ARC Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Thanks to NetGalley and Faber & Faber for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Death of Vivek Oji
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: 20 August 2020
Genre: Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Panda Rating:


What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

TL;DR: This was an incredible and heartbreaking story about the complexities of love, sexual and gender identity, and self-acceptance in a society that doesn’t accept or acknowledge your existence. It’s about loss, grief, fear and secrets. It’s a stunningly written book that I would highly recommend, although I will say it might not be for everyone as it does involve taboo relationships (sexually explicit) that some readers might find uncomfortable or disturbing. There are still months left to go in 2021, but so far, this is hands down one of my favourite reads of the year!

Continue reading “ARC Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi”

#5OnMyTBR: L-O-V-E!

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: Love.

Continue reading “#5OnMyTBR: L-O-V-E!”

Blog Tour Review: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

Hey friends! I’m excited to be back for another @TheWriteReads blog tour for this absolute gem of a book: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍

Special thanks to Egmont Publishing and NetGalley for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Amari and the Night Brothers
Publisher: Egmont Publishing
Published: 21 January 2021
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Amari Peters knows three things.
Her big brother Quinton has gone missing.
No one will talk about it.
His mysterious job holds the secret . . .

So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this is her chance to find Quinton. But first she has to get her head around the new world of the Bureau, where mermaids, aliens and magicians are real, and her roommate is a weredragon. Amari must compete against kids who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives, and when each trainee is awarded a special supernatural talent, Amari is given an illegal talent – one that the Bureau views as dangerous. With an evil magician threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is the enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton . . .

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston”

#5OnMyTBR: Animals

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: Animals.

Continue reading “#5OnMyTBR: Animals”

First Lines Friday – 11 December

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“There was nothing cute about the first time Kerry Fuller met Jesse Strong.
He broke her glasses; she bloodied his nose and they both ended up in a tangle of yarn on the floor in the loft space of Strong Knits being scolded by Mama Joy.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 11 December”

First Lines Friday – 04 December

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 04 December”

Goodreads Monday – The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s featured book is The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez. This is a contemporary romance that while fun and flirty, also covers the more serious topic of infertility. It has a 3.89 star rating on Goodreads with several thousand ratings and reviews.

Continue reading “Goodreads Monday – The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez”

Goodreads Monday – Human Acts by Han Kang

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s featured book is Human Acts by Han Kang. This is a historical fiction set in South Korea that was published in 2017 and has a 4.17 star rating on Goodreads with several thousand ratings and reviews.

Continue reading “Goodreads Monday – Human Acts by Han Kang”

#TopTenTuesday: Favourite 2020 Quotes

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Favourite Book Quotes (these could be quotes from books you love, or bookish quotes in general)

I wasn’t really feeling this week’s prompt because I’m so bad at keeping track of my favourite quotes and don’t usually stock them up anywhere (although I’ve been wanting to upload a collection of faves somewhere for years now, I just haven’t got around to doing it *cough*). I remember previously doing some favourite quotes posts, which you can check out here and here.

I was almost going to skip and then I decided that I would share my favourite quotes from some of the books I’ve read and loved in 2020! Maybe they’ll ring a bell for for you, if you’ve already read the book, or maybe they’ll entice you to pick the book up if it’s been sitting on your TBR. Or maybe the quote will pique your interest and you’ll add the book to your already teetering mountain of a TBR (you’re welcome)! So without further ado, here we go…

“Where we come from leaves its fingerprints all over us, and if you know how to read the signs of a place, you know a little bit more who someone is.”

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

“There should be a disconnect button you can push when someone leaves: you’ve fucked me over; therefore I no longer love you. I’m not asking for the button to be connected to an ejector seat that removes them from the universe, just one small button that removes them from your heart.”

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

“She hit him in the best way, like a rainstorm after five years of drought, healing the parched earth with a gentle touch; and in the worst way, like an unexpected earthquake, leaving dust and debris in her wake. She was, in equal parts, a gift and a natural disaster. Her name was Juniper Jones.”

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

“I want you to know there are no right answers. I want you to know that we’re all on loan to one another, and whatever we get, we should be grateful for, because at any minute we can lose another person. We should try to remember every experience.”

With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

“The point is . . . sometimes fighting isn’t about leaving, it’s about staying. It takes practice to get it right, and it’s painful, but if you want to stay with people, you do it.”

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

“A home isn’t always the house we live in. It’s also the people we choose to surround ourselves with.”

“Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as you remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.”

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

“I have become something wonderful, she thought. I have become something terrible. Was she now a goddess or a monster? Perhaps neither. Perhaps both.”

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

“Even though you finally enact a Civil Rights Act not even thirty years ago, it doesn’t erase centuries of unequal access, unequal schooling, unequal living conditions, unequal policing. You can’t tell people to pull up on bootstraps when half of them never had any boots to begin with, never even had the chance to get them. Or when you let people burn whole, thriving black communities to the ground and conveniently forget about it. Because maybe the problem isn’t with ‘bad’ people; maybe the problem is with the whole system.”

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

“You can change the law but you can’t change people and how they treat each other.”

“Perhaps his life might have veered elsewhere if the US government had opened the country to colored advancement like they opened the army. But it was one thing to allow someone to kill for you and another to let him live next door.”

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

“Like Wendy, John, and Michael Darling on the night Peter Pan taught them how to fly – I think one happy thought.
In my pocket, I have a knife.

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Favourite 2020 Quotes”

#TopTenTuesday: The Current Possibility Pile

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books On My Fall 2020 TBR (or spring if you live in the southern hemisphere)

I’m calling it The Current Possibility Pile because I live in the tropics and get neither autumn or spring. My seasons consist of hot/humid and hot/humid/rainy, right now it’s the latter, but the sun continues to shine bright every day! I’m also a mood reader so set TBRs are not a thing for me. Lately my moods have been all over the place and the reality is that the possibilities in this pile are more than likely to change the minute I pick one or several of these books up 😂 That’s just really how it be for me!

On that note, I do have a lot of blog tour reads that I need to get through in the coming months (so I guess that really is a TBR lol) but I’ve decided I’m going to focus this list on all the books I want to read outside of the tours I’m joining and outside of the ARCs I have to read!

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: The Current Possibility Pile”