POWERFUL QUOTES FROM THE HATE U GIVE

Silhouettes and Bookshelves
Image: Gerd Altmann

After finishing The Hate U Give, I spent an hour crying. That was all due to the powerful words in the many The Hate U Give quotes that stood out the most and had to be shared.

“I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happened to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.”

“Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.”

“That’s the hate they’re giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life.”

“The Hate U–the letter U–Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. T-H-U-G L-I-F-E. Meaning what society give us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out.”

“We want freedom. We want the power to determine the destiny of our black and oppressed communities.We want an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of black people, other people of color, and oppressed people.Complete freedom, justice, and equality, by any means necessary.”

“Brave doesn’t mean you’re scared, Starr,” she says. “It means you go on even though you’re scared.”

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

“Once upon a time there was a hazel-eyed boy with dimples. I called him Khalil. The world called him a thug. He lived, but not nearly long enough, and for the rest of my life I’ll remember how he died. Fairy tale? No. But I’m not giving up on a better ending. It would be easy to quit if it was just about me, Khalil, that night, and that cop. It’s about way more than that though. It’s about Seven. Sekani. Kenya. DeVante. It’s also about Oscar. Aiyana. Trayvon. Rekia. Michael. Eric. Tamir. John. Ezell. Sandra. Freddie. Alton. Philando. It’s even about that little boy in 1955 who nobody recognized at first–Emmett.”

So…which of these The Hate U Give quotes moved you the most? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more The Hate U Give? Check out the book review!

LIT REVIEW: THE HATE U GIVE

The Hate U Give Book Cover

Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 2017
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Everyone wants to know what really went down that night, and Starr is the only person who can answer that question.

This is America

I both loved and hated this book for the same reason. It spoke truth to power and provided insight to many aspects of the current state of black American life. I loved Angie Thomas’ unflinching narrative, but the book left me in tears. The pain, suffering, discrimination, and even death that Starr, Khalil, and Maverick experienced reflect the lives and sudden deaths of the Tamir‘s, the Sandra‘s, the Alton‘s, and the Rekia‘s of America and the loved ones they left behind. This story has been the talk of the book world since its release and has deserved all the awards and praises it has received, but it leaves me with little hope, even with The Hate U Give being on the reading lists for many middle and high school students, that society will ever change for the better. When I look at some of the responses to the novel, I see there are people who just don’t want to get it. It’s angry and infuriating to read a book that speaks so much truth about your life and existence and to see people who have never and will never live such an experience dismiss it as hogwash.  

The Mirror Has Two Faces

I definitely related to Starr putting on a façade during her time at Williamson Prep because she doesn’t want to be the stereotype of the hood black girl. It is something that I also struggled with as a teenager when I was often the only black face in a white space. For lots of black Americans, we are only allowed to be our truest self in the comfort of our own homes and among our family and closest friends. In order to survive in the country that was built for our demise, double consciousness is essential. Having a frenemy like Hailey also doesn’t help Starr to be her truest self because Hailey is the type of person who makes racially insensitive remarks and gets offended when called out because for her, being labeled a racist is worse than actually being racist. With situations like these, it is not surprising that Starr was hesitant in sharing how she was dealing with her involvement in the police shooting to her “friends” at Williamson. At least her boyfriend, Chris, was around to be part of her support system. Now, I definitely know why that first guy who played Chris in the movie had to go. In a story like this, a person who makes racist remarks against black people can’t play the love interest for a young black girl.

Overall Opinion

Even though the book world has been raving about this book since its debut, I put off reading it because I knew it would affect me to my core. I knew I would eventually read it, but the movie release sped up my reading schedule and put it on the top of my TBR List. I was interested in Angie Thomas’s take on the Black Lives Matter movement, and I wanted to see if the book lived up to the hype for me because sometimes the book that everyone loves doesn’t hit me the same (ahem … The Book Thief). This book without a doubt lived up to all of the praise it has received. The story is steeped in realness that had me smiling, laughing, and definitely crying.

Final Grade

Carpe Librum: The Hate U Give should be a must read both inside and outside of the classroom for everyone to have an insight into an aspect of being black in America. It is also an excellent opportunity for young black people to read a contemporary story that centers them as the hero.

So…have you read The Hate U Give? Are you excited about Angie Thomas’s next book? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more The Hate U Give? Join the quotefest!

THE 2019 (HELLA BLACK) ALA AWARDS

Library Shelves
Image: Greg Reese

During their Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Washington, the American Library Association announced the winners of their top prizes for 2019, and we were delighted to see the number of creators who are part of the African Diaspora. In honor of Black History Month, we are sharing the all the books with black writers and illustrators that won the 2019 ALA Awards!

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield

A Few Red Drops Book Cover

A Few Red Drops won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, which recognizes an African American author for outstanding children and young adult books, and tells how rising tensions and conflicting interests exploded into the 1919 Chicago Race Riot.

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark, about Creeper who wants aboard the smuggler airship “Midnight Robber” and off the streets of New Orleans, is one of the 10 winners of the Alex Award, given to the best adult books that appeal to teens.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and  What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil is another winner of the Alex Award where Wamariya shares her journey from escaping the Rwandan massacre to seeking asylum with her sister in the United States.

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

How Long 'Til Black Future Month Book Cover

The final Alex Award-winning book from a black author is a collection of stories where Jemison infuses magic and fantasy into the mundane of modern society and includes the Hugo award-nominated “The City Born Great.”

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon, the winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, is a collection of essays and personal stories that reflect on the state of American society and Laymon’s experiences with abuse.

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, about the disappearance of Claudia’s best friend Monday Charles, is the winner of the  Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe New Talent (Author) Award that honors new talent and offers visibility to excellence that might otherwise go unacknowledged.

Intercepted by Alexa Martin

Intercepted Book Cover

This Romance representative on the Reading List about Marlee who is dating Gavin Pope, the hot new quarterback and a previous fling, but the team’s wives are not happy with her return and determined to take her down.

The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer (Author) and Ekua Holmes (Illustrator) won the Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award and blends art and science with Bauers poetic words and Holmes’s beautiful illustrations.

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora, winner of the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe New Talent (Illustrator) Award, is about all the neighbors arriving for Omu’s homemade stew.

Your Turn

So…how are you celebrating Black History Month? Have you read any books that won at the 2019 ALA Awards? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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5 READING RESOLUTIONS FOR 2019

Number 5
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Looks like we have another Top 5 Wednesday here at Reel Literature! Since we are “lucky” enough to have 5 Wednesdays in the month of January, T5W Host, Sam from Thoughts on Tomes, is giving us a freebie for the last Wednesday in January. We can choose any topic of interest! Since we missed out on this previous topic, we are revisiting January 2019’s earlier topic of “Reading Resolutions.”

Read at least 10 books written by women.

Image: Giphy

I want to always walk the walk I am talking, especially when it comes to celebrating diversity in literature. For me, it is really important for read stories from marginalized groups. I think it expands my life outlook and makes me a better human. And 2019 will be the year of reading more women. Not only will I seek out women writers, I want to read the words written by women of color because they are truly the most underrepresented in EVERYTHING!

Read no more than 2 books written by a white man.

Image: Giphy

This reading resolution goes along with the aforementioned one because reading more books written by women of color means reading less books written by white men. I have no problem making this resolution. I don’t foresee having any problems keeping this resolution. This may be my favorite resolution:

Image: Giphy
Read more #books written by women! #EvergreenTweet Click To Tweet

ALWAYS carry a book with me when I leave the house.

Image: Giphy

This will be easy or hard based on whether I am reading an ebook or a physical book. Right now I am reading a hardback of Becoming, which makes it hard for me to bring it along when I leave the house since my purse barely fits the stuff I need to carry with me. That means I didn’t have anything to read to pass the time while waiting at the dentist office a few weeks ago, when I really, really, really, needed a book to pass the time. Le sigh. It will obviously be so much easier to keep this resolution when I’m reading an ebook because I usually have my phone with me when I leave the house.

Read at least 1 book outside of the usual vibe.

Image: Giphy

I definitely don’t have a favorite genre when it comes to reading. If it sounds interesting, then I am ALL in. However, I tend not to really read books that fall into the categories of fantasy and sci-fiction. I think I will give something from those genres a spin in 2019. Don’t worry, Harry Potter won’t count. 😉

Complete the Goodreads Challenge.

Image: Giphy

For the past few years, my reading goal has been to read 12 books in the year, which is totally doable for a busy adultish person like myself. This year, I’m actually challenging myself and upping my reading game by adding 3 books to the goal. That means I will have to get through 2 books during a couple of months through the year. I guess I need to work on my speed reading skills.

Your Turn

So…what are your 2019 Reading Resolutions? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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LIT REVIEW: CRAZY RICH ASIANS

Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Book Cover

Title: Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy
Author: Kevin Kwan
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: 2018
Summary: Crazy Rich Asians: The relaxing summer in Singapore Rachel Chu envisions with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, falls apart the minute she steps off the plane. Their vacation quickly turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosey relatives, and social climbers. China Rich Girlfriend: On the eve of her wedding, Rachel Chu is mourning the fact that her birthfather will not be there to walk her down the aisle, but a chance accident reveals his identity and Rachel is drawn into the dizzying world of Shanghai where people aren’t just crazy rich … they are China rich. Rich People Problems: When Su Yi is on her deathbed, Nick Young rushes to her bedside, but he is not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan come from all corners of the globe to stake their claim on the matriarch’s massive fortune and secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park, located in the heart of Singapore.

Cast of Characters

An aspect of the trilogy that I absolutely adored was all the people I had to keep track of in the story. I will admit that sometimes it was confusing to remember who a character was in relation to our main cast, but that did not keep me from enjoying this delightful story. You definitely need to read the entire trilogy to get the total encapsulation of the characters, especially the secondary ones.

This is most certainly true when it comes to one of my favorite kooky characters, Kitty Pong. She only has a brief introduction in Crazy Rich Asians, but she becomes a staple character in the story during the sequels, especially Rich People Problems. Although we seem to get less of Nick and Rachel in the subsequent stories, I am okay with it because we get more of the supporting cast like lovable Astrid and annoying Eddie.

For Fashion and Foodie Fanatics

As a poor brown girl saddled with student loans, I am only familiar with some of the designers loved by the hood rich and nouveau riche alike. To avoid any controversy, I won’t name any names, but you know what they are. LOL However, reading this book has dropped names that I’ve never even heard of or only recently heard of thanks to The Carters. If you are looking for a list of fashion houses to visit on your dream vacation or the luxury you plan to buy after you win the lottery, then this book is the perfect blueprint for your BMF Plan.

Besides the cast of characters that kept me enjoying this series from beginning to end, it was the constant description of the food that was the focal point of many situations and kept me drooling reading. Seriously, reading the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy makes me want to eat my way through Singapore. As a “Fat American,” I am super jealous that all these crazy rich Asians are able to eat all this good food and still stay in peak physique. It just makes it even more unfair to know that not only are these characters obscenely rich, but they also enjoy the best food, and it never shows. Give me ALL the buns, ALL the dumplings, ALL the fresh seafood, and ALL the tea! I LOVE that the cuisine was like another character in the book.

Overall Opinion

If you have only stopped at Crazy Rich Asians, then it’s time to pick up its siblings and get the entire story. These books are such a fun read and the perfect remedy for any reading slump you might be experiencing. The downside for me was that the story went by too quickly. The trilogy is a romp from beginning to end that both educates the reader about aspects of Asian culture and entertains with the antics of the crazy rich.

The Final Grade

Carpe Librum: I absolutely LOVED reading the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. The story was fun and captivating from beginning to end, and I didn’t want the ride to end. If you are looking for the perfect, fluffy read, then these books are for you.

Your Turn

So…are you ready to give the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy a read? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Crazy Rich Asians? Read the movie review!

REEL REVIEW: CRAZY RICH ASIANS

Crazy Rich Asians Movie Poster

Title: Crazy Rich Asians
Screenwriter: Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim
Director: Jon M. Chu
Release Date: August 15, 2018
Synopsis: A contemporary romantic comedy that follows NYU professor, Rachel Chu, who visits Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young, to attend his best friend’s wedding and to meet his family.

A Monumental Occasion

I only saw a trailer for Crazy Rich Asians once, and I knew I was going to see this movie. It has been sooooo long since I’ve been excited to see a romantic comedy, and the vibrant trailer caught my eye immediately. I was also super excited to watch a love story that was exclusively between people of color.  It has been years, 25 years to be exact, since we have seen a major motion picture with a majority Asian cast, and I have NEVER seen a romantic comedy with a majority Asian cast. I am definitely looking forward to the sequels, and I hope it expands the representation of the Southeast Asian population.

Change I Can Accept

Like any adaptation, the movie often takes license because it is impossible to capture everything from a 500-page book into a 2-hour movie. Crazy Rich Asians definitely took advantage of that license, especially when it came to the ending. Anyone who has read the book knows this story does not end in typical rom-com fashion that we have come to expect. Since I am a fan of romantic comedies, this change to the end didn’t surprise me, and it didn’t upset me based on other changes that were made to the movie version of the story, like the open tension between Rachel and Eleanor in the dumplings and mah-jongg scenes. 

I might be alone on this island, but I didn’t like Ronny Chieng as Eddie Cheng. Now, I absolutely LOVE Ronny Chieng. He is adorable and so funny, but I saw Eddie as older and more tyrannical based on the book. I was also slightly disappointed with Astrid’s simplified storyline. I know it would be so hard to weave that story into the movie’s limited run time, but I feel that the richness of the Astrid I loved in the book was missing from the movie. I  hope they bring some of that into the sequel since a special person from Astrid’s past made a cameo at the wedding!

That’s Not What Happened!

For all the beauty the movie brought us, there were a few missteps based on my interpretation of the book. My first side eye was the movie’s interpretation of the Goh Family. I understand that they represent “new money,” so they are more ostentatious when showing off their wealth, but they felt like caricatures from the book. I love me some Ken Jeong, but I could have used less Jeong-iness in this role. I also HATED Mr. Goh’s interactions with Peik Lin because the movie paints Peik Lin as someone who didn’t take her studies seriously when, in fact, Mr. Goh was proud of her accomplishments and saw her as the most qualified of his children to take over his business. That seemed like a missed opportunity to turn that tired notion on its head. 

Speaking of Peik Lin, I was also not a fan of her adaptation from book to movie. In the book, she was Rachel’s smart college friend with the most effervescent personality. In the movie, she was transformed into the quirky sidekick channeling her best sassy black girl impression. It didn’t make me like the movie any less, but it was slightly annoying. The last aspect of the movie that left me salty was the movie’s version of Michael Teo. Without spoiling the story, I will just say the book’s take on Michael’s affair and his relationship with Astrid and her family was smart and nuanced. The movie took the lazy route when handling it.

Overall Opinion

Despite my nitpicking, the movie lived up to and even exceeded my expectations in many aspects. I got a love story that I’ve been unknowingly craving for a while, and I got to see a place I’ve wanted to visit for years. If Singapore isn’t experiencing a tourism boom at the moment, then they will soon because of this movie.

Final Grade

Kettle Korn: Crazy Rich Asians is the must-see movie based on the must-read book. The adaptation was mostly sweet, but there were some changes from the book that kept it from getting top scores.

Your Turn

So…have you read Crazy Rich Asians? Have you seen Crazy Rich Asians? Are you one of the crazy rich Asians? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Crazy Rich Asians? Read the book review!

THE (BOOKISH) 2019 GOLDEN GLOBES

Books on Bookshelf
Image: Marisa Sias

At the 2019 Golden Globes, Sandra Oh had a BIG night. That fills my heart with joy because I still miss her on Grey’s Anatomy as Christina Yang, but I am glad she is still out here f*cking up the game. It has been a big year for adaptations, so it’s not a surprise that books also had a big night at the Golden Globes. Today we are sharing the books that were the Real MVPs at the 76th Golden Globes ceremony.

A Very English Scandal by John Preston

A Very English Scandal Book Cover

In 1979, Jeremy Thorpe was a rising star of the Liberal Party on trial for conspiracy to commit murder. It was the first time a British politician stood trial for a murder charge. The adaptation brought home a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film.

Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

When one of the world’s deadliest assassins murders an influential Russian politician, she draws the attention of an MI6 agent who is tasked to find the responsible assassin. The book was adapted into the critically acclaimed BBC series, Killing Eve, starring Sandra Oh who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama.

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen

First Man The Life of Neil A Armstrong Book Cover

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the surface of the moon and a subsequent American hero. Hansen explores Armstrong’s complex legacy as both individual and astronaut. The movie First Man took home a Golden Globe for Best Original Score.

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

Tish and Fonny plan to marry, but Fonny is falsely accused of crime and imprisoned, and  their families must fight to clear Fonny’s name. Regina King portrays Tish’s mother, Sharon Rivers, in the adaptation and won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Object Book Cover

Fresh from the psych ward, Camille Preaker is on a troubling assignment in her hometown covering the murders of two young girls. She must unravel the puzzle of her own past in order to get the story and survive this homecoming. Sharp Objects won a 2019 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film.

Ultimate Fallout #4 by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli (Artist)

After the death of Peter Parker, the world is introduced to Miles Morales who picks up the mantle of Spider-Man. Miles entered the cinematic world in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film.

Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History by Maureen Orth

Vulgar Favors The Assassination of Gianni Versace Book Cover

The complete story of Andrew Cunanan and the victims he left along the way during his murderous rampage that ended with the death of designer giant, Gianni Versace. The book was the basis for Season 2 of American Crime Story and took home Golden Globes for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film and Best Miniseries or Television Film.

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer

As Joan and Joseph Castleman fly to Helsinki for Joseph to receive a prestigious award, Joan, who has spent forty years focusing on Joseph’s career over her own literary talents, has finally decided she is done. At the 76th Golden Globes, Glenn Close won Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for playing the role of Joan Castleman in the adaptation of The Wife.

Your Turn

So…did you watch The 2019 Golden Globes? Have you read any of these Golden Globe-winning books? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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THE BOOK TITLE TAG

Books on Bookshelf
Image: Marisa Sias

Today’s post is a bookish tag, created by ReadingRealm, that I stumbled upon through fellow book blogger, Shannon, at It Starts at Midnight. Are you ready to learn more about me through random book titles? Then, let’s get this bookish fête started!

Book Title That’s the Story of Your Life

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: No matter the success I have been able to achieve, I constantly doubt myself. Everyday is a struggle to overcome the anxiety and depression of feeling like I am not good enough.

Book Title That Describes Your Perfect Weekend

Sunday Brunch: If the question is “Brunch?” my answer is always “Yes!” I brunch so hard that I literally have the T-shirt. So my best weekend would include a stack of pancakes, a side of bacon, and bottomless mimosas.

An Adventure You’d Like to Go On

Around the World in 80 Days: No matter if ††it’s on a boat, or on a train, or in a car, or on a plane, I want to see the entire world because that’s the adventure of a lifetime!

The Book Title Tag, where the answer to the question is always a #book title. Click To Tweet

Book Title You Want to Name Your Child

The Violet Hour: My favorite color is purple, so I always wanted to have a daughter and name her Violet. Later, I fell in love with the name Lorelai thanks to my Gilmore Girls fandom. Which sounds better Violet Lorelai or Lorelai Violet?

Your Ideal Job

Design is a Job: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a fashion designer because I loved styling and posing my Barbies. I also loved being crafty, so I also wanted to be an interior designer. And I fell in love with the architectural designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, which made me want to pursue a career in architecture. I didn’t pursue any of these paths, but I think blogging has been a suitable substitute for the dreams and creativity of my inner child.

A Place You’d Like to Visit

Meet Me in Barcelona: Barcelona was on my travel bucket list before the word “bucket list” was part of pop culture vernacular. I’m ready to enjoy a nice glass of sangria on the beach while savoring the most amazingly authentic paella of my life.

Book Title of Your Love Life

Just the Two of Us: Although it’s technically the three of us since my beau came to our relationship with a cat, we know it’s going to be us together until the end of the line.

Questions You Ask Yourself

What Color is Your Parachute?: Sometimes I wonder what is the job I’m meant to have. My love for science and math steered me toward engineering, but I still have a passion for books and writing. Plus, I am absolutely obsessed with makeup … So, what color is my parachute?

Book Title of a Kingdom You Want to Rule

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: I was a huge fan of Once Upon a Time and loved all the fairy tale characters and imagery. It would be amazing to be the queen of The Enchanted Forest, but I promise there will be no evil doings from me.

Book Title You’d Name Your Band

The Sapphire Rose: Our name would be The Sapphire Roses and be comprised of 9 women who were all born in September because … symbolism. I would be the lead singer who sometimes plays lead guitar, and I would be a diva because why not, this is my fantasy!

Book Title That Describes Where You Live

In the Lake of the Woods: I currently live in a city that has both “wood” and “lake” in the name. Instead of residing in a lakeside cabin. I live in a walk-up studio apartment within walking distance of a lake.

Your Turn

So…have you participated in The Book Title Tag? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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LIT REVIEW: THE MOTHERS

The Mothers Book Cover

Title: The Mothers
Author: Brit Bennett
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: 2016
Summary: During the summer before college, Nadia Turner mourns her mother’s recent suicide while hooking up with the local pastor’s son and former football star, Luke Sheppard, and by befriending Aubrey, who quickly becomes her best friend. Soon, Nadia, Aubrey, and Luke are full-fledged adults who are caught in a love triangle and dealing with the choices they made during that fateful summer.

The Love Triad That Could

I know the love triangle trope can be annoying to some people, but I’m okay with it as long as it isn’t forced into the storyline just to add drama. For this book, I did not feel like the love triangle was forced and served the story well. From my understanding, love triangles seem to be someone chasing one person who is chasing the first person. The Mothers did not present this type of love triangle.

Each person involved in the triangle had a deep and emotional relationship with the other people involved. Nadia loves Aubrey and Luke. Luke loves Aubrey and Nadia. Aubrey loves Luke and Nadia. That dynamic creates a constant tension in the novel, and that dynamic kept me engaged from beginning to the end of Brit Bennett’s debut novel.

Military Brats Represent!

As a former military brat, it was really cool to see that represented in literature! I have never experienced that prior to The Mothers, and to have it be a black military family on top of that was icing on the chocolate cake! It makes me want to see more stories like this. If anyone has read a book that has a POC military family, then please share in the comments, so I can keep getting my life to this.

I also like that it wasn’t the typical military brat experience of moving around all the time. When I tell people I grew up in a military family, they want to know all the places I lived in, but it was only my dad who got to traipse around the world. I only got to move back and forth between a few states. It was cool to read how Nadia basically grew up in the same area, even though her father was in the Marine Corps because I graduated with a kid who lived his entire life on the same base.

No Neat Ending

One of the aspects that can kill a book experience for me is a lackluster ending. I am happy to say The Mothers doesn’t fall short in the ending department. I was also happy the ending was not wrapped into a perfect bow with a sweet happily ever after. The book ends with speculation and innuendo, and I adored it. I was left with mixture of satisfaction and uneasiness because of the ending. I wanted more of the story because of the ending. For me, that is the sign of an excellent read.

Overall Opinion

I don’t remember how I came to know about The Mothers, but I’m glad I did because I enjoyed every part of this read, even though I didn’t know what to expect while reading it. The story tells of a black experience that I have yet to read, which is always good when showing that we are, in fact, not a monolith. However, I was left wanting more once the story was over. I guess that is something that can be explored in the adaptation. Yes, this is definitely a story that I would like to see adapted.

Final Grade

Carpe Librum: Even though The Mothers left me wanting for more, I still say this book is a must read. It seems like lots of books lately are retellings of older stories or books that remind you of other books. The Mothers is none of that! It feels fresh. It feels original. It feels current. Read it. You will not be disappointed.

Your Turn

So…have you read The Mothers? Are you a fan of love triangles? Are you a military brat? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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DECEMBER IS READ A NEW BOOK MONTH

December is National Read a New Book Month! Some calendars say this holiday is celebrated in September, but we ask…isn’t December a much better fit? The holiday season is upon us, and we are finalizing our holiday wish lists. Doesn’t it make sense to add that new book you keep eyeing at your local bookstore to the list? I’ve already added a few books I’ve seen in the book blogosphere to my Amazon Wish List.

A Leap of Faith for New Book Month

Take New Book Month to venture outside your reading comfort zone. How about browsing a new genre you might have been reluctant to explore in the past? What about checking out an author who has previously piqued your curiosity? Why not do a book swap with your BFF and read each other’s favorite book? In today’s world, there is more than enough material to find your next read! Hey, you might even find your new favorite author or book series!

Your Turn

So…how do you discover new books? What new author are you going to explore? What new book are you adding to your wish list? What book would you swap with your BFF? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Reel Lit? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Reel Literature Digest: