Sin of a Woman. Kimberla Lawson Roby. 2017. 320 pages. Grand Central Publishing. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Without question, Kimberla Lawson Roby’s Curtis Black series books are always masterfully written in comparison to her other works. Unfortunately, Sin of a Woman failed to reach the relatively high bar. It’s intriguing that she elected to almost duplicate the plot of the most recent saga of Dillon Black with Raven, but appropriate. There was a ton of potential to show once again the self appointed calling, rise and ultimate fail of a misguided “pastor.” However, riddled with redundancy in the background of the characters and the current interactions, the book didn’t fully captivate or advance. Drawn out to unnecessary lengths, the actual deceptive action could have happened a lot sooner granting more time to highlight the growth of other characters. Raven was predictable, Porscha was unbelievable (especially her ending sermon), and Dillon and the Black family were essentially unnecessary. For the first time ever, I’m thinking Mrs. Roby may need to find another set of characters. How much more can the Black Family endure and/or be apart of?!
A Blessing & a Curse. ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Victoria Christopher Murray. 2017. 288 pages. Gallery Books. [ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] They’ve done it again! I swear, I never think there’s anywhere else for these characters (and more importantly the duo) to go … yet somehow Reshonda and Victoria find away to take them to the next level. The idea of Jasmine & Rachel being sisters seemed unrealistic until they started weaving the tale. Then it seemed so possible and as a long time fan of the series made you wonder “how did I miss this possibility!?” Expertly written, it’s still impossible to tell one writing style from the next. 5 stars and I’m literally salivating at the idea of FINALLY finding out just who Mae Frances is. I hope Victoria and Reshonda keep up their collaborations, this book is proof they’re still capable of taking these characters further!
Her Secret Life. Tiffany L. Warren. 2017. 320 pages. Kensington Books. [Source: ARC provided couresty of NetGalley.] “She’s a series of beautiful contradictions” … my favorite line in the book as Graham simply explained Onika. Similarly, the line encompasses my emotions about the main character … I was always conflicted. My feelings of empathy were a direct contradiction to the disdain I felt for her superior, entitled attitude. Onika was so caught up in focusing on the bad hand she was dealt as a child that she failed to realize that the adult negativity was all the root of her own doing and poor decision making. The showcase of how one lie will ultimately beget many others was a valuable and continuous lesson. In addition to how failure to accept your flaws will stunt your ability to grow despite them. An ideal book for many teachers for it’s clear message without forcing hard topics. 5 stars for the effortless way Ms. Warren wove this tale, as a D.C. Native and fellow Greek, she was true to the culture and environment and it only aided the overall work.
The Queen of the Frogs. David Cali & Marco Soma, ill. 2017. 38 pages. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Today is release day for The Queen of the Frogs, a hilarious story with a moral that everyone can relate to. The story is set at a pond with a community of frogs, flies, and dragonflies. One day, a shiny gold object drops into the pond – the frogs aren’t quite sure what it is, but it looks a lot like a crown. The frog community decided that the frog who found the “crown” should be their new queen, and then the fun ensues.
The Loud House # 1: There Will Be Chaos. Chris Savino. 2017. 64 pages. Papercutz Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] The Loud House is no stranger to my household, so it was a must that we check out its first graphic novel. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this graphic novel is more like an anthology, with the stories focusing on a different child of the Loud household. Admittedly, the idea of a house filled with 11 kids is overwhelming to me, the show is entertaining and carries that same humor to the book. For those unfamiliar with the Loud House television show, this book gives a short and sweet intro to the Loud family in the beginning. There is a brief bio about each of the 11 Loud children that provides some context for their personality type in addition to their ages. At the end of the book, the reader is introduced to the creator, Chris Savino, whose own childhood many of the stories are based upon. The book also took a creative approach to the contents of the book, with a fridge serving as the hub of information. The table of contents is actually presented…