Book Review: The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Goodreads: The Deep
Publisher: Saga Press
Published: 05 November 2019
Genre: Adult SFF

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future,” The Deep is vividly original and uniquely affecting.

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Book Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Goodreads: Clap When You Land
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Published: 05 May 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance-and Papi’s secrets-the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Yahaira and Camino are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp [36]

Yes, I’m well aware it’s no longer Sunday but wow, this weekend went by so quickly and didn’t feel like a weekend at all… So we’re back with another SundaysMondays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

Today I spent the day in bed with Queen of Nothing. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first two books in the series, although I still did enjoy them well enough to continue on finishing the series. I’m looking forward to seeing how this series wraps up. It’s also time to mention again: I hate Taryn. The end! 😊

The finale to the New York Times bestselling Folk of Air trilogy, that started with The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, from award-winning author Holly Black.

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.

When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.

When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.

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Sadie by Courtney Summers – #BookReview

Goodreads: Sadie
Genre: Young Adult Thriller, Mystery, Audiobook
Panda Rating:

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

I’m really surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this story. I had seen very mixed reviews and the more people said they were disappointed by it, the more I hesitated to read it, but I started it on a whim and I certainly don’t regret the decision! Sadie is a young adult mystery/crime thriller told through an interesting format: a mix of podcast and first person POV. It delves into pretty dark topics including child abuse (off page) and drug/alcohol abuse and addiction. It’s not a happy story by any means and there isn’t much of a happy ending (though tbh, I’m still a little salty about that ending!), but I think it’s worth the read.

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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp [35]

Yes, I’m well aware it’s no longer Sunday but wow, this weekend went by so quickly and didn’t feel like a weekend at all… So we’re back with another SundaysMondays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I spent yesterday stuck in a car for about 9 hours because of roadwork that caused major traffic. Fun times. But that meant I got to spend more time with Sadie. So glad I decided to follow this one on audiobook because the full-cast was really great and helped me build a deeper connection with the characters, which I feel wouldn’t have happened had I only read the book.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Read More »

#TopTenTuesday: Audio Freebie

Yay for my first Top Ten Tuesday! I’m excited to finally be spicing up my blog with more fun content, and I hope that I can keep it going every week. To be honest, I’m not so great with “Top Lists”. For some reason, seeing the call for top anything always freezes my brain. I also attribute that to my extremely shoddy memory 99.9% of the time, but let’s see how we go!

Today’s prompt is Audio Freebie (Any audio goes: audiobooks, music, podcasts, etc). I was going to post a Top 10 list of basically, all of the mentioned audio formats, but I decided to stick to Audiobooks. Since I haven’t actually listened to ten audiobooks yet, my list is going to be a combo of: Audiobooks that I love, that I’m currently listening to and that I’m looking forward to trying next!

LISTENED & LOVED

I’ve only managed to finish four audiobooks. That’s a very small portion of the many that I’ve accumulated in my Audible library, but I’ll get through them all eventually! The ones I’ve listened to didn’t disappoint me though, and I actually loved every minute of them!

1 Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. I am a huge Trevor Noah fan but I didn’t have any expectations when I chose this as my first audiobook. However, listening to Trevor Noah read us his life story was amazing–I laughed, I cried, I was shocked and appalled by some of the events in his life. I often found myself feeling mortified before bursting into laughter listening to some of the mischief he got up to as a kid. This was all around brilliant. If you want some relief, I highly recommend it!

2 Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson. Perhaps the reason I fell so hard and quick for this book is because Joyce Bean voiced one of the characters; and if there’s any voice that can bring me comfort, it’s definitely hers! This was a cute little romantic-comedy of a book that had me feeling all the feels at the end. Amy McFadden does a wonderful job portraying the main character and I felt such an emotional connection with the characters, and I was rooting so hard for them all at the end. This was a sweet one!

3 The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Who doesn’t love Neil Gaiman? His is a voice that I could listen to endlessly–I love the accent, I love how he pronounces words so eloquently and I love the cadences of his voice. I tried picking this one up as a book and I just couldn’t get into it, but the audiobook was great! I’m admittedly a wimp, so I thought this one was pretty creepy (how is it a book for kids?!), but it was also a fantastical story about a magical world, filled with the wickedest of monsters and demons, that lies just beyond the veil of our own.

4 Hunger: A Memoir of My Body by Roxane Gay. I recently reviewed Hunger on my blog and if you’ve read my post, you’ll know how much I loved it. Roxane Gay has such a soothing voice and listening to her tell her story was just like listening to a friend open up about all her intimate secrets. It’s also a fairly short listen, so I highly recommend it!

CURRENTLY LISTENING

5 Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. The only thing I needed to know about this audiobook was that it’s narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Needless to say, I love him! LMM does such a fantastic job narrating all the characters (esp. Ari & Dante), and what makes it even better is that I can actually imagine his expressions when he’s narrating, and it’s awesome! The only reason I haven’t finished this yet is because audiobooks are l-o-n-g and I haven’t had the time to focus!

6 Becoming by Michelle Obama. This book is legendary in the bookstagram world. It’s so hyped up I’m a little scared to go into it, but there’s no way that I’m not reading it either. Michelle Obama has so much charisma and you can feel it when you listen to her narrate! I am waiting to get the physical book so I can follow along for this one.

7 I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. I love true crime and I’ve been so excited to read this book! I started this but 1) it was too creepy to listen to when I got home at night after work, and 2) it’s so packed with details, it’s a little hard to follow at times. I think following along with the physical book is a must for this!

FUTURE LISTENS

8 Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James. This is another book that has gone through insane hype on bookstagram and while I’m honestly excited to read it, I’m also pretty intimidated by it. After listening to the excerpt, I already felt myself getting hooked, so I got it in the hopes that it would help me get through this epic fantasy!

9 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I started reading the (physical) book in February but until now have yet to finish it. It’s not that I dislike it, I’ve actually really enjoyed it so far, it’s just that when I put it down, I don’t feel compelled to pick it up again. So, I’m hoping to finally finish the book along with the audio!

10 Milkman by Anna Burns. I’ve heard really mixed reviews about this book but when I listened to an excerpt of the audiobook I knew I had to get it. The narrator, Bríd Brennan, has a wonderful Irish accent and since this novel is set in Ireland (I think?) what better way is there to immerse yourself in the reading experience? I honestly didn’t want to stop listening to the excerpt and it has made me even more excited to read this book!

That’s a wrap folks! After writing this post, I realized once more just how “chatty” or wordy I am, so I hope that I haven’t bored you all to tears! 😂

Have you done a Top Ten Tuesday post? If you have, feel free to leave me a link in the comments and let’s chat!