New Book Review: Sweet Revenge (Cookbook/ARC)

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Rated 5 of 5 stars

Sweet Revenge is not just any cookbook…it’s going to be your favorite dessert cookbook (and breads too!). First, let’s talk about the general idea of the book. The writer and genius behind this book is Heather Kim. She’s funny, witty and bad ass. She’s a tattooed woman with ice water in her veins for exes. I literally laughed out loud while reading this cookbook to find the treats I wanted to make. Her wit and cunning bleeds into the design of the book with little faces drawn on the snacks and conversation bubbles reminiscent of moments before a failed relationship. I’m not in a failed relationship but I can definitely remember the feelings I had when I was and this book taps into that “F*&k It” feeling. Luckily, you get awesome treats in addition to the wit. Many of the items I had never even thought to try…popcorn in your dessert? Whaaaaaattt?! Candied Chicken Fat? Whaaaaaatttt?! Yes, you’ll get original ideas and some really cool stuff to show off for your friends and family. My husband thought the book looked pretty cool too and laughed at the cookie and milk conversation almost as hard as I did. Want to know what I’m talking about??? GET THIS COOKBOOK! You won’t regret it.

SPECS:
Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: January 1st 2018
ISBN13: 9781630790899

 

Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended

*This book was sent by the publisher for an honest review.

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New Book Review: Homegoing

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Rated 4.5 of 5 stars

Yaa Gyasi really hits home with her novel, Homegoing. The story follows the lineage of two women from the Gold Coast and how their journey through their family heritage meet many years later. Each chapter alternates between the two families and as a reader, you realize that having a whole story in the span of a chapter is quite possible. Especially for great writers. I wasn’t expecting the back and forth so it was a bit jarring in the beginning. I felt as though I had missed something or couldn’t tie it together properly. Not until the center of the book did I realize that there was a very thin thread between the stories and they were mostly to be enjoyed on their own merit, chapter by chapter. Not your typical beginning, climax, end.

There were many things I enjoyed from the superb writing, the obvious historical references, the perfect capture of the time and place. There were very few things I didn’t like about this novel. The pace is slow and taking my time through each of the stories made it better rather than lag. I definitely felt like each chapter had its own flavor. The only downside would be the disjointed feeling that readers feel from chapter to chapter as well as losing place in which lineage you’re following. Overall, readers will get used to it and maybe, it was a clever way to make readers feel like the characters…disjointed from their families due to the slave trade, Jim Crow era, “war on drugs” timeframe and other moments in history that stood to tear the black family apart. This book is a must read for high schoolers because the discussion that could ensue would surely educate teens on what life was/is like for immigrants, black people and those who are struggling within a system built against their very livelihood.

Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended

*Purchased with my own money.

New Book Review: Americanah

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Rated 4.5 of 5 stars

Adichie looks deeply into African and American values and relations in her book, Americanah. She blurs the thin line between desperation and hope for Africans seeking better opportunities and education. She gives a pinhole view into the fear of being at the whim of every American when it comes to language, values, perception of power and how lack of money can be a driving force to criminal activity. Furthermore, through her alternating storylines of Ifemelu and Obinze both from the same place in Nigeria but on different paths through America and London, then back to Nigeria, I think the reader sees that for some foreigners, America is the pie in the sky yet after being here and seeing the intricacies, a longing for home is still there. As an American, I felt a great sadness when reading this story because I know things like “using” immigrants are more commonplace than I’d like to admit as well as downplaying their intelligence because of accents, job titles and just because they’re different. Thankfully, the flip side of the coin is that I’ve learned so much from this story and will likely change my own biases when dealing with people who have earned their way into the American dream still to struggle and be degraded.

As the story progresses, you follow Ifemelu to America and through a series of blog posts, you will find some laughter, some aha moments and even a few WTF moments. The stark contrast of America to Nigeria is sometimes awe inspiring but seeing the good in our country was something also equally inspiring. Following Obinze, we get only a fleeting glance of London since his story is more along the lines of being undocumented and hiding from being deported. So we see less of London’s take on legal immigration experiences and more on the feeling of being undocumented in a country and the lengths one will go to get a chance. In the end, Obinze and Ifemelu fall together again in a gratifying return to Nigeria with all the heady yearning for home, comfort and each other that’s stayed alive over the years. But many things have changed since they were children, what will they think of each other now that life has transitioned them from child to adult?

Raging Book Reviews Recommended!

Grab a copy HERE

*Book purchased with my own money.

ARC: Sweet Revenge (Cookbook)

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Cover Image for Sweet Revenge

When I tell you I laughed out loud reading this cookbook…I’m not joking. You’ll find enough jokes, witty comments and awesome colorful pictures in this book to last a couple break-ups and make-ups. The background of the book is written by a bad ass tattoo artist that’s baked sweets to get over her failed romances and is sharing her best desserts with you. The book reads like the strong friend who helps kick you out of your sad slumber and forces you to do something you love like…eat sweet desserts without shame. What are friends for, right? The recipes themselves looked to be very well thought out and sweet things I’d never had or tried before…so that’s interesting. You won’t find these recipes or even their likeness in other books. It has a little something for everyone’s tastes and is an interesting, colorful, funny cookbook to keep you entertained while baking.

Specs:

Publisher Capstone
Genre Young Adult
Released on Jan 01 2018
ISBN 9781630790899

Click here to PRE-ORDER

ARC: The Company of Demons (For Review)

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Got a new ARC from Greenleaf Book Group Press to review before publication! This story seems to be one I will enjoy. Who doesn’t like a murder mystery?

 

Cover Image for The Company of Demons

Synopsis:

Troubled lawyer John Coleman is stunned when a friend is brutally murdered. The killing shocks Cleveland, because the gruesome technique matches that of the Torso Murderer, who eluded even the legendary Eliot Ness and tallied at least twelve victims before vanishing years earlier.

The victim’s beautiful daughter, Jennifer, hires John to handle the estate. They soon begin a passionate affair, putting John’s relationship with his wife and teenage daughter in jeopardy. But when John decides it’s time to end things, Jennifer has other ideas. He soon finds himself caught up in a tangled mess and smack-dab in the middle of yet another mysterious murder—this time of Jennifer’s brother.

Implicated for a crime he did not commit, John’s darkest secret is revealed to the world when he struggles to prove his innocence in court. Just when things could not get worse, the Torso Murderer emerges to stalk John, his friends, and his family. When his precious daughter is abducted, John must confront his inner demons once and for all and come face to face with the killer himself.

Specs: Paperback, Expected publication date: January 16th 2018 by Greenleaf Book Group Press

Check out this author at http://www.michaeljordanbooks.com

 

Book Giveaway: Breaking Mobius (Contemporary Romantic Suspense)

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Breaking Mobius by T.R. Horne

Breaking Mobius

by T.R. Horne

Giveaway ends December 18, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

ENTER TO WIN 1 OF 10 SIGNED COPIES OF AWARD WINNING ROMANCE NOVEL!

 

Synopsis:

ONE GOOD DECISION…
Leaving behind an abusive father and emotionally scarred mother, Mali Struthers catches a bus to freedom. Atlanta University is the perfect place to discover her inner strength and special talents that lead her to a future she never imagined outside her father’s walls. Still learning to love herself, Mali must push past her own doubts to realize she deserves everything she’s worked for, even the love of a man seemingly out of reach.
…CAN CREATE A BAD DECISION
As a star football player, Justice Bradford juggles his high profile relationship and aggressive groupies but with his best friend’s constant lure of temptation, he struggles to remain focused. He has the world at his fingertips until his plans are shattered by deception. Fighting depression, he’s re-routed on a dangerous path of self-destruction until, by chance, he finds a light in the darkness that makes him second guess his vow. When Justice is faced with his new reality, will he get his life back on track before he loses it all?
…AND INCITE REVENGE.
One of the hottest video models on the scene, Nicole Bunn is the epitome of a strong, focused business woman. Concentrating only on her money and the men that can supply her expensive lifestyle, Nicole runs from her own hurts scared to love anyone other than herself. Tired of waiting to marry into fortune, Nicole turns a chance meeting into a whirlwind of sex, lies and obsession that is bound to threaten her livelihood. Through a trail of lies and addiction, Nicole sees her love of money fracture so many lives, including her own. When Nicole is forced to choose between her love of money or a chance at true love, what will she decide?

Specs: Paperback, 318 pages, Published November 8th 2013 by Yoshima Books

Check out the author on http://www.trhorne.com

 

Book Giveaway: Bottomless (Poetry)

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Bottomless by T.R. Horne

Bottomless

by T.R. Horne

Giveaway ends November 30, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

ENTER TO WIN 1 OF 10 SIGNED COPIES OF BOTTOMLESS BY T.R. HORNE!

Synopsis:

Bottomless explores the dating scene from the eyes of young, highly sexual woman that confuses lust and love on her quest to find herself. Written in short verse and full of character voice, Bottomless will show you how love (or was it lust?) can be a ticking time bomb prepared to explode.

Specs: Paperback, 108 pages, Published May 6th 2016 by Yoshima Books

Check out the author at http://www.trhorne.com

 

New Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

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Rated 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Review:

Margaret Atwood has a distinct writing style and always pushes the limit of what could be if we let ourselves be less vigilant for freedom. She toys with the idea of what life is like in a society where women are reduced to only being a vessel for babies. The depravity in the world she creates is so breathtaking! I found myself thinking, “this could never happen” but then I’d doubt myself and say, “this could never happen…right?”

That’s the beauty of Atwood’s writing. She makes you question what is and what could be if we let our guard down and give up the seemingly small freedoms we have. This is a right-on-time book for me because of how much freedom we, Americans, give up just to feel “safe”. In this book, Offred felt safe for the majority of the book (in essence). She felt safe in the rigid confines of her life and knew what her purpose was…to bear children for whatever man was placed in front of her. You see Offred struggle with herself throughout the book. Struggle with how weak she feels and allows herself to feel. She takes great joy in the simplest of ideas, such as whispering to a friend, or even making a friend. Towards the end, you see the build up of her break down. You see the thought process shift from “why do I let this happen” and “I miss my old life” to “I’m sick of this life”. Her internal journey makes the reader feel like we are snooping in our bestfriend’s diary.

As with most Atwood books, you find yourself drawn to the world in the first half of the book. You establish the setting and the expectations. Then in the second half, you thoroughly dig into the psyche and emotions of the main character. For some, this may give the impression of a slow start and fast finish. Overall, I enjoyed the book and found the end (pretty much the last 100 pages) to be the most gratifying. I’d recommend it for people who enjoy slow to start, psychological post-apocalyptic style stories.

Raging Book Reviews Recommended

*purchased with my own money

I’m a Winner! (The Blood Line by Sam J.)

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I’ve won a Goodreads giveaway for The Blood Line by Sam J! I’m excited to dive into this story in November. Here’s a little bit about the book in case you want to read it as well:

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Synopsis:

Sheri is finally in control and calling the shots in her career, family, and love life. Everything has seemingly come full circle, but with much power and success, hate and envy can only be expected…Will Sheri’s shady ways help her to triumph over her rivals or lead to her ultimate demise?

On the surface, Anuhea has the ‘perfect’ life – she’s the bride-to-be of one of the most influential men of the century, a proud mother, and successful in her own right, but it’s nothing more than a deceptive image she has struggled to uphold for years. No one knows the hell she endures behind closed doors and a trip down the aisle is the only thing she thinks she has left to hold on to until a steamy affair enthralls her into an emotional whirlwind and a mysterious phone call changes the course of her life forever.

Always the odd sister out, Shaun’s decision to cut off contact with her family is seemingly the best decision she’s ever made until a heart-wrenching encounter leads her to investigate whether her worse nightmare has been her reality all along. Troubled by past emotional wounds and a damaged reputation, Shaun remains haunted by the knife in her back – all the while stabbing her enemies in the front.

Cass spent half of her adulthood being the glue that kept her family from falling apart, raising her daughter in a way that would lead her down a different path, and playing the role of the family counsel. But what happens when you’re blind-sided by a string of events that are beyond your control? At the peak of a climactic breaking point, Cass is faced with the most trying decision she’s ever had to make.

All Bebe and Dottie have left now are each other, polar opposites in every way imagined, one promiscuous and the other ambitious with everything to lose. The secrets they vow to take with them to the grave turn out to be only the calm before the storm…

Specs: Paperback, 420 pages, Published September 15th 2017 by Sam J. Inc.
Check out the author at: http://www.samjwrites.com

ARC: The Immortalists (For Review)

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So the review season is in full swing! I will be reading and reviewing this ARC next month for the publisher. So make sure to follow the blog and see what I think of this interesting story coming out in 2018!

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Synopsis:

If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 9, 2018

Specs: 352 pgs, G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Check out the author at: https://www.chloebenjaminbooks.com/