Even though Juice is a fictional character, I had to apologize to him for side-eyeing him for one-fourth, ok maybe half or more, of this novel. Even after planning a surprise and beautiful Divorcemoon for Books during which he took her to a kinky bookstore and blew her back out all up and through the AirBnB, I was waiting for the Big Reveal of his devious and nefarious ways causing the divorce filing.
Angel and Hannah are the epitome of being young and in love and believing themselves to be grown enough to take on the world. Hannah is a first-gen Korean-American from Jamaica Queens, whose parents, no surprise, disapprove of her interracial relationship with Puerto Rican Angel from Brooklyn. Their disapproval would run even deeper if they knew he’s a drug dealing high school drop-out. Nevertheless, Angel shows up at Hannah’s graduation with a $2 rose from the bodega. So sweet. Not long afterwards, Hannah packs her stuff and leaves home as her mother silently hopes that Hannah’s father won’t beat her daughter as he beats her.
The premise of that awkward feeling when you’re used to being the only Black girl but when another one comes along you daydream about becoming Office BFFs and stress over becoming mortal enemies. Add to that there’s the unsaid, instant bond that you both wear your hair natural. #IYKYK Friends or not, you know everyone is watching, and you bear the burden of representing all future Black employees.
I enjoyed the drama of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Thanks to the lies, secrets, sleeping around, old Hollywood, tabloid stories, publicity stunts to manipulate the press, Eveyln Hugo the movie star led a life that could also be turned into a movie. At the very least, she knew her life story would be a bestselling book that would garner millions for the novice writer.
See, this right here is a prime example of why I don’t pre-plan my monthly TBRs. A week ago, I hadn’t even heard of The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani. I made the fateful error of asking my cousin “whatchu reading these days?” Her excitement while telling me the synopsis of the thriller set in Paris and translated from French made me mosey on over to Libby to borrow the 6-hour audiobook while we were on the phone. For four days, the other books I was reading were forsaken.
f you’re like me, as you read this novel-in-verse, you can’t help but to think and feel empathetic for all the Black boys and teens who end up trapped in the system. Considering that Punching the Air is co-written and loosely inspired by true life experiences of Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five (formerly known as the Central Park Five), your heart will hurt even more. You think about all headlines of Black boys and teens trapped in the system and wonder about the ones you never hear about. The novel is also co-authored by Haitian-American writer Ibi Zoboi.
Martin Gray is a young Black attorney with a boutique storefront law firm in Queens. After winning a high-profile civil rights case, Martin earns himself an invitation into a secret society made up of elite and affluent Black men from all sorts of industries: media, real estate, finance, and other lawyers.
The men invite Martin on what he believes would be a white-water rafting weekend trip, but in reality is a secret retreat in the middle of nowhere. Wives are barred from joining, as is the use of cell phones on the gorgeous estate known as Forty Acres.
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.
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.