January: What I’ve Been Reading

We made it to Friday! This week has seemed to never end. Actually, I feel like January has been the longest month ever! I saw this meme on Facebook and it’s the truth 😂

Well, it’s January 31st, and I read three books this month: A Woman is No Man, The Wives, and The Hate U Give. All pretty heavy/intense reads….especially compared to my lighter reading in December with a focus on holiday books.

A Woman is No Man

I will be shocked if this book isn’t one of my top 5 reads of 2020….and it’s the first book I read in 2020. #offtoagoodstart

Good Reads summary:

This debut novel by an Arab-American voice,takes us inside the lives of conservative Arab women living in America.

In Brooklyn, eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors. Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice. History is repeating itself: Deya’s mother, Isra, also had no choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam. Though Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman makes Deya question everything she was told about her past. As the narrative alternates between the lives of Deya and Isra, she begins to understand the dark, complex secrets behind her community.

My thoughts: This book caught my attention from the first page. The focus of the Arab culture and arranged marriages was so interesting to me. I loved the format of the book with chapters alternating Deya and her mother Isra. There were definitely some painful and gut-wrenching scenes to read, but I guess they were necessary to tell the full story. The twist in the plot with the note helped start putting together the pieces of the plot puzzle. This was a book I couldn’t put down even though it was definitely a heavy read.

The Wives

This book was a spur of the moment read. I follow Kristy Wicks on Instagram, and she mentioned her daughter had chosen a few books to start an online book discussion. So many people in the Facebook group for the book club were talking about how great the book was, so I actually bought it and downloaded it to my Kindle (I rarely buy books for my Kindle). I read the book in a few days.

Good Reads Summary:

New York Times bestselling author Tarryn Fisher delivers a pulse-pounding, fast-paced suspense novel that will leave you breathless. A thriller you won’t be able to put down!

Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.

But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.

What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.

My thoughts: It’s been awhile since I’ve read a good thriller/suspense book. The idea of the main character having multiple wives definitely hooked my interest from the start. The narrator is his second wife, Thursday, and I kind of just felt sorry for her. I kept thinking, “How does she have so much self-control as to not look up/find out more information about the other wives?” Well, it was only a matter of time! I enjoyed this book and it was suspenseful BUT the second half of the book didn’t sit right with me. Midway through the book there was a big shift…and after that, I wasn’t sure what to think about Thursday. Also, some of the plot from that point forward seemed rushed…including the ending. The book was good, and it was suspenseful, but I definitely liked the first half of the book way more than the second half.

Kristy and her daughter posted a book club discussion last week with a full summary (so…warning! if you click on the link below), their thoughts, and questions for their blog readers about the book.

The Hate U Give

I’m sure most everyone has heard of this book (or movie!). I may have been one of the last people to have read this book! I was prompted to read it because so many of my high schoolers have read it. It’s a young adult read that focuses on some hot topics and includes relevant and timely life examples.

Good Reads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

My thoughts: This was a good read. I see why so many young adults/high school students would like the book. Unfortunately, I have students who live this life, who have seen things I will never see in my lifetime, and who have experienced these injustices first hand.

The book has classic elements for young adults like the characters, the setting, the language and the ongoing themes to hold the reader’s attention. This book definitely provides opportunity to spark conversation with not only young adults, but adults as well. I haven’t seen the movie, but my interest is definitely piqued after reading the book.

Those we my three January reads. I’m about halfway through with The Broken Girls, and it’s been a great read so far! I will share about it in February.

I hope you’ve had a great week.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

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