Monday, December 31, 2018

Jess' 100 Words Or Less Reviews

I am still learning the ways of non-fiction and Redemption is my first dive into long-form journalism. Redemption takes a close look at Martin Luther King Jr's last 31 hours. As Rosenbloom details King’s movements there are all these moments when you realize King could have been anywhere else that day. Rosenbloom shines a light on the harsh realities about MLK that make him more of a man and less of a legend. I think the conversations we have today about class might be different if MLK had the chance to lead his movement for socioeconomic equality.

A deep dive into the extravagant, family drama and comedy of manners is exactly what we need right now and Crazy Rich Asian’s resurgence to the top of the charts is well deserved. I enjoy a book that takes me into another culture and while Rachel and Nick appear to be the stars of the movie’s marketing campaign, the book is less of a rom-com and more of an upbeat humorous family saga that works great in print and audio. *This book started as a poem and is partly based on Kwan's family memories. I think that leads to the offbeat structure of the book. I'm intrigued enough to continue the series.  I actually prefer this book on audio because to me the footnotes in the book are so distracting it feels like the publishers wanted to make sure this book appealed to Americans. I found it much more enjoyable to pick up on the cultural nuances by context clues.

I read The Woman In Cabin 10  because I heard it recommended as “female rage” book and I have to say--that’s not the book about female rage you want --this book is the book you want about female rage (though it is written by a dude).  When Elizabeth Kendall almost dies at the hands of her abusive ex-husband a cataclysmic paranormal event turns her existence upside down. The pacing, slow reveal, and melding of family life with paranormal elements reminded me a lot of Stephen King. It’s a genre-defying thriller that had me rooting for the anti-hero.*This book needs a more unique title. Carey's previous book The Girls With All The Gifts is a great title, but Somone Like Me can get lost in the shuffle.

Christian Thrillers have fascinated me since The Left Behind series. This timely story is about a young prosecutor speaking up about the uncle who sexually assaulted her as a child. At the same time, she meets a compassionate veteran  who is being stalked. The story never really melted together for me and the romance felt inevitable 

Colleen Coble’s The View From Rainshadow Bay is the story of Shauna, a grieving widow teaming up with Zach, the man responsible for her husband’s death to solve a string of murders and a conspiracy theory that threatens the whole town. I liked the complex relationship between Zach and Shauna as their shared grief turns to something more. Zach is a small town pilot- firefighter-skydiving rock climbing daredevil…he just has a lot going on. There is also a bit of twist that leads into the other books in the series that have me intrigued enough to keep going.

I'm pretty sure the first TV show I binge-watched on the internet was Pretty Little Liars and this book (which is published by Freeform) is Pretty Little Liars and Burn for Burn with a Southern twist. When a girl from the wrongs side of the tracks is bribed by her enigmatic grandmother to join the High Society of Magnolia County as a debutante. Que the kidnapping, blackmail, theft, lies, high-crimes and misdemeanors. It's an intriguing soapy teen drama that is that is all about plot; favoring twist and turns instead of details. 

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