deeply resonating

This Is My America – Kim Johnson 

Racism, judicial error, African Americans, race relations, prisoners, murder, family problems, young adult, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Tracy knows her father is innocent of a crime he didn’t commit. She writes letters to InnocenceX in hopes of getting their help in freeing her dad. She has less than a year before her father is executed. Tracy researches legal help as she wants to become a lawyer to fight for the rights of African Americans. When a teenage girl is found murdered and her brother is on the run, he is being framed for murder. She knows he is also innocent but being blamed because he was found near the scene of the crime along with his jacket. Tracy seeks out help and tries to bring home not only her father but brother as well. 

This novel was not easy to read. As covering the topic of systematic racism is a very serious topic. Johnson describes a reality that all African American families face when someone in their family was innocent of a crime that they did not commit but they were framed and sentenced to jail. Systematic racism exists and it impacts more than the individual but thousands of African American families, young and old. These families struggle to gain a sense of safety and security in a land that is extremely racist and discriminates. Trying to find legal help is never easy just like Tracy when she was trying to get help from a foundation that is dedicated to helping free innocent African Americans. Nothing is free of cost and getting lawyers costs a lot of money and this is a cold truth and reality of the justice system. The justice system is geared to suppress African Americans from succeeding. It was built on racism and discrimination. 

This novel, as it is fiction, does have a happy ending where her father and brother were freed from the investigations and trials to form the harsh stereotypes that were placed upon them. Many in real life don’t get the happy ending of having their family member come back home alive. 

Here is a link of all those who were murdered in police brutality and in the hands of the police Know their names: Black people killed by the police in the US 

Those are only some that appear on the news headlines. 

Many others don’t. 

Racism ends here.

a trip down memory lane for myself

Remember Me – Christopher Pike

Murder, mystery, ghosts, paranormal, young adult, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Shari is living the best out of her teenage life as a senior with a month left until graduation. All that is taken away when she wakes up to finding out she is dead. Someone murdered her and she doesn’t want the world to see her as suicidal when it was homicide. She unravels her own murder as well as some shocking dark truth.

I had read this book so many times in middle school. I love this trope and can’t get tired of this trope. I had to reread this book once more as an adult to fully appreciate Pike’s writing style. This was nicely paced and the bread crumbs of information never felt too forced nor felt out of place. Everything pieced together as the plot continued. The characters are always interesting as well as the interactions with other characters. I will have to read the two other books in this series and review them because they deserve some love and attention. However, this book is hard to find because this novel is rather old, but I got my copy at thrift books. This was not sponsored but I recommend shopping at thrift books. I might do a review of the thrift books website knowing that I am not sponsored but the website is incredible.

who is lying?

One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus

Mystery, detective, murder, high school, teens, young adult, fiction.

Rating 7/10

Five students are in detention for crimes they did not commit. Someone had placed phones into their backpacks and this one teacher who has a strong hatred for technology head searched them to find them. Each of them knows their innocent. An incident occurs in the parking lot causing the detention teacher to leave the room. One of them goes to drink their water when they experience a bad allergy reaction. The four other students scramble to try to save his life, but it is too late. The next day the four students are called into the principal’s office to tell them that the student died and now being investigated as a homicide. Each of them is a suspect. Who killed him?

This was alright. I felt this was too much like Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale vibe. The writing was good and organized with the various perspectives. Half way through the first quarter of the book predicted who did the crime and was right in the end. There was not much of a mystery but its very tame. For a teenager who might be wanting to start reading mystery novels this might be exciting for sure.

another dark perspective…

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein- Kiersten White

Characters in literature, monsters, scientists, murder, Frankenstein, young adult, fiction. 

Rating 8/10

Elizabeth was orphaned at birth and was a great burden for her caregiver. Later on her caregiver hands her off into the Frankenstien household as Victor’s companion. She grew close to him and he grew close to her. After the death of his mother, he goes to university for a few years to resume further studies. When he doesn’t make contact Elizabeth for a few months becomes worried. She goes to find him herself and tries to make sense as to what happened. When she arrives, she finds him feverish and looks around his residence to find him collecting odd body parts. She worries for his mental state. He confesses to her that he failed and she should go back home and he would soon follow after he cleans up to start his research anew. A while after returning home, someone was found murdered and everyone is pointing fingers. Elizabeth finds the truth of who is the murderer and the murderer is Victor’s creation. 

I had been a fan of the Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley who created science fiction because of a dare. That was a good book and I wished there was more to it. I found this novel that was about Elizabeth. This novel was great at doing the perspective of Elizabeth and the execution felt very science fiction with the side benefit of a thrill. The writing was excellent. The characters remained faithful to the original plot. I loved this novel but wished that this was longer but given it was only about Elizabeth only sort of was the downside. Either way I loved this novel and I do recommend this novel. This novel is more of a one sitting type of read honestly.

A Sweet Murder

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder – Joanne Fluke

Mystery, fiction.

Rating 8/10

Hannah Swenson is engaged to her bakery business that was handed down to her by her mother whom would’ve rather collect collectibles than run a shop. Her mother also wants her to get married and had multiple times setup a blind date or dates. Hannah doesn’t want that, especially now that her delivery man is found murdered. Hannah must find who is out after her and her business or face the consequences of another murder.

I enjoyed this mystery novel. I loved the whole baking story. I recommend this novel for bakers and or chefs alike. There are fun recipes to make and read the novel at the same time. I couldn’t put the book down for a moment.

Keep Running! DON’T LOOK BACK!

Deadman Running – James Patterson with Christopher Farnsworth

Murder mystery, thriller, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Randall Beck is an ordinary psychiatrist who works with patients that have extreme cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. What his patients don’t know is that Beck has a brain tumor that is slowly but surely killing him. After a session with his patient, he walks with his patient outside. A van comes and someone assassinates his patient in front of his eyes. The very same van comes, and these men claim they are with the secret service, but they aren’t. They temporarily kidnap Beck, but Beck manages to get away. He calls help from an associate, Susan. After finding out that the patient’s wife is dead and there was a woman claiming to be his wife, it is a fight to escape. Now all the police are after Beck and Susan for a crime they didn’t commit. Beck races the clock to rescue as many lives as he can before his own clock ends. The senator holds Beck and Susan hostage and proposes the idea of Beck being the bomber man. If Beck cooperates, Susan will be freed and sent home alive. Now Beck has no choice but to cooperate and be a kamikaze solider for this senator. Both Beck and Susan simultaneously make plans to save themselves.

I extremely loved this thriller mystery novel. It was so fast paced and intense that I finished it in one day. It is rare for me to really love the novel to finish it in one day like this one. It was a page turner for sure and I loved the race against time. James Patterson’s collaboration with Christopher Farnsworth was the best. It wasn’t expected for the plot twist, however. I would recommend this for anyone who wants to read an excellent mystery thriller. This book satisfied what I wanted as a thriller novel. There was no cliché bullshit either, so I was happy with this novel.

A High School Reunion Gone WRONG

Dying for Devil’s Food – Jenn McKinlay

Murder mystery, school reunions, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Melanie was happy with her life, her engagement, and her success at becoming a bakery with her best friend Angie. Angie tells her about the fifteenth high school reunion and how they must go. Melanie disagrees and wishes to not go; however, some convincing later Melanie agrees to go. When they arrive at the high school reunion, they get complements of the great cupcakes. Melanie confronts her long-time bully, Cassidy, and puts her in her place as Melanie goes to enjoy the rest of the reunion together. Just as when Melanie leaves, they see a very dead Cassidy. Melanie and her best friend Angie discus who might’ve killed Cassidy. Everyone assumes that it was Melanie who killed Cassidy due to their troubled pasts together, but Melanie is innocent. Both girls are invested in finding out who killed Cassidy. It was Dwight who wanted originally Megan to die so that the truth of the affair came to light but the poison went to Cassidy instead.

I wanted to read something different and quirky, so I found this novel. At first, I thought this was going to be a cliché murder mystery novel, but it wasn’t. I really enjoyed this little murder mystery novel a lot. I wished it was longer to enjoy and wanted to see more murders. Sadly, murder mysteries are varied of what the genre has to offer. In the future I will want to read more of this author, Jenn McKinlay. McKinlay had written this small novel in such a way that is humorful but serious and thrilling. I would say to give this book a read.