Today is the Ritual of Purity.The thought nervously circles in my head as I hurry toward the barn, gathering my cloak to warn off the cold. It's early morning, and the sun hasn't yet begun its climb above the snow-dusted trees encircling our small farmhouse. Okai gather in the darkness, crowding the weak pool of light cast by my lamp. An ominous tingling builds under my skin. It's almost as if there's something there, at the edge of my vision . . . [opening of The Gilded Ones]
As I finally allow myself to succumb to it, I notice something I didn't before. A little brown girl, about eleven or so, white shift fluttering as she runs away from us deeper into the forest."A girl . . . ," I say.Then I surrender to the darkness. [excerpt from 56% of The Gilded Ones]
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.
But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity--and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.
Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki--near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire's greatest threat.
Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she's ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be--not even Deka herself. [Goodreads Summary]
The Handmaid's Tale for a new generation . . .
In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet's word is law, Immanuelle Moore's very existence is blasphemy.
The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement.
But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds Bethel - a place where the first prophet once pursued and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.
Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realises the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her . . . [Goodreads Summary]
A mesmerizing novel in verse about family, identity, and finding yourself in the most unexpected places—for fans of The Poet X, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, and Jason Reynolds.
Nima doesn’t feel understood. By her mother, who grew up far away in a different land. By her white suburban town, which feels both dangerous and familiar. At least she has her childhood friend Haitham, with whom she can let her guard down and be herself.
Until she doesn’t. As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen, the name her parents didn’t give her at birth: Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might just be more real than Nima knows. And more hungry.
This book is a story of mothers and daughters, of friends and enemies, of journeys and homecomings, and of realizing that sometimes the person you’re meant to be has been staring at you in the mirror all along.
Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. [Goodreads Summary]
From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age—a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country
Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother’s childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor—someone, or something, to love.
In arresting and unsettling prose, we watch Thandi’s life unfold, from losing her mother and learning to live without the person who has most profoundly shaped her existence, to her own encounters with romance and unexpected motherhood. Through exquisite and emotional vignettes, Clemmons creates a stunning portrayal of what it means to choose to live, after loss. An elegiac distillation, at once intellectual and visceral, of a young woman’s understanding of absence and identity that spans continents and decades, What We Lose heralds the arrival of a virtuosic new voice in fiction.[Goodreads Summary]
A novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.
Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.
With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr. fiercely summons the voices of slaver and the enslaved alike to tell the story of these two men; from Amos the preacher to the calculating slave-master himself to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminate in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love. [Goodreads Summary]
From the New York Times -bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.
As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise. [Goodreads Summary]
Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.
Do you use Goodreads to keep track of your books? (submitted by Elizabeth @Silver's Reviews)
For the past several years, I have used Goodreads to keep track of the books I have read--since I started keeping track, that is. I have considered adding TBR books to Goodreads but so far have always decided against it. That would be a huge undertaking. I actually catalog all the books I own on LibraryThing, whether read or unread. I like LibraryThing much better than Goodreads for that particular purpose. As if that wasn't enough, because I love making lists, I also keep my own spreadsheet of the books I read with various stats I like to track.
© 2021, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
The Gilded Pnes was so good. I hope you keep enjoying it!ReplyDelete
Lauren - I am loving it so far! Thank you for visiting!Delete
I love the excerpts from The Gilded Ones, and how the descriptions reeled me in. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “FINLEY DONOVAN IS KILLING IT”ReplyDelete
Laurel-Rain - I hope you enjoy Finley Donovan is Killing It! Thank you for stopping by!Delete
I also use LibraryThing for the books that I personally own! I do have a TBR on Goodreads too but it's a mix of that and other books that I have interest in. I should clean it out more often.ReplyDelete
Leslie - Yay! Another LibraryThing user! Thank you for visiting!Delete
A great choice for BB! Love that cover! Here's my Friday post. Featuring J. A. Jance.ReplyDelete
Sassy - I love J.A. Jance. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
I'm glad to hear The Gilded Ones is good. I do use Goodreads to record read and to-read books - I haven't used LibraryThing but I do have a spreadsheet to record books as I buy them.ReplyDelete
Louise - Someday perhaps I'll find the perfect combination of what I am looking for someday perhaps--a combination of all the good qualities of the sites I like. :-) Thank you for visiting!Delete
I need The Gilded Ones in my life! Happy weekend!ReplyDelete
Freda - I hope you get a chance to read The Gilded One! Thank you for stopping by!Delete
The opening of The Gilded Ones is so ominous that I found myself holding my breath. Hope you enjoy the read and have a lovely weekend.ReplyDelete
Catherine - Thank you! I hope you had a nice weekend too!Delete
I read and loved Delia's Shadow years ago. Such a great book. I read the next two in the series, and thought they were both good...just not quite as good as the first one. :DReplyDelete
Lark - I still need to read the next two books in the series. Thank you for visiting!Delete
I've been hearing great things about The Gilded Ones. It sounds so good! I hope you enjoy it! Have an awesome weekend! :)ReplyDelete
Ashley - The Gilded Ones is really good so far! Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Your featured book sounds so intriguing. I am definitely adding this to my TBR. I read The Vanishing One and thought it was very good, especially the first half. The second half seemed to peter out a bit for my taste. My Friday Quotes this week are hereReplyDelete
Anne - I hope you get a chance to read The Gilded Ones. That's too bad about the second half of The Vanishing One wasn't stronger--but it sounds good overall. Thanks for visiting!Delete
Oh I've never heard of LibraryThing! I just looked it up though and wow!! I have been searching for something to use for keeping the books that I own organized and I think I just found it! THank you!!ReplyDelete
Penelope - I hope LibraryThing will work for you. I really like that site. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
I'm not a fan of the paranormal, but these do look intriguing. For a light romance, YA, between a Jamaican girl and an Asian American boy, I can recommend The Sun is Also a Star.ReplyDelete
Harvee - I loved The Sun Is Also a Star when I read it. Such a good book. Thank you for visiting!Delete
The Gilded Ones looks like a good book and a beautiful cover.ReplyDelete
Yvonne - It is so good! Thank you for stopping by!Delete
The Gilded Ones sounds really intriguing and I loved The Vanishing Half.ReplyDelete
Helen - It was so good! I am glad to hear you enjoyed The Vanishing Half. I look forward to reading it! Thank you for visiting!Delete
Yes, I read Delia's Shadow... because you recommended it to me right here, way back when! I remember it being out of my comfort zone, but that I enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
I use Goodreads off and on for tracking, but more for books I want to read and TBR because otherwise I would forget ;)
I tried The Story Graph but wasn't sure about it being for me, so back to GR. I also started keeping a handwritten notebook list (beginning my 3rd year), just month by month by year and with a star next to the titles if they were special for me.
Interesting choice of books- The Vanishing Half is up there on my wishlist. Hope you enjoy them all.
Rita - I remember you reading Delia's Shadow. I am glad you enjoyed it. I remember now you talking about Story Graph. I keep a separate list of books I would like to read but do not own. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
These all look interesting. I've started the Year of the Witching and am enjoying it.ReplyDelete
Beverly - I am glad to hear you are enjoying The Year of the Witching. I look forward to reading it! Thank you for visiting!Delete
I have my books cataloged on LibraryThing, too. One of my tags is "unread" and that's all the TBR in my collection.ReplyDelete
Jeane - I still remember when I first joined LibraryThing, going around and entering my entire book collection in the system. It took days, but was fun in its own way. :-) Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Oh dear, I haven't read any of these books! The excerpts from The Gilded Ones send shivers down my spine - and the other books look so good too.ReplyDelete
I began using LibraryThing long before Goodreads so I use LT to record my TBRs.
Margaret - Same. I started using LibraryThing before Goodreads, which is probably why I'm more partial to it. Thank you for visiting!Delete
What an amazing selection, The Year of the Witching in particular sounds my kind of read.ReplyDelete
Yes, I use GoodReads to keep check on the books I have read, always adding a review as it kind of annoys me when people give a book a star rating without leaving a review ... though that said I'd happily leave a review and dispense with the star rating so hey-ho.
Felicity - Star ratings are so subjective. I think reviews are much more revealing too. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
I have heard of LibraryThing but have never used it. I don't use a spreadsheet to keep track of my books either, it would be too long. :) Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Jamie - Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a great week too!Delete
I really like LibraryThing for cataloging but don't use it as much as I should. I love their format but like you I use Goodreads for tracking. All of these books look good and seem to have a creepy element in common. I remember when Delia's Shadow came out! I wanted to read it then and I still want to read it.ReplyDelete
Katherine - I hope you get a chance to read Delia's Shadow someday! Thank you for stopping by!Delete
I try LibraryThing off and on (am in an "on" phase atm), but have yet to find it that useful. I track on a spreadsheet (https://readervoracious.com/2021-reader-spreadsheet-template/ to be specific) and Goodreads.ReplyDelete
Nice stuff from The Gilded Ones, I keep seeing that around and should probably find room for it.
HC - I tried that spreadsheet last year and found that I liked the one I created much better. Probably because I've been using mine for years and have gotten it just to how I want it. It did have some good features though.Delete
Thank you for visiting!
Reading by black authors is certainly good for us. I guess I can count the two Obamas! I have a couple of fiction books on my shelf that are by black authors but hey are more romance. Yours look more like literary fiction.ReplyDelete
Kathryn - Yes, this past week I thought I would feature more literary and fantasy books. I focusing on romance earlier in the month. :-) Thank you for stopping by!Delete
The Gilded Ones sounds amazing! It's on my TBR list so I can't wait to read your full review!ReplyDelete
Eustacia - It is so good! I hope you get a chance to read it. Thank you for visiting!Delete
I really want to read The Year of the Witching this year. I'm thinking of making my mom read it with me. I use Goodreads to keep track of the books I read and now The Storygraph too. I really like the various stats it keeps for me. But like the nerd I am I do keep track of even more stats of Google Sheets. But I don't list the books I've read anywhere other than Goodreads and The Storygraph.ReplyDelete
Adriana - I hope we both will get a chance to read The Year of the Witching this year. That would be neat if your mom would read it too! Thank you for stopping by!Delete