ARC Review: A People’s History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian

Special thanks to Algonquin Books for the gifted ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: A People’s History of Heaven
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Published: 19 March 2019
Genre: Literary Fiction

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

Heaven is a thirty-year-old slum hidden between brand-new, high-rise apartment buildings and technology incubators in contemporary Bangalore. In this tight-knit community, five girls on the cusp of womanhood-a politically driven graffiti artist; a transgender Christian convert; a blind girl who loves to dance; and the queer daughter of a hijabi union leader-forge an unbreakable bond.

When the local government threatens to demolish their tin shacks in order to build a shopping mall, the girls and their mothers refuse to be erased. Together they wage war on the bulldozers sent to bury their homes, and, ultimately, on the city that wishes that families like them would remain hidden forever.

Elegant, poetic, and vibrant, A People’s History of Heaven takes a clear-eyed look at adversity and geography and dazzles in its depiction of love and female friendship.

TL;DR: A People’s History of Heaven is a beautifully crafted literary debut full of so much heart! With her lyrical prose and vivid descriptions of everyday life, it was as if Mathangi Subramanian reached through the pages of this novel and pulled me right into Heaven itself. This is a story about the strong and proud women that live in Heaven—the grandmothers, the mothers, and the daughters, who do whatever it takes to survive the hardships of not only living in a slum but being part of an oppressive patriarchal society that was not designed for women and girls to succeed.

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First Lines Friday – 21 August

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:

“Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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#5OnMyTBR: 2020 Release

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: 2020 Release

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First Lines Friday – 14 August

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:

“The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation. He’d been dead for ten days before they found him, you know.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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#WWWWednesday: 05 August

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since last Wednesday I’ve managed to finish a surprising five books!

The Hollow Gods (The Chaos Cycle Duology) by A.J. Vrana ★★★☆☆
As The Ultimate Chicken™ this book was completely out of my comfort zone but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Apparently all the horrifying things happen in small towns, right? The small town secrets and folklore were definitely terrifying in this one! If you like a dark fantasy with paranormal elements this will definitely be up your alley. Read my full review!

Frostheart (Frostheart #1) by Jamie Littler ★★★½
I absolutely loved that the whole story was illustrated because it helped bring this ice covered world to life. My heart really felt for Ash and his longing to find a place where he belonged and the people who would accept him in spite of his dangerous legacy. It was a heartwarming and sweet read full of adventure that I think many young readers will enjoy. Review coming soon!

A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens ★★★☆☆
This was very different to what I expected. Laurens does paint a very eerie small town atmosphere but it didn’t end up being as scary as I thought it’d be. It was also a much heavier read that covers intense and difficult topics that can be potentially triggering for many. Read my full review and see the full list of content warnings the author shared on her website!

The Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas ★★★★☆
To steal Emer’s term, this was a fantastic popcorn read. It was a space opera reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy, Aurora Rising and Illuminae Files (imho). I loved the awkward, quirky and dry banter between our found family crew and the story left me feeling extremely comforted. It was such a fun and fast-paced story 💙 Read my full review!

Always Only You (Bergman Brothers #2) by Chloe Liese ★★★★★
I absolutely adored this romance and it had me swooning through the whole read. Give me more empowering couples who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and open with each other, who don’t suffer from the typical miscommunication issue in many romances and don’t devolve into immaturity. Frankie and Ren were the romance couple I didn’t know I needed. Read my full review!

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