It was something that I didn't believe in at first. I had listened to a sample clip once and I didn't like it. I told myself that I would not listen to audio books. I felt that if you are reading a book then you need to be holding it in your hands and turning the pages. I felt the same way about ebooks until I got my first kindle, a Kindle Paper White. I was ecstatic about it because I had done some reading on it and was excited about the possibility of having books on demand. If I saw a book that I liked then I could always click and boom, I'm into the story. I had changed to enjoying both physical and ebooks. I still wasn't convinced about audio books however.
I thought that I came up with the voices and accents for each character quite well on my own. This would help with my reading rhythm. An audio book would change all that; someone else came up with the voices, the accents and even the pronunciations of the names. I didn't want to mess with my flow. Last year when I was pregnant, I lost that flow. Reading became hard for me, which I took very hard . I was devastated that I couldn't find myself wanting to read and when I did, I couldn't focus. After the birth of my baby, I set out to getting back to my reading but you don't have much time with a newborn. Then I bumped into Audible. I thought to myself, ' Hmm, maybe I should give this chance." I did a free trial and found that it was actually helpful to listen to a book. I would listen while I drove to work in the morning, on my way home and even in bed or while feeding my little one. Audio books came through for me at a time I least expected it.
However, my feelings for it hasn't completely changed. I find it harder to review a book that I have listened to. I connect better with words when I can read them. I can see the writer's intent and feel the ebb and flow of their writing style better. Listening will take on a different kind of review as you don't get the same out of an audio book than a physical or even an ebook. I do find myself looking for more books to listen to. So, It's safe to say, I am getting into it. I will try reviewing an audio book soon but for now I'm just enjoying this new 'thing'.
For the service I use, Audible, I like it. You can access it from all over the world unlike some other audio book services and believe me I've tried. You get one credit to a book, any book per month and others are at a discounted rate. At first, I thought why do I need to pay for other books if I'm paying for the service. Well, I'm sure authors and the voicing talent need to get paid for their hard work. Also, I didn't have to go through the hassle of setting up an account with tedious questions because I already had an Amazon account. I thought that was very thoughtful. I give Audible and Amazon a double thumbs up for this one.
P.S. Audio books are really great for moms who like to read.
This one was hot! I kept saying it to anyone who would listen. I saw this book months ago and said, "I'm gonna read this book. It looks like a good read." I was not prepared. She wasn't ready!!!! *Kevin Hart voice* The story had me hooked. The first lines were like," Mmmhmm okay. Go ahead now girl." This book had star moments and I wanna talk about them.
First thing is that I loved the characters. Joshua and Lucy were so cute and complete. I loved how opposite they were at first. Josh's tough and icy exterior was sexy and I liked it. I really did. It reminded me of someone I know. Then there was Lucy; sweet as sugar yet driven and creative. The building of these characters through their past and present was very well done. With each one, you could see how they both ended up as assistants at B&G. The contrast between these two added to the sexual tension that reigned supreme throughout the book. Let me tell you about that tension honey... yaaas! I re-read this book just to see if it would have the same effect and it did. I felt every stare between the two.
I can't say I didn't see Josh getting personal with Lucy coming but I didn't see it coming that way. Listen! When he grabbed Lucy and pinned her against that elevator wall, I wasn't ready. I loved every second of it. I was like, I want that. (LOL!) It was from that moment I knew I wanted these two to be together. I really began routing for them since that moment. Then emotional charge changed as the book went on as Josh and Lucy get into it. But not in their usual way. Lucy let her guard down and Josh crumple at the sight of it. It was one of the 'real and raw moments' of the books.
Who knew paint balling could reveal so much? That reminded me of when I went paint balling with some cowokers for the first time.
Sidenote, I'm just as tiny as Lucy so I know what it's like to get the gear and it not fit like everyone else.
Back to the book. We get a chance to see Josh for who he really is or who he really wanted to be for Lucy. The protector of Little Lucy *pictures Lucy glaring at me for calling her that*. He tries to protect her throughout the day when he saw that she was sick even though she did nor the readers knew it yet. After all the fun, he takes her home and cares for her. He even calls his brother to look in on her. Ladies, if a guy does this for you, he's a keeper. He's seen you at your absolute worst and still wants to kick it with you....lock him down right away.
The books keeps getting better as these two court the only way Josh and Lucy could. When I think things couldn't get any more real and raw, here comes Josh's brother's wedding. Lucy finally gets the inside scoop on why Josh is so Josh. First, she meets his father who is in my opinion too in his feelings. I was like," Sir get out of yo feelins. Fa real fa real." Then we meet his mom, who is sweet as sugar but tough as nails. I mean which Mom at the core isn't? All the while I felt like Lucy, "When is the other shoe gonna drop?" Then it does. In true Lucy fashion she freaks out and runs away. Josh's Mom had to step in and fix it. I mean which Mom doesn't fix things for her babies and sh!t hits the fan? Mama's out there, am I right?
The night progresses to satisfy delayed gratification and Josh finally has his Lucy flavoured Chocolate Easter Egg. I most say the build up and sexual tension was satisfied at this point. Sally truly took us for that ride. By the time that scene rolls around it was perfectly timed. It wasn't the premeditated romantic set up that would give away what came next. It was impulsive, real and raw and oh so well written.
My second favourite moment comes the next morning. Lucy and Josh join Josh's family for breakfast, much to the Ice Man's chagrin and reluctance. Things start out quite awkward then that underlying tension that wasn't so obvious but still very present in the books snaps. Josh and his father, his real heartbreak come to a head. That's when my girl Lucy goes off. I mean sis went all the way off. She let his father have it. I was like , "Yaaaasss!! Go off sis! She stepped in and saved her man.
"Anthony, it's been real."
The book mellows out to a smooth and beautiful end. From the drive back to Josh's apartment to his slew of admissions. The real meaning behind the colour of his bedroom walls *talk about bedroom eyes*, the shirts in his closet all in the usual order Lucy noticed him wear them and the fact that he loved her since day one. This kind of writing answers Drake's question, "Keke, do you love me?" Yes she do boo!
I give this lovely piece of work a 5 out of 5. The simple fact that I re-read it and still got all the feels just as I did the first time I read it is remarkable.
#thesewords #writeronfleek #thehatinggame #SallyThorne
Talk about relevant. Nic Stone managed to write a poignant novel that was not too heavy but light enough to enjoy the story. How she struck that balance is beyond me. There are a few things I want to get into about this book, so let's get started.
As a young Afro-Caribbean woman, Jamaican to be exact, this story strikes a few familiar cords. It brings to the fore, some of the injustices that persons of African descent face. Stone didn't carefully remove the veil but she simply ripped it off in a 'wow-that-didn't-hurt-the-way-I-thought-it-would-but-now-the-wound-is-exposed' kind of way. The struggles that Justyce faced even though he was a Yale bound student, was that he was a young black male. It could resonate with not only young black men but young black women , people from poor backgrounds and other minorities. The issues of racism, classism and interracial relationship were nicely highlighted. These are things that can be touchy topics but Stone so boldly lets it hang out.
From the beginning we know that it wasn't going to be a road well travelled but one less ventured . In a time such as this, where hashtags such as #BlackGirlMagic, #BlackBoyJoy and #BlackExcellence are now frequenting social media , Stone decided to mix that in with #BlackLivesMatter. Everything started to go 'left' for Justyce after his unlawful arrest. This prompted him to go on a journey to understand the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He begins a one sided dialogue by writing letters in a journal addressed to Dr. King about his experiences and his experiment to see if he could embody Dr. King's beliefs, stance and his possible responses. Justyce's eyes are opened and he in turn enlightens those around him to the racial imbalance.
Needless to say classism comes into play. Stone frames it in a way that you have to see it for what it is. Manny's family is not accepted but rather tolerated because they worked twice as hard as their white colleagues and over time amassed wealth and status. But of course are reminded , that they are still viewed as inferior. Manny's dad gave the boys that litte nugget, when he told them about overhearing a young white male use a derogatory term in reference to him. Being who he is, he didn't retaliate but instead chose to 'kill him with kindness'.
Nic Stone gives this story depth by adding an interracial relationship then flipped the script. The version that is not shown a lot where "Mama says, 'Don't bring no white girl home.' " Yes, I'm speaking of Justyce and SJ' s relationship. There are individuals who are colour blind when it comes to love and there are others who aren't. SJ stood by Justyce throughout the journey of the story. She was always vocal about the racial injustices and not being content to turn a blind eye like many do. Somehow, she and Justyce found a place to love each other amidst the chaos of racism. Could this validate the phrase, "Love conquers all."? It was somewhat painfully obvious that both weren't exactly prepared for it as Justyce went with Mel when faced with the choice ; SJ turned him down at a very special turning point of their relationship. Eventually, they were able to see each other inspite of.
It was sad that it took the death of Manny, along with other 'background characters' for the issue of racism to become real to some. Others really didn't change. This is an unfortunate yet authentic reflection of what is happening in the world today. As I said, "Talk about relevant." Nic Stone touched on issues with such finesse that allows the reader to get into the story, get to know the characters and face the issues in the story and in real life.
I loved the daring authenticity, the depth and the message of this book. Kudos to Nic Stone who went there.
I give this relevant and well written book a 4.5 stars out of 5.
#BlackExcellence #BlackGirlMagic #BlackBoyJoy #BlackLivesMatter
Picture the women in the classic fairy tales and then drop them in modern times. Laura Kenyon was absolutely brilliant with her relatable and sassy take on these classics. The stories we were told as kids always had the princes being the rescuers and princesses the damsel in distress. Not something I could actually relate to as a little girl. Then here comes Laura, to paint the picture many women can grasp and understand,
We have Belle, Rapunzel, Dawn, Cinderella and Penelope; each with challenges what women today face. Some that even I grapple with in my personal life. Most of all I felt included . The plot I thought was brilliant. It is not easy to put a spin on stories that are already classics. Classics that are already cemented in the mind of more than one generations. Kenyon not only creates a modern version but she nails it! She answered the complex question for every little girl and boy who asked, "Is there really a 'happily ever after?' " Her reply was full of variety and texture and suited the kids who have now grown up and can understand this very adult answer.
I am a huge Sex and the City fan! *cues Sex and the City opening credits song* Yes, I actually have the song in my playlist. I loved Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones. Kenyon threw in a little Samantha Jones flavour in the modernized character of Rapunzel. She was successful, sexy, sassy and sharp at the tongue. Not to mention her life style of no strings attached sex and the fabulous living. I instantly liked her flair. She was the perpetually single friend and I was here for it honey, yaasss!. Then comes Belle, the soft, doe-eyed romantic. She fantasized about having a loving family but her dreams were persistently stepped on by her selfish husband and his infidelity. Yet we saw her with the help of her friends, grow thicker skin and a sturdier spine as she began a new chapter in her life....without Donner. Cinderella grappled with turning 30, being a mother and queen before she was ready. I'm not in her shoes but I could empathize. Dawn feared her sleeping curse would take her back and Penelope revealed a secret she kept about the fateful night she slept atop those magical peas.
But with everyone facing their own reality, a bigger storm brews. All their happily ever afters were based on fate and magic. It appears, that walking away or breaking from their mold could bring everything crashing down .
Laura Kenyon brought fairy tale to real life with a clever plot, realistic make overs of the characters and made their happily ever after tangible. I was excited to read this book and was not disappointed. Luckily for us the fun and drama continues with two more books. This one is a great read if you like to see ladies save each other and draw strength from each other. I give this one four (4) stars.
In a time when music became nothing more than techno beats and untalented cash cows, here comes Johnny Elias.
Let's start from the beginning. Johnny, Megan and Andy were all lovers of classic standard music. Megan and Andy came from more fortunate homes than Johnny. Their parents made sure they had the best to become their best. Johnny was a foster kid from Brooklyn, working his way through college. That fateful day on the Great Lawns of Central Park in New York, marked the day their lives changed. Johnny was inspired to sing in public by a fellow concert goer, Megan went home to make a deal with the devil and Andy met the love of his life, Jacqui.
This book oozed with passion. The passion for music was evident and that folkes, is how you emote through a story. The fact that original songs were written throughout the book brought an almost unreal amount of authenticity. What's more, is that author Lonnie Ostrow ,has them on his website that you can listen to and I recommend that you do so. I felt so much throughout the story. I felt Johnny's pain, Megan's betrayal and Andy's loyalty to Johnny. As any true friend Andy gave up much to see Johnny through to stardom. Even supported him when it came to Jacqui, who also became a loyal friend to Johnny, til the end.
It was the first time since meeting Professor Delores Umbridge in Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, that I've come across a character that I truly had a strong dislike for. That was simply because she was so well written. Katherine Price is a despicable human being who deserved more than she got.After her first stunt of setting up Megan, I decided I was not going to allow the "Mom-only-wants-what's-best-for-her" excuse, to fly. She was a low down dirty woman who only served herself. Not only did she do things selfishly, but she destroyed the lives of many. Even now, I felt absolute rage and indignation on behalf those she ruined. In a situation like that, I have to say well done to Lonnie Ostrow. Kathrine out of all the characters, was the best written.
Johnny's life felt like a blur, which meant the book felt like a blur. He rose to stardom so quickly. The good thing about it, it didn't feel generic nor forced. It felt like a puzzle piece finally fitting into its place. The recordings, the tours and the music all felt natural. I even understood the blurriness of it all. The speed of success being so quick, gave way for the real personal stuff to simmer just below the surface on a slow heat. You kept wondering when would Johnny get his shot at love? When would his personal triumph come?
Mr.Ostrow touched on a very important topic as well. Domestic violence. Megan was pushed into marrying a monster. First of all, when Gerry blew up the first and second time at someone else, over some petty mess, I saw it. I'm sure Megan saw it too. But the poor sheltered girl, didn't realize that men like that, will turn around at some point and hit you.
The first time he laid hands on her, I was like, "Giiiirl, you betta smack dis fool into next week." She should have known that you have to walk away and keep walking. A man like that will apologize and work his way back in. She, unfortunately, waited until he really went left on her, before she really got rid of him. I must say, she began to gather her strength from there. Even when she stood up to the spawn of the devil, Katherine, I was proud of Megan.
The ending was not what I expected. One could say she fell for him while he sang for her. The two, albeit battered and scarred by life, were reunited in love.
There is so much more that is to be said because this book was written with layers. But I'll save it for another time. If you can't see passed the words, then read it again, only this time with feeling. Lonnie Ostrow did a fantastic job with this one. More than anything else, this book had a soulfulness and emotional range. I give it 4.5 stars.
#writteronfleek #thesewords #poetofthewronggeneration #lonnieostrow
Hello, I'm Tammy and I love books! I love writing and reading them. I love them so much I just can't stop talking about them.