Book Review: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

 

Heya!

Here is another book written by a black author! I absolutely loved it! I have always been a big fan of the Disney princess stories being modernized and re-written. Although the Cinderella story is age old, I really love to see the way new writers can add plot twists and small but impactful changes to create a beautiful narrative. Yes, Cole, Yes! This story is based on an African History and the author really shined a beautiful light on the culture. The way family came together and the people gathered around in support really made you wish this was a place you could go with people from the story you could meet. The story has funny moments and sad parts and all make you proud.  There are big twists and turns that flow with the story line and don’t cause friction with the riches to rags and back to riches ideal.

 

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The main character is so relatable, honest and everything we want to portray. She’s a black woman who is smart, beautiful and she has a great sense of responsibility and self awareness. Thabiso, the prince, is handsome and hilarious in his own royal right. He really cracked me up with his inability to do normal every day activities on his own and his lack of knowledge about American diction. Cole really did a great job bringing these characters to life without making them over the top or extra. I can’t wait to read more books by her!

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

Good Readance,
Jade

#BlackAuthorsUnite!

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Reading for Self Betterment and Accomplishing Goals in 2018

Heya Readers,

I’ve been reading since I was a young child and, for the most part, it’s been for entertainment. I hardly ever read non-fiction. I always found it hard to find something that didn’t drone on like a history book. Lately, I’ve been really getting into biographies (autos) and non-fiction works and I think it’s because I’ve been seeking for something real. Something that will actually do something for my mental health. Don’t get me wrong, my love for fictional books (paranormal romance, thriller, psychological thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, general fiction, the list could go on) will never die but this is different.

I’ve been through a lot over the last few years. After the loss of my daughter last year (my second loss in two years) grief, depression, hurt, nights of crying myself to sleep, days of lethargy and more ruled my 2017. I am feeling better (Although I still cry when I think of her sometimes) and I plan to have a better 2018. I know that you can’t rush the healing process but it has been eight full months since I gave birth. I’m just ready to stop feeling so…down.

I’ve really been trying to take back control of my life. Last year I slacked off on a lot of things. My plans for weight loss, my strive to officially get a job in my career field (I tried to find the right fit and couldn’t and I didn’t try again, I’m embarrassed to say). After celebrating Cherchez La Vie this past December I listed several of these things on my goal list for the next six months. I’ve accomplished a few of them. I just got a new job and I’ve been attempting to figure out how I can work the gym into my new busy schedule.

As a child, I always wanted to be a writer. I thought the ability to spin stories and create new worlds, worlds better than the one I’d been living in, was a fascinating idea. I had a hard beginning and landed in foster care. Then I was adopted. It was tough and I still feel some of the residue of abandonment and rejection that was a huge part of my early years. Reading and writing were ways I could create something new. It could make the pain go away, it could make me feel wanted. Because…your characters never disappoint you right? Riiiiight.

Somewhere along the way I got distracted by the glamour of building design and the philanthropy of creating safe and envirnoment-friendly spaces for the homeless. It was a weird girlhood dream of mine, especially after a few months of HGTV and Extreme Home Make over (Move That Bus!). I studied hard and right out of high school I enrolled in college at the University of Kansas to get my master’s degree in Architecture. That was just a funny way of saying I was going to be stuck in school for six years. I loved it, for the short time I was there. I started out with reciprocity grants and scholarships, that only lasted for a while.

Attending school as an out of state student, without scholarships, would cost me nearly $30k a year. I eventually ran out of money and had to withdraw. That was six years ago. I was really upset about it in the beginning but decided not to drag me down. I moved to Florida; eighteen hour road trip with a friend, stretched over two days. I made new friends, I met my soulmate. I changed the course of my future even though I wasn’t sure how it would pan out.

My love for writing has never gone away, I have dreams and goals that, I feel, are bigger than me. I want to accomplish them. I am going to accomplish them. In 2018 I plan to set that into motion. Get a job in my career field, finish two books (WIP!), and continue my education. It will be tough but I’m sure that I can do it.

I have lived in Florida for three years now. This means that (exaggerated pause for effect) I can get instate tuition at the university here! I had no idea and I just happened to be sitting on the couch, watching TV when one of those commercials drew me in. You know, the ones that are like ‘Hey, do you want to finish your education?‘? Yes, one of those. The university here is actually pretty amazing, I’ve already been on campus. It’s literally a dream come true. That’s a major plan for self betterment that I’ve already put into motion. Less than two weeks from now I am starting my spring courses. I should graduate just over two years from now.  I’m getting my degree in English, with an emphasis in rhetoric and fiction writing.

Wow, obviously I talk a lot. Thanks for sticking around. I said all of that just to say  I’ve picked up Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (creator and writer of Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal, etc). Shonda (as she’s so informally referred to on the inside flap) is an introvert, like me! She, too, has issues with public speaking and large crowds. The book is about how saying yes turned her life around. “Yes, I’ll do…” “Yes, I would love…” “Yes, I will show up to…”.

Year of Yes

I’ve actually already started it and am excited to tell you guys what I’m gleaning from her story. She has a particular voice that makes me feel empowered when reading it. This year, I am really trying to incorporate books that will help me live a better life, fuller life. Live life…in general. This is one of many on my list this year. So here we go.

By the way, if you’ve read this book and loved it, leave me a comment below! Tell me what you thought of it? Did it make you laugh? Did you smile? Are you an introvert like us? (Yes, that’s me referring to Shonda and I like we are best friends). What are your plans for a brighter future? Do you have any goals, big or small, that you want to accomplish this year? Are you in school now?

Happy Reading,

Jade

 

 

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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