Bookworm Girl and a Young Botanist

Bookworm Girl and a Young Botanist

Both my diamond painting work in progress, and the book I am currently reading are about girls with wonderful passions. For “Bookworm Girl,” “Reading is where it all begins.  With a sweet hairdo, some smart glasses and a comfortable little dress, “ she reminds us that “we lose ourselves in books, and we find ourselves there too.” ~Anonymous*

In This Poison Heart by Kalyan Bayron, Briseis can also get lost, but in her unique power to grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms in a blink of the eye. The plants also respond to her moods. However, this power can be deadly. Can she learn to control her gift, and conquer the dark forces descending around her? **

The age level for the novel is 13-17, so I am using this as an opportunity to go back (way back! 😊) and remember myself as a teenager.

I am intrigued by both, and they wonderfully compliment each other!

*Diamond Art Club
** Taken from Product Description in Amazon

January ‘21 Reads and Ratings

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune The Patriarch by Brandon Massey
Awakening by Nora Roberts Dispossession by Tayari Jones

The Patriarch was suspenseful with a wallop of supernatural! Finished the 3rd book in The Broken Earth Trilogy, and thought I would take a month break from fantasy/speculative fiction, then Awakening was ready to borrow on Libby, so I changed my reading order. How many times does that happen to you? Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson was a DNF, but not because it wasn’t well written. I was reading it in early January, and at 25% I got depressed, and put it down. I think it, combined with what was going on in the news was just too much for me. Instead, I started The House On The Cerulean Sea, and it was a refreshing getaway! I do plan on finishing Yellow Wife, but whoosh, it is an emotional read!

The Patriarch was suspenseful with a wallop of supernatural! I finished the 3rd book in The Broken Earth Trilogy, and thought I would take a month break from fantasy/speculative fiction, then Awakening was ready to borrow on Libby, so I changed my reading order.

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson was a DNF, but not because it wasn’t well written. I was reading it in early January, and at 25%, I got depressed, and put it down. I think it, combined with what was going on in the news was just too much for me. Instead I started The House On The Cerulean Sea. It was a refreshing getaway, and my favorite read for January! I do plan on finishing Yellow Wife, but whoosh, it is an emotional read!

My Book Rating System

I rate book with DNF – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars based on each of the following:

1. Readability
– Well written?
– Strong chapter beginnings and endings
– Well developed characters
– Page turner?

2. Engagement
– Was I fully engaged? Did I lose myself in the read?
– Was it hard to put down?

3. Emotional Investment
– Was I emotionally invested in the characters? 🥺😱😳😡😳😝🤗

4. Originality 💡
– Was there something new, unique and exciting about it?

5. Insightful/Enlightening?

Overall:

Note: Books that I do not finish: I had a lot of issues with the book, characters and plot. I disliked it so much that I didn’t even want to rate it 1 star.

Book Review: Pale by Edward Farmer

Edward Farmer’s engrossing debut, Pale, begins in 1966 in the burning heat of Mississippi, when Bernice, whose husband left with all their savings and didn’t return, accepts her brothers invitation to join him in working on a cotton plantation.

She is slowly immersed into a household full of secrets, deception, revenge, and downright cruelty, which revolves around two young brothers who come to work on the plantation. One becomes a pawn to enact revenge, and the other is mistreated, lied to, and trapped by the choices of others. 

As the story slowly unfolds, we see that for some, there is a perceived thin line between servant and slave, and how revengeful choices can define and change lives through generations.

People who like novels set in the south, will love the author’s rich descriptions of rural Mississippi, including the cotton fields, jacaranda, cicadas, and pestering summer heat. What a great debut!

Thanks to #NetGalley for the ARC! https://www.netgalley.com/book/176864/review/625966

Book Review: The Missing American

Kwei Quartey’s newest novel, The Missing American, opens with a sniper assassination of a Ghanaian presidential candidate, and then we are introduced to Emma Djan, whose dreams of a promising career in the Ghana Police Service are dashed when she tearfully refuses an offer of a position in Homicide in return for sex.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police who relieves her of her duties, suspects “something happened,” and refers her to the owner of a detective agency where she is immediately hired.

Her first case is that of a missing American named Gordon Tilson, a lonely widower who has fallen in love with a Ghanaian beauty named Helen, whom he meets on the internet. Excitedly, he decides to go to Accra to see what destiny holds for the two of them. To his dismay, he soon finds out there is no Helen, and he has been scammed out of thousands of dollars. Then Gordon goes missing. 

Now Emma needs to solve this case for the client, Derek Tilson, and prove to her new boss that he made a good decision in hiring her as a private detective.  However, there are those who will not only thwart her efforts, but kill to keep their secrets.

The novel takes the reader deep into internet scams, fetish priests and corruption, while also offering a look into Ghana’s food, people and culture. This is not a fast-paced crime novel, but is deliberate, and the pieces all tie together at the end. 

I liked Emma and was glad to see that even with a new job where it was extremely important that she prove herself, she still made regular time to volunteer for a very special cause.

Crime fiction readers will enjoy the novel and be treated to the cultural rhythms of Ghana. I look forward to The Second Emma Djan Investigation.