Book Review: Shango by James R. Curtis

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Title – Shango

Author – James Roberto Curtis

Publication – January 1st 1996

Publisher – Arte Publico Press / Abantu Audio

Genre – Adult, Fiction, Mystery.

Miguel is Cuban American, with the accent on American. But beneath the surface of his sun-drenched Miami lifestyle lurks an evil that threatens to destroy him. The chance reading of a newspaper article reporting a stolen skull and the ritualistic murder of a petty drug dealer pitches Miguel into battle with an underworld dominated by santeria in this spell-binding and engrossing novel.

Shangó is the Yoruba deity of fire, thunder and lightning. He was the fourth king of the ancient Oyo Empire, the West African center of culture and politics for the Yoruba people. Shangó was a feared and respected warrior; strong and powerful, dreadful and magnificent, he is the personification of masculinity. Notorious for his great sexual philandering, Shangó not only is passionate in love, but also is famous for his sudden changes in temper and potential for violent behavior. When a subordinate chief challenged his rule, many townspeople were impressed by the chief’s feats of magic and deserted Shangó. Defeated in the eyes of the majority of his subjects, Shangó left Oyo and committed suicide by hanging himself in the forest. His faithful followers, however, claimed that he really ascended to the heavens on a chain. They claimed that his disappearance was not death but merely the occasion of his transformation into an orisha or “black saint”.

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Book Review: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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Title – The Belles (The Belles #1)

Author – Dhonielle Clayton

Publication – Febuary 6th, 2018.

Publisher – Disney-Hyperion

Genre – Fantasy & Young Adult 

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

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Book Review: Makwala by E.E. Sule

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Title – Makwala

Author – E.E. Sule

Publication – September 2018

Publisher – Origami, Parrésia Publishers Ltd.

Genre – African Literature

Jackson and Ende, growing up in a post-conflict and cosmopolitan Kano City slum of the early 2000s, find themselves in a world where they have to grapple with questions that relate to identity, destiny and society. While Ende is troubled by the absence of a mother he knows nothing about and a rather strange father who makes matter worse for him by withholding information regarding his mother. Jackson, a biracial boy also called Lebanese Pikin, is trapped in deep self-hate resulting from abhorrence of his mother’s prostitution. Their friendship begins on the day Ende discovers Jackson’s drawing of “a frail woman stuck against a wall by a long iron bar.” This is the beginning of a haunting narrative of hate and love, of violence and compassion, of concealment and revelation. In this cutting urban realism, the reader will encounter memorably quirky characters in a setting that reflects their precarity and their hopes. Told descriptively with the sophisticated simplicity and blending of the comic and the tragic of the author’s first novel Sterile Sky, this new novel brings our attention the deep entwinements of individual struggle with the survival of a community and, ultimately, of a postcolonial nation.

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Book Review

Makwala is a town in Kano, Nigeria. A town where the people live their lives lawlessly.

Quite frankly the blurb of this story starts off by telling us about Jackson and Ende, but it’s really more than their story, yes their lives take centre stage but, also the lives of the other characters that live with them, is equally as important, because the story of Makwala is the story of the people in it, especially of the people who live in the apartments compound owned by one boisterous Mama Maria.Read More »

Book Review: Verity by Colleen Hoover

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Title – Verity

Author – Colleen Hoover 

Publication – December 7th, 2018.

Publisher – Hoover Ink, Inc.

Genre – Contemporary Romantic Suspense Thriller

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

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Book Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

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Title – What If It’s Us

Author –  Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli

Publication – October 9th, 2018.

Publisher – HarperTeen

Genre – Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

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