I’m terribly sorry for that extended hiatus. Life was getting a bit hectic so my reading temporarily hit the back-burner. Hopefully, things are officially slowed down to a manageable pace so I can get back to doing what I love: reading, writing and reviewing!
While my posts may have stopped temporarily, the growth of my TBR pile never wavered. I still have a bunch of books that I can’t wait to review for you guys and pick up right where we left off.
So, keep an eye out for my next post which is going to be a book review on Tayari Jones’ Silver Sparrow.
OH MY GOODNESS! I am at a loss for words. If you knew me personally – you would know that basically never happens but let me try my best to explain my speechlessness. I have just finished reading Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and it was absolutely unforgettable! In all honesty, before we proceed, stop now and please add it to your TBR… it’s okay…I’ll wait.
You added it? Put it on your Amazon wish list? Made it to the local bookstore?
Good. Let’s proceed.
Caraval is the story of two sisters, Donatella (Tella) and Scarlett born, raised and restricted to their home island of Trisda. Living under the strict and abusive supervision of their father, Governor Dragna forces the two sisters to yearn for lives far away from their reality especially for the mysterious and magical tournament, Caraval. Scarlett eventually grows out of her fascination but hopes that her impending marriage to an unknown suitor will be the salvation that her and her sister have been waiting for while Tella yearns to attempt bolder methods.
Stephanie Garber is incredible in this novel and does a remarkable demonstration of skill in this fantasy novel. The themes are sisterhood, self-discovery and love in a multitude of forms. Despite the romance that builds in the story, it’s purely and innocently done and refreshingly not the primary focus of the story. No better story of sisters has been done this well apart from the film, Frozen with Elsa and Anna (at least that comes to mind). Caraval was the fantasy novel that I desperately needed to read and I will probably re-read again, each time finding something new to love about it. This has definitely earned and carved a place for itself in my favorites.
I also tweeted at Stephanie Garber today and she responded to me. I fangirl-ed soooo hard.
Phoebe Robinson is an African-American comedienne, half of the collaborative duo in the podcast, 2 Dope Queens and creator of the blog, Blaria (Black Daria). The author bio given here, which is also expanded on in the book, was as much as I knew about Phoebe Robinson before reading this book. I had zero expectations apart from an implied chuckle or two given the shock value of the title. Robinson did a stellar job in her debut novel and reading her book these past couple days was something I was constantly looking forward to. Any free moment, on breaks at work, you could find me completely lost in this paperback.
Robinson does something that requires quite a bit of finesse. She discusses heavy handed topics such as “the angry black woman myth” which is a name of one of her chapters. She also touches on the political climate of 2016 (spoiler: Trump becomes president, ugh.) and the overall daily struggle that it is to not only be an African American but an African American women. Each topic is discussed with an unbelievable amount poignancy and just a touch of humor. She shares her own personal accounts of learning to accept herself through her hair, through her comedy and through media as it has been evolving. Despite being merely 30-something years old, Robinson speaks with a knowledge far beyond her years, bestowing her knowledge and acute observations with the reader but especially with her baby niece, Olivia, with individual letters.
I think that You Can’t Touch My Hair should be required reading. It’s comedic, refreshing and incredibly insightful about the world that we are living in. This is something that I can see myself sharing with others when asked to recommend a great read. It’s mentioned briefly that Robinson may pursue writing future novels and if so, I look forward to adding her works to my growing library.