Book Review: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it?

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary’s fate now lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But does anyone know the real Mary?

Although I was adopted, my parents still took in foster kids until after I graduated from high school, and still do today. In my opinion, you could akin our house to a group home. That, along with Mary’s feelings of abandonment, was one of the biggest things that made me actually interested in reading this book. I wanted to see if the writer would show the truth of the system or if it would sugar coat it and all the characters would be singing Kumbaya in the living room while wearing knee length dresses. It shocked me how raw the story was, how Mary really came alive and you could feel her emotions. It went into the issues of falsified evaluations and issues with desensitized social workers. Allegedly shows the true side of the majority of foster parents and their interactions with the downtrodden.

Allegedly by Tiffany D Jackson
I wasn’t prepared for how the story would really trigger me. After being unwanted, unloved and rejected I definitely understood her thoughts. After my own experiences with infant loss, the basis for the story squeezed my heart and then Mary’s fears for her own child and the outcome of it’s future, due to her circumstances, pushed me over. Halfway through the book I had to stop for a breather before I could pick it back up.

Having a strained relationship with my own biological mother, Mary’s love and hate for her mother twisted me in circles. The story goes into the deepest corners of a mother-daughter relationship that is based on lies and false hope. It’s relatable in a way that will make you cry or shake your head in frustration. It’ll make you wonder at the secrets you’ve kept and whether speaking on them would serve you or hurt others. I would definitely recommend this book. Black, white, old, young, anyone should pick it up. It’s a beautiful story about the consequences of life, of protecting the ones we love and also ourselves.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I saw this book in a facebook group for black women who like to read. I was on the fence about it. I believe this is actually one of the first books by a black author that I’ve read in years. I’m not a fan of books that are about thugs, violent baby daddies and angry absentee fathers. I’m will admit that this is what I was expecting when I first joined the group. No, not because I’m ‘prejudice’ against “my own people” but because I joined a group before and a lot of the books that were suggested were that type. I left because I didn’t want to be stifled and no one wanted to discuss anything that wasn’t The Coldest Winter Ever, a book that I took a quick dislike to as a child. So many of the women suggested the book and, after reading it, so many of them came back with shocked responses. I figured, if so many of them were that into it then why not? I’m definitely glad I picked it up!

If you’ve read this book, if you liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you have any book suggestions for me to read or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readance,

Jade

Link to Book

Reading Black Authors

I recently read a book by a black author and I loved it. It had nothing to do with the author’s race or our connection through ‘blackness’. I never really cared what race wrote what book, it’s never had any bearing on my thoughts of the book. I have never wanted to limit myself and I refuse to let anything stop me from reading. If it’s a great story, I’ll read a book by any race.

Recently, I joined a facebook group for black women that love to read and it’s really blown my mind. The camaraderie, the honesty, and the uplifting comments really made me feel like I belonged. As an introvert, that’s a huge deal. Members posts the books they are currently reading or their views on an upload. So I chose one book they suggested to me, and I will be doing a review on it, but I really liked it and in turn I picked up 3 other books I saw posted to the group. Once you gain my trust, I might just start listening to you.

Sometimes I’m not too sure about the suggestions I get. Before, when I was just randomly asking out to the world, I’d have people suggest political books, which I’m not very fond of (Am I going to read Fire and Fury? I have no idea). I’ve had someone suggest I read overly religious books, fire and brimstone types, and I’m usually iffy on those as well. I can be a stickler, with no real guidelines, but usually I will pick it up and crack it open.

Whenever I ask for suggestions people want to know what I’m looking for and I can’t really answer that question. I tell them to just give me their favorites, nothing political, nothing religious but people like to push their favorites so…eh.

I love to read different genres. As a kid I started with Julie Garwood’s The Wedding and fell in love with romance. I went through phases of Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie and wild wonders like James Patterson’s Angel Experiment series and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I didn’t move into non-fiction and biographies until I got older. On Writing by Stephen King, Steve Jobs, and Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran were a few that I loved.

I can’t really choose an ultimate favorite genre because I’ve read so many books and I’ve loved so many that fit different criteria. I’m a big fan of mystery, romance, and psychological thrillers but I’m also an avid reader of paranormal romance, futuristic science fiction and oddball humor. I like to hear about different walks of life but I love it to be in story form. I’m not a fan of the fifth grade history book biography theme.

I am African American and I write but I never thought it was a big deal. There was nothing in my upbringing that told me black people can’t be writers. No one, other than those who told me to choose a career that was going to make money, told me I couldn’t succeed at being an author. I’ve been reading adult novels since I was seven and it never crossed my mind that people thought this was incredulous. I’ve never pulled up the authors profiles to check and I’ve never seen a “Written by a Black Author” sticker on any covers in Barnes and Nobles. Have you?

That being said, I do want to support my own people. I do feel that it’s important that they know we are reading their novels and are behind them 100 percent. Since joining this facebook group, I’ve heard about more black authors than ever in my entire life.  As a bibliophile and book addict I’ve obviously added a ton of novels to my To Be Read file. I’m very excited. Hopefully I will find more gems like Allegedly, a book by Tiffany D. Jackson. I have a few more on my list, suggestions from the group, and will be doing reviews on them here. If you have any thoughts on this or if it’s a thought you’ve had let’s chat!

Good Readance,

Jade

 

P.S. If you have any suggestions send ’em right over! Don’t be afraid!

An Angel Mom’s Perspective

Heya,

One of the hardest things that I dealt with after both of my loses was not really knowing where to turn or what to do next. I knew that there wasn’t a one size fits all rule on healing or dealing but I just wanted to read something from another angel mom’s perspective. I looked all over and just couldn’t find anything that fit me. I decided to write my own story, in my own voice, about my experience; hoping to reach others who felt the same.

I’m writing a book from an angel mom’s perspective. There will be a section for stories, quotes, tips, or just inspiring thoughts. I am requesting contributions from angel moms of any age, from any region and with experience anywhere from early miscarriage to infant loss. It can be long, short or just a few words of encouragement.

If you would like to contribute, please send your story to the email address listed below.

If you would like to remain anonymous please make sure to write that in your email, or do not include your personal information.

If not, just provide a first name, age or region (any of the above).

If you know anyone who would like to contribute, please share this information!

The Mothers of Angels @ gmail.com
TheMothersofAngels@gmail.com

Happy Reading!

Book Review: I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

 “Almost two years after someone snatched Alexandra “Zan” Moreland’s then three-year-old son, Matthew, from his stroller while his sitter dozed, Zan, a New York City interior designer who remains devastated, has been unable to trace her son. To make matters worse, somebody is using her credit cards to purchase expensive items just as she’s on the verge of landing a prestigious account for her fledgling business. Worst of all, evidence emerges that suggests Zan kidnapped her own son. Meanwhile, a priest is troubled by a woman whose confession reveals that a murder is being planned. Contrivances that prevent key information from reaching the heroine as well as characters without personality in the service of a plot with at least one major hole won’t please those who prefer their suspense firmly grounded in reality and logic.”*

 

It almost happened again. I almost let it happen again. It t’was the night before Christmas…just kidding. It was about 2am this morning and I started to read an e-book that was recommended to me earlier in the day and then I thought, Crap! I need to read those damn library books! So I went to the large stack sitting on my dinning room table and picked up I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark. I got into the book and it took me until, around, 4am to finish it.

I'll Walk Alone.jpg

I thought the book was pretty great, although there were some parts that really annoyed me. It’s already established from the first moment that someone is impersonating her and that most won’t believe it but she spends the majority of the book acting like a crazy person. She often asks herself if she really did have something to do with her son’s disappearance. Of course, I expected her to be upset, frustrated, exhausted and even a little unhinged but the dramatics was an unnecessary addition to the plot twist.  I feel as if we didn’t answer most of the questions (lotta worry, lotta call backs with no pay off; thinking of the Stephen King suspense method).

I am always a fan of hers but I definitely pay attention to each book as it’s own separate work. I must say, I did enjoy the plot twist in this one. It wasn’t as explosive as some of her other stories but I enjoyed it. I’d recommend this book if you just need something to curl up with or a quick read with a little suspense.

If you’ve read this book, if you liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it but have plan to…let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you have any book suggestions for me to read or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Reading.

Jade

 

*Link to Book and synopsis: http://bit.ly/2CTpnPG

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

“When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.”*

As my venture back into books begins, I fall back into my old ways. The ways of a young child chastised for spending more time with her books and less time in the drama of family. The ways of someone who…is addicted to books. I read all night, to the shine of the closet light, and didn’t finish until almost 4:30am.

As it’s known, I’m trying to gain more friends in the real world. I have my guy, I have my books and I have those online who pretend to know me. They don’t count. I haven’t really found anyone that I can really call a friend that I meet IRL. Sounds weird, like I seem so extroverted but I am not, I just talk too much. I used to be really shy and while that ship has sailed, I am still an introvert and it’s difficult to find friends in the real world. It actually requires you to leave your house, to look up from your book or to interact with someone standing in front of you. I think that is more or less the reason I related to the main character of this book so well.

Anyway, I met a new friend, C, at a All Time Low concert that I attended back in August with Tony and we hit it off. Over New Year’s Eve I spent some time at her apartment and saw that she had a pretty sweet copy of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I had seen the movie trailer and was very excited to see it, then I heard that it was adapted from a book and knew I just had to read it. I asked to borrow it and here we are, three days later.

 

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I loved it. I started reading it around 11pm and couldn’t put it down. It is the epitome of a nerd novel and it’s very well done. The futuristic dystopian world, with it’s spin on technology and education, is genius. The main character’s voice is relatable, honest, and interesting. I will say, there were some parts that may have made my eyes glaze over. I think it was just because the writer spent a large amount of time explaining the world, the hierarchy and the history of things. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely needed and you appreciate it when you hear the MC, Wade’s thought process in figuring out where the keys are and his feelings toward others in the Oasis.

I would definitely recommend this book. It doesn’t matter if you are into video games or not. I am but not to the level of someone who might’ve become a gunter, in their own right. You can appreciate the 80’s references, the technology upgrades, the fast paced fighting and the visualization even if you are not a nerd. It’s ok, we still love you.

The crazy thing is that I would totally participate in something like this, in real life. Not to this extreme but if someone had clues set up (especially book related), you could compete with others and there was a prize I’d definitely do it! I was actually thinking about this after I read the book, about creating a puzzle or cypher of my own that you could find from a riddle that leads to a specific book. Then I’d post it for the world to decipher and they would get harder as I went along. I’m getting excited just thinking about it! If that’s something you’d enjoy let me know!

If you’ve read this book, if you liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it but have plans to…let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you have any book suggestions for me to read or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Reading.

 

 

*IMBD Synopsis

For the Love of Reading!

My life could be summed up by saying I spend a lot of my free time reading. Well, that part was true up until my guy, Tony, and I turned our second bedroom into a TV room. Technically, it could also be considered my library as there are books on every surface, even a rack designed for shoes that I have filled with hardbacks. They are stacked in rows, they are stacked two books deep on the shelves, there is even a book tree (all hail Christmas…that I don’t celebrate). In August, when we made the switch, I was very excited. Now I have a room specifically meant for reading and relaxing! It basically became into the room where countless hours of Netflix and Hulu turned me away from my love of reading.

One of my Cherchez La Vie goals is to get back into reading. It has been a past time that I’ve enjoyed since I was a young child and how dare I let it fall behind like this? I am also a writer, obviously, and after many years of being away, I decided to do National Novel Writing Month this past year. I knew that I was easily distracted by all the reading and the TV so I decided to put it on hold until after I hit my 50k words. It worked! Up until the end I was able to keep up my goal of 2k a day and I actually have a large chunk of a really great novel completed.

This was not so good for my reading. Books ‘sounded’ good but I hadn’t been able to pick one up and actively start reading since before November. It sort of depressed me a little, to be honest. I spent most of December trying to figure out what I wanted to read first. I went to the library and picked up books, I went online and had books delivered to my house, I even downloaded some onto my kindle and yet…nothing was good enough. I, of course, filled that time with any TV show I could find that was romantic, reality TV shows where I could scream at the screen, shows that had some sort of crime/cop theme or sci-fi outlet and it was glorious for a while.

Why did I think this would make me want to read again?

Ah, so Cherchez La Vie goals. I decided, In 2018 I’m going to get back into the flow of reading. I picked up books on writing, I picked up some classics writers (you know, Chekhov, Balzac, Steinbeck, Faulkner), I picked up mysteries and romances. I also have my book tree that is only comprised of TBR (to be read, for the noobs) books.

Now, I was never really a fan of Goodreads. I do have a profile but I never consistently used it. I figured giving it one more chance might help me with my reading problem. I can keep track of the books that I read and stay away from all the other nonsense on the site. I set my 2018 Reading Challenge goal to 50 books. I am going to start with the dozen or so library books that I already have and then delve deep into the hundreds of TBR books currently sitting in my living room.

I know, I know. If you haven’t read them by now, do you really think you will actually read them? Yes, Yes I do. I just have to choose the order wisely. That and I plan to actually get rid of the ones I know I will never read, GASP! But these are the ones I’ve had for years and still haven’t cracked the first page since I bought them. They have to go.

Anyway, I thought this plan would work and Lo and Behold! It’s only the 3rd and I’ve already read started and finished a few books. I plan to write reviews on them and hopefully, just hopefully, this is the start of my reading comeback.

Happy Reading.

P.S. Here are a few shows that usurped my time in 2017:

Blackish, Travelers, CSI Miami, NCIS, Chicago Med, Project Runway, Hells Kitchen, Royal Pains, Numb3rs, Medium, Blindspot, KC Undercover, MasterChef, SYTYCD, Stitchers, UnReal, Pitch, Cardinal, Rizzoli and Isles, Rosewood, Roswell, Bones, Castle, Timeless, Drop Dead, Diva

There are so many more but now my brain hurts. See ya.