Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life. 

Wow, what a timely read!!! At this moment I can’t even adequately put into words how I feel about this book. I experienced anger, sadness, understanding, empathy, and so many other things. There’s no way it should have taken me a week to finish this book, but sometimes life gets in the way. 

In the spirit of Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murray and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, The Hate U Give gives us a perspective into racism from a point of view we rarely see in the news. This time we hear from the eyewitness of a police shooting. The short premise is that Starr saw one of her childhood friends get murdered by a police officer and we see the media attempt to dehumanize/criminalize the friend so Starr wrestles with the decision of testifying and having her memories of the night turned around. My heart truly went out to her and I can totally see why this book is already being turned into a major motion picture. It is THAT good and it is a story worth telling. 

I could say so much more about this book, but I’ll simply end this with a passage:

“It’s 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. 

The messed up part? There are so many more.”


Lust by Victoria Christopher Murray

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From the NAACP Image award winner and national bestselling author Victoria Christopher Murray, a novel inspired by the seven deadly sins about a woman caught between an entertainment mogul with a shady past and his childhood friend who is out for revenge.

Tiffanie has lived a sheltered life in a very strict household with her pastor-grandfather and grandmother in Washington, DC. But when she meets Damon King, she falls for the successful entertainment business man despite his history as a drug dealer. Everyone sees nothing but the brightest future for the couple—but there’s one person who wants to destroy them.

Trey Johnson is Damon’s childhood best friend with whom he built quite a successful drug business. But when the game got hot and Damon decided to leave, Trey stayed and continued to sell drugs, until he was arrested and spent seven years in prison.

But now he’s out and able to attend the wedding. While Damon is thrilled to have Trey back and hopes to bring his best friend into his business, Trey has other plans. He blames Damon for his demise and plans to ruin him, even if that means bringing Tiffanie down as well.

Trey is sure he will succeed, but he doesn’t know that there will be deadly consequences. And at the end, there will only be one man standing…

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Whew, where to start?!?! Obviously I had an idea of what the content would probably entail because of the title, but this story was told in a way that kept me interested and that I think almost everyone will be able relate to. Lust. Desire. Taboo. If folks are being honest then we will admit there was at least one time in our lives that we wanted something and/or someone we shouldn’t.

“God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. And if you can bear it, you can get out of it.”

The main character Tiffanie finds herself in an unexpected position and at times she made it hard for me to root for her and her well-being. Not only does this story focus on Tiff’s dilemma but it also has very important lessons in regards to loyalty, friendship, and forgiveness. Murray weaves a seamless storyline that delivers a valuable message on how it is imperative that we turn to God when fighting a battle instead of trying to do it on our own. As always, Ms. Murray delivers on all of the elements that I enjoy in a book: fully developed characters, there’s an emotional connection, and it makes you stop and reflect on your own life.

Today is its release day and I’d highly recommend you visit your favorite online or in-store retailer and grab a copy!!

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Buy your copy of Lust here!

Review: A Sinful Calling by Kimberla Lawson Roby



Dillon hadn’t been called by anyone. He’d called himself and he wasn’t ashamed of it. But no good can come from . . . 

A SINFUL CALLING
Two years ago, to everyone’s surprise, Dillon Whitfield Black, the secret son of Reverend Curtis Black, boldly moved back home, married a woman named Raven, decided he was going to become a minister, and then founded a church right in the center of his living room. Today he’s pastor of a 1,000-plus-member congregation, and new members are joining weekly. Sadly, behind closed doors, Dillon is far from being a saint. Dillon has become more like the man his father was thirty years ago-consumed with money, power, and lots of women. His family may have let bygones be bygones, but they continue to keep their distance. 
Not Alicia, though. This daughter of Curtis Black joins Dillon’s congregation, leaving her father’s church behind. The family has forgiven Alicia for marrying Levi Cunningham, the former drug dealer she had an affair with, but once Alicia realizes they will never fully accept Levi, she decides to see her family less and less. She and Levi are truly happy, however, guilt from her betrayal of Phillip and its aftermath casts a shadow over their wedded bliss.
But when Raven decides she wants a higher position in the church and Alicia hides a devastating secret, the entire family is affected in ways they don’t see coming. In the end, no one will be able to trust anyone . . . and for very good reason.

The absence of a parent in their child’s life will either make the child use that as motivation to be a better person or the child will use it to become bitter and hellbent on revenge. Dillon chose the latter and what a MESS!!! We met Dillon and his trifling ways in a previous book, but he takes it to a whole new level in this latest installment in the Reverend Curtis Black series. 

“The amount of pain Dillon was planning to unleash would make national news. It would bring his father to his knees, and this made Dillon smile. It also made him laugh a little.”

A Sinful Calling is not my favorite book in the series, but it is a welcomed addition. Roby still displays why she is considered to be on the upper echelon of the author scale with her storytelling skills. The characters are flawed which makes them seem realistic and that is Roby’s bread and butter. If we are being honest then we will admit that we all see a little bit of ourselves or someone in our lives in her colorful cast of characters. If you enjoy a story that has drama with a message of forgiveness and reconciliation then check out A Sinful Calling!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of A Sinful Calling in exchange for an honest review. 



Buy A Sinful Calling Here!