Tag Archives: fiction

Maame by Jessica George, book cover

Maame

Maame by Jessica George is an endearing, emotional story about family, finding one’s self, and coming to terms with life and all that it has to offer.

The books I’ve received from Netgalley have been disappointing lately, so I wasn’t expecting much from this. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel!

Maame tells us the story of Maddie, who has spent a lifetime convincing herself that the restrictions and isolation in her life are all due to voluntary choices and personal preferences. When her mother returns from Ghana, Maddie is asked to move out. She realizes this means she can finally start living her own life and resolves to be a different person. She will drink alcohol, date, and not say no if offered a cigarette (without becoming addicted).

Growing up, Maddie was told not to speak of family issues. To Maddie, this meant not sharing anything with her friends, as wasn’t everything ultimately a family issue? This also meant Maddie didn’t have many friends or people to talk to. This impacts her ability to interact with her roommates and co-workers, and she soon learns that she needs the support of others.

Living on her own terms, Maddie soon learns that freedom is a double-edged sword and not everything she thought she knew about herself is true.

This novel touches on many topics, ranging from familial love and duty, sexual abuse, elderly care, death, and the comforts of friendship.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.

A World of Women book cover

A World of Women

First off, when I requested this book from NetGalley, I didn’t realize it was originally published in 1913.

I found the (newly added?) introduction to the book to be terrible. That should have a been a clue! Regardless, I skimmed and skipped over the intro and started reading.

This novel has a great premise – a plague that seems to affect only/mostly men, and is always deadly. It seems as though it could be highly relevant today, and an interesting read.

No! The dialogue is horrible. Also, the characters are horrible too. I didn’t connect with any character, and quite honestly, didn’t care what happened to them.

I enjoyed a brief section where the well-off daughters go on a binge trying on fancy clothes they have no use for, but that was about it.

There are some interesting concepts buried in here, but none fully developed. What happens when there is only 1 man for every 100 women? What becomes of marriage? Monogamy? Industry? Touched on, but there is such potential in developing this story along any of those plot lines.

Now, since it was written in over 100 years ago, maybe this is to be expected, but this novel presents a very sexist view point. The women that are most like men, or have “masculine” inclinations are implied to be best suited to the new world.

Also, SPOILERS ahead:

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Meant to Be

Meant to Be

Meant to Be by Emily Giffin is a romance novel centered around a fictional Kennedy-esque family.

While enjoyable, I often found the story to be bland, the characters shallow, and overall less than what I expect from Emily Giffin.

Touching on a plethora of issues—domestic abuse, dead parents, the pressures of being from a famous family and dealing with the paparazzi—Meant to Be fails to connect on an emotional level. Throughout the novel, our narrators Cate and Joe are telling instead of showing us the story. This distance makes it fairly emotionless.

Standard rom-com plot format. Some backstory, a meet-cute, the dating period, “the event” that separates our couple, the subsequent reconnecting, and finishing off with a happy ending.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Thanks to Netgalley.com and Ballantine Books for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

Fevered Star

Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse is the second book in the series Between Earth and Sky. The sequel to Black Sun, this novel will not disappoint fans of the first.

A wild fantasy series, complete with mysticism, magic, intrigue, romance, and family feuds. Fevered Star returns to The Merdian in the aftermath of events of the first novel. On the surface, it seems a classic case of good versus evil, light versus dark. But who is the good and who is the evil? With horrendous deeds on both sides, and a history of blood, war, and persecution, no one is blameless.

Will the sun rise over Tova again? Or will the darkness take hold and eclipse the sun eternally? Similar to the first book, this one does not give us a final ending. We see the resolution of some matters, but there is so much more of the story to be told.

I am dying to know if this is going to be a trilogy or a longer series. There’s certainly enough world-building and characters that I could see this extending for some time.

If you enjoy high fantasy and are looking for something new, and unique, I highly recommend starting with Black Sun, and then reading Fevered Star when it comes out later this year.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to Netgalley.com and Simon and Schuster for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.