has been viewed as impossible. I would have chosen to make excuses for her rather than to hold her accountable.

That’s what you want. You want an explanation that clears her of responsibility, that permits your relationship to continue unabated. You want to be able to explain to others what she’s done without seeing horror on their faces.”

Much like Machado, I wish that I would have said something sooner. But fear sometimes has a hold on you cannot get past. It wasn’t until I realized that if I had stayed, I would have become the monster in The Dream House.

This memoir was haunting yet beautiful, brilliant and breathtaking in all the ways it was meant to. This isn’t a review more so a synopsis of my experience while reading this masterpiece. I cried, I was rigid with the fear that I felt in the past but also the fear that Machado wrote about so eloquently.

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

Genuine Fraud

Review: Genuine Fraud

Author: E. Lockhart

Stars: 5/5

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“For anyone who has been taught that good equals small and silent, here is my heart with all its ugly tangles and splendid fury.”

We start with a girl on the run. And that is where I got hooked. I needed to know who she was, who she was running from, and why was she running. And honeyyyy let me tell you, I found out and my edges were shooketh!!!! E. Lockhart has such a way of blowing your mind. This story was told backwards and I really enjoyed that aspect, I think it gave the story more character than if it were told in chronological order. This was a whirlwind in all the right ways.

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

One Day In December

Review: One Day In December

Author: Josie Silver

Stars: 4/5

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“You tread lightly through life, but you leave deep footprints that are hard for other people to fill.”

Guyssss! I do not know when I became the person that just fell apart while reading romance novels. But here we are and I’m just going to ride this wave. I kept seeing this book floating around the gram and then it was the book club choice I’m apart of. And at first I was like nah…I’m not going to get my emotions invested in this because we all know how the story is going to end. But LISTEN! I got invested and I can NOT undo it. If you need to find me, I will be over here in my feelings.

A little back story: Girl meets guy. They go they separate ways. Girl spends over a year looking for said guy. Best friend of girl meets a guy, introduces girl to now boyfriend who turns out to be the guy girl met a year ago. Guy and girl then spend years denying the attraction and it’s a roller-coaster! I loved it so much!

“There comes a point where you have to make the choice to be happy, because being sad for too long is exhausting.”

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

 

xX, Jimalion

Between The World and Me

Review: Between The World and Me

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Stars: 4/5

 

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“I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”

I wish that I had the words to do this justice. There was so much to unpack in such a short time. This was my first Ta-Nehisi Coates book and wow! I am speechless and that does not happen often. Every line of the book dripped with wisdom. This book was brilliantly, and beautifully written and it will be one of those books that stays with me forever. I am not a black boy being raised in America, so I know that this book was written for me. But I may become a mother of a black boy in America and for that I needed it. 

“America understands itself as God’s handiwork, but the black body is the clearest evidence that America is the work of men.”

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

 

xX, Jimalion

 

Always and Forever Lara Jean

Review: Always and Forever Lara Jean

Author: Jenny Han

Stars: 5/5

 

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“Never say no when you really want to say yes.”


There are so many things that I want to say, and honestly none of it will probably make sense. When I first started this series, I had no idea how much I would actually love it. I feel apart of the story, like I am invested in Lara Jean and the gang. I have found some sort of comfort within this story line, and I cannot put my finger on just what it is. And that would typically annoy me, but for some reason, that is enough for me.

I do know that there is a part of me that is drawn to the family dynamic within the books because I did not have a father that was “present” like Dan is. So having it exist in this fictional world has been enough to ease the sting as I have done major life things while reading the series. Getting engaged, graduating college, and soon getting married. I never knew what it would mean to long for something you never had because how can you know what you’re missing if it was never yours to miss?

Another reason why I absolutely adored this third book is because it gave me a sense of home. Chapel Hill was my stomping ground, I found the best and worst of myself on Franklin Street. I did not go to college at UNC, but that’s the thing about Chapel Hill. You do not have to be a student to feel apart of the greater picture not only the school holds, but the town of Chapel Hill itself holds. No matter how long I am away, when I find my way back it feels so nostalgic, as if pieces of me are finding their way back as if a little bit of my essence whispers in the wind “Welcome back….you’ve been gone too long.”

“I’m a Tar Hell born, I’m a Tar Heel bred. And when I die, I’m a Tar Heel dead.”

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

The Wedding Party

Review: The Wedding Party

Author: Jasmine Guillory

Rating: 4/5 Stars

 

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As someone who never read romance novels until being active on Bookstagram, I am beginning to learn that I love a good cat and mouse love chase. I like you, you like me, but we are going to deny it because that just sounds like the right thing to do, but we can’t ignore it and we fall in love. I think for me until my current relationship, Love was always this thing that left a negative taste in my mouth, so seeing love portrayed in a different light through characters that look like me is refreshing.

I especially loved Theo and Maddie’s relationship in this book. Also I love the fact that the books in this series all seem to be centered around food because if you know me, you know my love for food is at level expert. I feel like my thoughts are all over the place. But I also like how the women portrayed in this series are boss ass babes. They are relevant and have such a strong presence in their fields. Cannot wait to read the next book!

 

Until next time, until the next book.

xX, Jimalion

There There

Review: There There

Author: Tommy Orange

Stars: 4/5

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“We’ve been defined by everyone else and continue to be slandered despite easy-to-look-up-on-the-internet facts about the realities of our histories and current state as a people.”

“There, There” brings to us characters that I cannot recall reading a lot of which are Native Americans Indians. For that reason alone, I fell in love with this book. I tend to get lost when there is a large cast of characters. But what I like most about this book, is that each character has different stories and backgrounds but despite all of those differences they are all connected.

Tommy Orange did a fantastic job with showing us how one small action can change the course or affect someone else’s life. This was the first time I have been able to read about the villain of a story and see past the villain in them and see them as just a human. We read bout family, loss, hope, and identity as it pertains to the Native American community.

This was such a beautiful novel entangled with the history of the indigenous community with and incredible cast of characters and an ending that will leave you speechless.

“To not have been destroyed, to not have given up, to have survived, is no badge of honor.”

 

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX jimalion

The Good Daughter

Review: The Good Daughter

Author: Karin Slaughter

Stars: 5/5

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Y’all! Okay I feel personally attacked. Like Sis Karin Slaughter did THAT! I’m still sitting here like “I know I didn’t just read what I just read.” BUT I DID! And let me tell you it was EVERYTHING! There were two twists that took both of my eyebrows off!

The story starts with the sounds of a shotgun. The Quinn’s family world is turned upside down. The consequences of Rusty’s (dad) criminal defense cases, cause the family to be the target enemy of the town. 28 years later, another shooting brings the family back together again. But this time, secrets are exposed, tragedy is met, and unforeseen truths are brought to the light.

“Neither one of us will ever move forward if we are always looking back.”

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX Jimalion

The Night Visitors

Review: The Night Visitors

Author: Carol Goodman

Stars: 5/5

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This one surprised me! But I enjoyed watching the secrets unfold until the very end. This was my first Carol Goodman book, but it did not disappoint me.

The story is told from two perspectives: Alice and Mattie.
In the middle of a snow storm in Delphi, NY Alice is on the run with ten year old Oren, a young boy who has the capability of seemingly knowing things that he shouldn’t. And what they carry with them is more than what fits in a luggage. Mattie Lane is a social worker who was sent to the bus stop to meet Oren and Alice. Instantly Oren and Mattie were drawn to each other…as if there was a force bringing them together.

When Alice and Oren need a late night pick up to be taken to a shelter, Mattie against normal protocol takes them to her house to wait out the blizzard. What was suppose to be a harmless act of kindness, quickly turns out to be something completely different. And as the blizzard gets worse, the past of both Alice and Mattie are no longer buried. And while facing their truths, they both must somehow make it through the night alive in order to protect Oren.

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX Jimalion

 

Thick: And Other Essays

Review: Thick: And Other Essays

Author: Tressie McMillan Cottom

Stars: 5/5

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“Black girls and black women are problems. That is not the same thing as causing problems. We are social issues to be solved, economic problems to be balanced, and emotional baggage to be overcome.”

Wow. Wow. These essays have floored me in the best possible way. Being a black woman who was once a black girl, I found myself present in these pages, I found heart beat through these words. So many thoughts and feelings were articulated in a way that I never could have imagined.

“Fixing my feet became a way of life for me, an undercurrent of thousands of messages that form the subconscious playlist of our identity. It plays alongside other whispers like, “work twice as hard” and “keep your legs closed” and “don’t talk to strangers” and “don’t be a stranger” and remember who you are and where you came from.”

I’m sitting on my floor still in awe of these pages, of this book. Ugh! I loved it so much!

Until next time, Until the next book.

xX Jimalion