Last Week’s Reads:
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
I discovered Emezi last year – Freshwater blew me out of the water, and The Death of Vivek Oji found a safe place in my heart forever – so there was little doubt that I would read Pet, Emezi’s young adult debut.
Pet is painted into existence by Jam’s mother, Bitter. He comes to show Jam that the world is not as it seems. Jam lives in Lucille, a sort of utopia that has purged all the monsters of the world – murderers, sex offenders, rapists, injustice, prejudice, etc. But when Pet arrives, he shakes Jam’s (and her best friend, Redemption’s) world upside down.
Without giving away too much of the story, I will say that I loved the characters, the allegory presented to the readers throughout, and the creativity that Emezi is so good at. They write in such a way that your thinking is flipped upside down and it challenges you to rethink everything you think you know! After having now read three books (in quick succession) by Emezi, I know I can count on them for unique storylines that really stick with you.
I have a slight uneasiness in regards to some of the contents of the book and I definetly feel that is due to some current events. Had I read this at any other time, I don’t think some of the unsettling themes would have stood out to me, and unfortunately, those feelings tainted my overall enjoyment of the book.
(Regardless, Pet is still worth picking up and reading…just know this is darker than I expected it to be considering it is categorized as a YA.)
*** The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
Sophia is an Irish immigrant that recently answered an advertisement from a widowed man looking for a wife and a mother for his young daughter. Seeking a different life, Sophia heads to San Francisco and quickly settles into her new role as mother to Kat. When a mysterious lady shows up at her doorstep one day, her world begins to unravel.
I love that this historical fiction book covers a time period other than WWII, and I learned quite a bit about the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco that also resulted in four square miles of the city being burned to the ground. I was drawn to the intensity of the situation and found myself flying through the book quite quickly.
However, about halfway through, the story lost it’s momentum for me. I found so much of the story unbelievable and overly sweet and precious. It wrapped up fairly quickly and in the end, I wanted so much more from the story.
*** Black Futures by Kimberly Drew
I’m not sure I can descibe this book better than the synopsis, so here it is: “Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham have brought together this collection of work–images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more–to tell the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative, and gorgeous world that Black creators are bringing forth today.“
I wasn’t totally sure what I was getting into, but it exceeded my expectations! There were many topics that were new to me and I marked them so that I can dive in deeper now that I’ve finished the book. There were times I was crying tears of empathy and compassion, and other times I was smiling ear to ear with complete joy and happiness. This book is a masterpiece and I loved it so much!
*** Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu
Holy cow…I am blown away by this book! I am loving it! Raw, emotional, and deep…I can’t wait to see how this one continues.
*** Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
I’m conflicted but interested enough to keep going…we shall see!
*** Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Claims Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins
Slooooowly making my way through this one still!