Book Review: The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

Three years ago Madison Culver went missing at the age of five while looking for a Christmas tree with her family. Private investigator Naomi Cottle continues the investigation and believes that Madison’s disappearance can only be the result of an abduction. Naomi’s personal journey from foster child to adulthood parallels her search for Madison, and as her fears and sources of determination come to light, the narrative also dips into Madison’s mind, allowing readers to experience her terrifying ordeal at the hands of her captor.

This was a book that I randomly picked up at the library and I’m so glad I did. I will not lie and say I don’t ‘judge books by their cover’ but I do. Most of us do. Usually, the title and cover draw me in and then the synopsis makes me take it home. That was the case with this one. I started reading it at 11:30pm, which any self respecting nerd knows they SHOULD NOT do. I finished it the same night. 3:40am and I closed the book with a sense of peace and completion.

I usually don’t like books that have any form of child abuse in them. I experienced abuse, neglect and other poisonous happenings as a kid and it’s not something I want to read about. I enjoy reading and often times, I am doing it because it makes me feel better. I also do it because I used it as a coping mechanism as a kid. It keeps me safe. It hides me until I’m ready to fight. Why read about something that I’ve been trying to escape my entire life…and all that jazz.

That being said, I had no idea this book would have any mention of that. Yes, I read the synopsis but I definitely thought this was going down a different path. I believe that the fact that I read it, that I continued to push forward, speaks for itself.

The Child Finder
The way Denfeld writes is so beautiful that I couldn’t put the book down. The way she spins each touch and each look as subtle metaphors, from the woods, will surprise you. At first, you will say, “Is she talking about…?”

I wanted to read more, wanted to see what happened to this small child. I wanted to find out if Naomi would find the child or if there would only be bones or worse…nothing at all? I asked myself if I was ok with it ending either way. I asked myself if Naomi could really do this without any super powers. If this was going to have some sort of paranormal or supernatural element. I wanted to know if she was the kid whisperer.

I wanted Madison to be found. I wanted her to be lost. I wanted to see how her parents grieved and, after all these years, how they coped. At 330am, I was coming upon the end of the book and I had to sit up. I had to prepare myself for the end. It was just amazing.

I would recommend this to any and everyone. Trust me, this one is worth reading. I will say, I also plan to look at other books by her. I love her writing style and I want to know more!

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!

Happy Readdance,

Jade

Link to Book

The Book That Made Me A Reader

Heya!

So I am beyond excited! I can’t even believe I’m writing this right now.

When I was a young  foster girl, sad and angry, I needed a coping mechanism to fill the void love loss left in me. I found that in The Westing Game. I was around seven years old when I first read it.

I had been looking for it for so long but could never remember the title or the author. All I could remember was that a ton of people are invited to a house as heirs to a large estate. There’s intrigue, mystery and crazy twists. A huge competition would pit them against each other until one lone person came out the winner…and single heir. Something to do with a guy named West…or something. I tried every form of google search but couldn’t come up with results that fit the book.

Then, a good friend of mine told me she was moving back to her home state. ‘Can you come over and help me pack?’ Of course! Then she added ‘and you can look through my books and take whatever you like!’ Umm…what? She had a ton of books from the 90’s. All those old covers and big pants. I loved it! We had the greatest time!

And then…I saw it. The instant she pulled it from the book I almost cried. My heart nearly exploded. The Westing Game!! That was the title! That was the book I read at least twice a month! That was the book that made me want to read any and everything I could get my hands on. All the old memories rushed through my mind and I grasp it to my chest.

I’d finally found it. It was finally mine.

I’m going to read it again. I don’t even care if it’s different than I remember. My inner child is jumping for joy and shivering with anticipation.

Dramatic, I know…this is me.

No google found photos here. This is the actual book on my bookshelf. Yes!

TheWestingGame

Good Readdance,
Jade

 

P.S. I picked up 50 books in total.

 

allthebooks

 

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Book Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

 

I believe that I read this book when I was a kid. I think it was apart of the required reading list but I’m not 100% sure. I remember hearing a lot about it. About censorship and how limiting our children can be bad for them. I wonder why that converse ever went out of style?

fahrenheit 451

I love this book with all of my heart. I decided to re-read it so that I could watch the movie, currently out with Michael B. Jordan, but I haven’t seen it yet. I didn’t remember much about the writing style so I went in pretty blind. I was not disappointed. I love the main character. His mind is all over the place and yet nowhere at all. The first time they mention him sitting there, in the dark all on his lonesome with that awkward evil grin I was taken away.

The characters come alive from the pages. You can hear the laughter in Clarisse’s voice, the odd monotony of Mildred and whispers of thought from Montag. My writing style is more conversational and so I really loved some of the choppy wording, the half sentences and the odd comma placements. I really enjoyed reading it again and even if I don’t see the movie any time soon, I will be happy.
If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it (or listened to 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

Link to Book

Book Review: The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.

Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.

Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

Alright, I admit it took me a really long time to read this book. Almost a month. Just as I was cracking the book open my college courses started. Always the one with her head in the clouds, I thought No, I won’t have any issue reading for entertainment while also trying to read class assignments. I was wrong. The Philosopher’s Way and Plato soon took over all of my free time. The only time I could find for personal reading was before work, during my lunch break and just before my eyes shut at night. That basically means I only read ten to fifteen pages at a time. My usual average is around fifty to ninety so this just makes me look sad. I didn’t want to stop though and took the book everywhere with me; to the doctors office, to work and to stand in line at Walmart.

Anyway, I really liked the book. Often times I caught myself wanting to tweet the author and say “Oh my god! They could totally be best friends!”. I loved the fact that you go back and forth between point of views. I didn’t like this sort of writing when I was younger but as I get older and hone my own writing style I appreciate the craftsmanship. The personality differences between Ellen and Saskia are so vast and you really get to see that. This way, you get the stalkers thoughts first hand and maybe, you don’t totally hate her.

the hypnotists love story

I would definitely recommend this book! If you are looking for an easy read that doesn’t have too many twists and turns this is for you! One part of the book I thought, there’s totally going to be some crazy plot twist that will have me on the edge of my seat and things turned out differently. No worries though, I did like the way the book ended. It was a pleasant story.

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!

Happy Readance,
Jade

Link to Book

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