The Vanishing Half is an intriguing novel about identical twin sisters, Stella and Desiree. The two are born and raised in the fictional town of Mallard, Louisiana, which was founded by their great-great-great grandfather after being freed by his master-father. The girls have creamy skin, hazel eyes, wavy hair and dreams of leaving their small hometown. They do so at the age of sixteen and run away to New Orleans. From there, their lives take on drastically different paths.
The movie was all types of ridiculous–in a good way. Based on a Twitter thread of 100+ tweets, it follows a Detroit waitress named Zola (played by Taylor Paige) who gets roped into taking a roadtrip down to Florida for the weekend on a quest to make a quick payday stripping.
In Pretty Brown Eyes, a novella, Mescia meets Alex on her way home from celebrating her parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. All of Mescia’s sisters are either married or engaged. Not her. She’s still reeling from the end of her three-year relationship with ex-boyfriend Devon. Thank goodness she lets down her guard and receives the real treatment (and sex) she deserves and craves.
I loved the adorably awkward Norris Kaplan in Ben Philippe’s The Field Guide to the North American Teenager. The Haitian-Canadian teen is a fish out of water when he moves to Austin, Texas, with his mother. The poor boy is “The New Kid” in high school and is having trouble adjusting to the Texas heat and making friends. At least he’s found a hockey team for some semblance of home.
Charming As a Verb was such a cute little gem. This is the second YA novel written by Haitian writer Ben Philippe that I’ve read. As I said in my review for The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, “we’re not dealing with gang/street violence, teen pregnancy, [or] drugs. That’s not the only experience of Black teens.” Once again, Philippe writes about a high school teen boy on a quest to attain #BlackBoyJoy.
Being the book nerd that I am, I of course requested a trip to a bookstore. Unfortunately, there aren’t any reasonably nearby Indie or Black-owned bookstores. There is a Barnes & Noble and I sure darkened its doorstep. H-h-h-hessica was working a half-day in-office, so her husband (poor guy) drove me. He was bored out of his mind as I frolicked through a bookstore for the first time in over a year.
Post workout, I scribbled my daily gratitude note. I chose “breath.” As I wrote it, it dawned on me that in a week’s time it’s the fifteenth anniversary of when my breathing almost ceased.
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson is one of those memoirs, like The Glass Castle written by another Jeannette but with the last name Walls, that leaves you feeling flabbergasted, angry, and sad at the way grown folks who choose to become parents treat their children. In the case of Winterson, she is the adoptive daughter of a woman whom she refers to as Mrs. Winterson. Jeanette writes: “Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home–they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.”