Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D Jackson @WriteinBK @Harper360UK #bookreview

Hello book friends,

I hope you are all doing well and not suffering too much in this heat, us UK’ers are not used to it LOL

I am so happy to bring you a review for this stunning book

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My Review

I received this gorgeous covered book by Harper 360 and I was super excited to read it, I also wanted to start reading more books by Black Authors and Own Voices, and helping out more, so I also purchased the Audio version, so this will be a review for both!

Set in Brooklyn 1998 we follow 3 friends, Quadir, Jarrell and Jasmine.

The book starts at the funeral of Quadir and Jarrell’s best friend Steph, Jasmine is Steph’s little sister, who was shot, and murdered.

Jasmine takes herself off into Steph’s bedroom for a moment to herself, and is soon followed by the 2 boys, they then find Steph’s stash of tapes of his own music under his bed, and notebooks of lyrics.

The 3 kids are so in awe of how brilliant Steph’s music is, that they decide that the whole world needs to hear it, but how do they get it heard, especially when the artist himself is dead and they themselves are only teenagers?

Well, being in Brooklyn, the Rap scene was the place to be, and while managing to get CD’s printed and a few well-connected people to listen, they manage to get Steph’s music noticed, and by changing his name to “The Architect” they didn’t have to mention the fact that Steph isn’t around anymore.

But what happens when a big time record producer want to meet the Artist? And how were the kids to know that some of the lyrics could cause a lot of trouble for everyone?

🎧🎧

The narration for this book was by a full cast and it was fabulous, the lyrics are Rapped and very poignant for the late 90’s and also today.

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end, grab it if you can.

**Many thanks to Harper 360 for sending me a copy of this beautiful book**

Enjoy
Vicci 📚💛✨

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Synopsis

In this standalone novel, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he is still alive.

Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other

Purchase Links

Berts Books

Amazon Affiliate Link

Waterstones

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge @renireni #bookreview

Hello Book Friends,

I hope you are all well?

I’ve been away for a while as I’ve been decorating my house, and trying to educate myself a little better.

Shout out to Berit who is a reading and reviewing master, I need to step up my game lol.

 

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My Review

I read this as I am trying to listen and learn more in the hope of being a better ally.

This book was so interesting, and also heartbreaking, it also showed me how ignorant I was/am about UK Black History.

I am white, 46 and female, I learned NOTHING about this at school, I learned about the usual 1066, Kings and Queens and WWII.

Also while learning about WWII we were not given all of the information, I only learned later on in life (and this is as recently as 5 or so years ago) that Hitler was voted in by Germany!

As far as I was concerned, he just rocked up and tried to take over the world, how was I not taught something like that?

So in my eyes we didn’t have that much of a race problem in the UK, it’s only in America right?

Boy was I wrong!

Had I heard about things like the Brixton riots in 1981? Absolutely, did I know what caused them? Nope

I was 8 at the time, I think I remember seeing it on the news, but I didn’t know what it was for or about.

Did I also know about the Brixton riots of 1985?

Again yes, this may be the one I am remembering as I was a little older, but did I know why? Nope Did I ask my parents why? Maybe, but I don’t remember if I did, or the answer if they gave one.

Both of these riots were caused by police brutality, one of them was because of the police letting themselves into a house with keys they had STOLEN, and shooting a woman in the chest WHILE SHE WAS IN BED, because they were “searching for her son” who incidentally didn’t even live there!

Did I know about slavery in the UK? Absolutely not! Slavery is just something that you see in America right? Yeah that’s wrong too, because we had it here too.

Did I know about Windrush? Again no, I only learned about it in the last few years because of the coverage about in on our news.

Anything that I have learned has not been through my school education, it has been through reading, and I still have so much more to learn because one book doesn’t do it!

I am and have been ignorant about things that have happened in the country that I have grown up in, and I really only have myself to blame for that.

I absolutely think that this should be taught in schools, some of the stuff that was talked about in this book I had NO idea about, I can probably try and make an excuse and say that the Internet wasn’t around then so I didn’t know any different, but I’m not going to.

It’s MY ignorance that has made me not see what has been happening, and it is MY job to educate myself and know the reasons why.

Are Black people angry? Too Fu*king right they are, and with bloody good reason!

I will still continue to read and learn because I want to be a better person, and I think that I am ok with that, is it enough? Absolutely not, but taking baby steps to better myself, is better than not taking any steps at all.

Vicci 📚💛✨

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Synopsis

In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren’t affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ that led to this book.

Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.

Purchase Links

Berts Books

Amazon Affiliate Link

Waterstones

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas **Book Review**

Happy Tuesday!

Today I wanted to share my review of this extremely relevant, very powerful, thought provoking, and important book. If you have not read this yet please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Change starts with knowledge.☮️

The Hate You Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Berit’s Thoughts

This book was extremely powerful and the audio was even better!

What I know: what it is like to be the only one hundred percent white sibling in a biracial family, what it is like to have national guard on your street as I was living in Long Beach during the 92 riots, what it is like to have a brother pulled over by the police for absolutely no reason other than the color of his skin. Vut what I don’t know is what it is like to be anything but a white girl in America. This book did a very good job in really bringing to light the problem of police brutality when it comes to minorities. A life matters no matter what! We will never know what choices we would make if our life offered us different circumstances and different choices. We will never truly understand our privilege, unless we go without. I unequivocally believe we should not judge people based on not only the color of their skin, but not of their life choices. We have never lived their lives, we do not know their reasons, and what we really don’t know is what we would have done in the same situation. I hope people read this book with an open mind and wanting some understanding to what is really going on, someday perhaps we could all live in a world where people pass less judgment and have more understanding, I can only hope. And I really hope the next time a man takes a knee in protest of how black men and women are treated in America, we stand up and take notice!

narration: if you do not listen to audiobooks start now! This is probably the most fantastic narration of 2017,Bahni Turpine brought so much to this already amazing story, I can’t even….💚

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Have a peaceful day! XOXO Berit☮️

His and Hers by Alice Feeney @alicewriterland @HQstories @NetGalley_UK #HisAndHers #AliceFeeney

Hello there book friends, I hope you are all doing well in the current circumstances?

I am so happy to be on the blogtour for this fantastic thriller, pick this one up if you can, you won’t regret it!

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My Review

Welcome to the book that makes you feel that you have it Allllllll worked out!!

Oh Yes!! There I was reading this shouting at the book (as I do) “IT’S THIS PERSON, I KNOW IT IS, CASE CLOSED!”

Turns out I might have been wrong, all of my smugness took a huge turn when BAM, in comes a twist, and I thought, Hmm didn’t see that coming, and then BAM, in comes another one, and to top it off BAM here’s another one to add to the pile.

So, I don’t feel so smug anymore, as I had no idea LOL

This is a difficult one to review as I don’t want to add any unintentional spoilers, so all you need to know is this:

Anna is a newsreader
Jack is a DCI
Jack and Anna were married
Jack and Anna are now divorced
A murder brings them both together again
One of them could be involved
One of them could be lying
Secrets and lies a-plenty

If you love a twisty thriller that will keep you on your toes, and your head spinning, this is the one for you.

Enjoy
Vicci 📚💛✨

**Thank you to HQstories, Netgalley, and the Author for a copy of the book**

JUST MY LUCK BTB

Synopsis

If there are two sides to every story, someone is always lying…

Jack: Three words to describe my wife: Beautiful. Ambitious. Unforgiving.
Anna: I only need one word to describe my husband: Liar.

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Anna’s ex-husband, DCI Jack Harper, is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone is lying, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

Purchase links

Bert’s Books

Amazon affiliate link

Just My Luck by Adele Parks @adeleparks @HQstories #AdeleParks #JustMyLuck #BookReview

Hello book friends, I hope that you are all doing well?

I’m so happy to be on the blog tour for this book, I enjoyed reading it so much, and it really made me think about what I would do in the same situation!

 

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Review

This story is about friends, 3 groups of friends in this case, they have been best friends since the wives met at Antenatal/Parenting classes, and they have been in each others lives ever since, 15 years to be precise. In fact, all of their children are also best friends, and 2 of them are actually dating!

Every week they have a dinner party, some are nice and posh, other times a takeaway, but they swap houses every week, and each week they talk and dream about what they would do if they ever won the lottery.

The 3 couples are in a Syndicate, and each week Lexi collects the money from Jennifer, Fred, Carla and Patrick, but one night there is an argument between them all, while having the usual Saturday dinner night, things get said, and tensions are high, so much so that words are exchanged and Fred, Jennifer, Carla and Patrick pull out of the syndicate and go home.

Jake and Lexi are naturally upset that they have fallen out with their best friends, but carry on with life as usual, Lexi works at the local Citizens Advice and helps lots of underprivileged people with things like debt management, housing, immigration, and landlord-tenant disputes.

As Saturday rolls around as usual, Lexi comes home to a very excited husband, their lottery numbers have come up!!
After a couple of calls to the National Lottery, it is confirmed that they are winners, and they have won £17.8 Million!!!!

Jake has dollar signs in his eyes, listing what he is going to spend the money on, mostly fast cars and expensive holidays, while Lexi is just trying to come to terms with the windfall.

There is just one problem, Jennifer, Fred, Carla and Patrick want a cut of the money!

There are also a few other stories woven into this one very cleverly, and what started out as a compelling read to find out what Lexi’s family was going to do, actually turned into a very suspenseful, gripping read, a few times I shouted NOOOOOO while I was reading it.

This is a fantastic read, and I flew through the book and nearly read it in one sitting, I would thoroughly recommend it.

**Thank you to HQ Stories and the Author for sending me a copy of this book**

Enjoy
Vicci 📚💛✨

JUST MY LUCK BTB

Synopsis

It’s the stuff dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.
For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.
But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.
Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.

Purchase Links

As previously mentioned before, I am trying to help out as many independent book shops as I can in this current climate.

Bert’s Books

Book-ish

Waterstones

Amazon Affiliate Link

 

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters **Book Review**

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today is Mother’s Day in the US and unfortunately I won’t be able to see my mom or two of my kids, but I’m going to make the best of it!

My Thoughts

LOVED IT! Rachel Winters’ debut was a true laugh out loud romcom. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard while reading a book, there is the most hilarious hen do/bachelor party ever in this fun story. This book is instantly being put on my FAVs shelf, I just loved everything about it, it was the perfect mood lifter during these crazy times. Evie is assistant to a famous agent and has been tasked with the job to make sure screenwriter Ezra finishes his romcom script on time. Ezra is difficult and arrogant, Evie and her friends have nicknamed him the N.O.B. The number one boyChild. Ezra tells Evie he will finish his script on time if she can prove to him that she can actually meet someone through one of these ridiculous romcom meet cutes. Let the fun ensue. Evie manufactures one hilarious yet humiliating meet cute after another and reports back to Ezra. Will Ezra finish the script on time? Will Evie finally get her long due promotion? Will one of these crazy meet cutes actually work? A definite feel good story guaranteed to make you laugh and want to rewatch all your favorite romcoms.

This book in emojis 🎬 ☕️ 🎈 🧏🏻‍♀️ ✍🏻 👰🏼 😂 💕

*** Big thank you to Orion for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

Can you fall in love like they do in the movies?

It’s Evie Summers’ job to find out. Because if she can’t convince her film agency’s biggest client, Ezra Chester, to write the romantic-comedy screenplay he owes producers, her career will be over. The catch? He thinks rom-coms are unrealistic – and he’ll only put pen to paper if Evie shows him that it’s possible to meet a man in real life the way it happens on the big screen.

Cynical Evie might not believe in happily ever after, but she’ll do what it takes to save the job that’s been her lifeline…even if it means reenacting iconic rom-com scenes in public. Spilling orange juice on a cute stranger? No problem. Leaving her number in books all over London to see who calls? Done. With a little help from her well-meaning friends – and Ben and Anette, the adorable father-daughter duo who keep witnessing her humiliations – Evie is determined to prove she can meet a man the way Sally met Harry. But can a workaholic who’s given up on love find a meet-cute of her very own?

Have a lovely day! Berit 💐

Master Class/ Q by Christina Dalcher **Book Review** @berkleypub

Happy Friday all!

What’s in a title? Sometimes it is confusing because the US title will be different from the UK title as in the case of this book. I have to say I believe the UK title of “Q” fits the book much better. In my humble opinion. 🤔

My Thoughts

Terrifying and thought-provoking. Christina Dalcher has once again written a disturbing and way too realistic tale. Imagine a world where a person’s worth is measured by a single score a quotient or Q. Your queue is determined by your intelligence, your families status, and your financial standing. Have a high Q, as a child you will attend an elite silver school and received the best education followed by the most desired career opportunities have a low Q, as a child you will be shipped off to a federal boarding school and what happens after that is anyone’s guess. Elena would have never thought this system of categorizing people by intelligence that she dreamed up with her boyfriend Malcolm in high school would ever be utilized by the entire country. It was all good when it meant that the popular cheerleader had to go to the end of the lunch line. But now that her younger daughter is being shipped off to a federal boarding school, Elena is not so sure. Determined to save her daughter Elena heads out on a journey of self discovery, hard decisions, and terrifying revelations.

This is one of those books that really makes you think, I think it would be great for book club. Could you leave one child behind to save the other? Or how your perception is often altered when things directly impact you or your family. Would Elena ever see this categorizing process as evil if it didn’t negatively affect her own daughter? There is also a strong theme of history repeating itself running through the story. While this was not the most entertaining book I’ve ever read and I don’t think I necessarily connected with any of the characters it sure held me captivated from first page to last.

This book in emojis 💻 🚌 🧬 ✏️ 👩‍🏫 🤔

*** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

From the critically-acclaimed author of the international best seller Vox comes a suspenseful new novel that examines a disturbing near future where harsh realities follow from unreachable standards. 

It’s impossible to know what you will do….

Every child’s potential is regularly determined by a standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and attend a top tier school with a golden future. Score too low, and it’s off to a federal boarding school with limited prospects afterwards. The purpose? An improved society where education costs drop, teachers focus on the more promising students, and parents are happy. 

When your child is taken from you. 

Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s elite schools. When her nine-year-old daughter bombs a monthly test and her Q score drops to a disastrously low level, she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal institution hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena thought she understood the tiered educational system, but as a mother whose child is now gone, Elena’s perspective is changed forever. She just wants her daughter back.

And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen.

Have a lovely day! XOXO Berit

Q by Christina Dalcha @CVDalcher @HQstories #QBook #OnlyThePerfect

Hello book friends,

I hope you are all staying safe and reading some wonderful books, or if not reading then catching up with your favourite TV shows?

Whatever you are doing, I hope that you are all doing ok.

I’m happy to bring you a review for this fabulous Dystopian read, from the author that brought you VOX.

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My Review 

Welcome to the scary mind of Christina Dalcher, buckle up buttercup, it’s a bumpy ride!

Elena Fairchild is a teacher at a Silver school, this is an elite school for children, and teachers that have a high Q (IQ) score.

She is married to Malcolm who works in the Department of Education, and has two beautiful daughters Anne and Freddie.
Elena’s Q score automatically gets a bump-up for being married, and for Malcolm having such a high profile job.

Both of her daughters are at the silver school, they are both doing very well with their education, although Freddie sometimes needs a little help.

But, what happens to those people with lower Q scores?

Well with a high Q you get higher privileges, quicker lines at the supermarkets, better jobs, better neighbourhoods etc.

Depending how low the Q scores are, they can go down into the Green section, or if it is really low, the Yellow section.

With monthly testing, it is within your best interest to keep your Q score up, everyone can see everyone else’s scores too, so there is an added incentive to keep your score high, or higher than your friends & neighbours.

It is time for the monthly Q test, and Elena is naturally worried for her kids, not so much Anne who is obsessed with everyone else’s scores, and who is also Malcolm’s favourite child, she is the brightest of the two children, Freddie however seems to be a very anxious child and is prone to episodes of blocking people out, she is not looking forward to the test.

Every child looks out for their school bus, but always keep their heads down when they see the Yellow Bus arrive, you see, the Yellow bus as I mentioned before signifies that you or your child got a very low Q score, you will then be collected by the Yellow Bus and taken to a school/job that you are more ‘suited’ to out of the area/county, what that really means is “out of sight, out of mind” these people do not tend to come back!

It doesn’t really matter when it happens to somebody else’s kids, but when Freddie gets her Yellow Card through the post. Elena seems to realise that she may never see her daughter again, and she seems to be the only one bothered by it!

I really enjoyed this dystopian read, and it really made me think about where I would be in this hierarchy, I definitely think I would have been on the Yellow Bus!!

Released today – HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY

Enjoy
Vicci 📚💛✨

**Many thanks to HQ Stories for sending me a copy of this book**

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Synopsis

Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s new elite schools. Her daughters are exactly like her: beautiful, ambitious, and perfect. A good thing, since the recent mandate that’s swept the country is all about perfection.
Now everyone must undergo routine tests for their quotient, Q, and any children who don’t measure up are placed into new government schools. Instead, teachers can focus on the gifted. Elena tells herself it’s not about eugenics, not really, but when one of her daughters scores lower than expected and is taken away, she intentionally fails her own test to go with her.
But what Elena discovers is far more terrifying than she ever imagined…

UK Purchase Links

As previously mentioned before, I am trying to help out as many independent book shops as I can in this current climate.

Berts Books will send your book beautifully packaged and wrapped with a pretty ribbon.

Waterstones

Amazon Affiliate Link

 

 

The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves @AbbieGreaves1 @NetGalley_UK @CornerstoneRH #TheSilentTreatment #BookReview

Hello book friends,
I hope you are all doing well in lockdown and staying safe?

I’m so happy to bring you my review for this lovely book.

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My Review

This was such a heartwarming, and also heartbreaking read.

It follows the story of a married couple, Frank and Maggie, seemingly going about their normal day, the book jumps right in to Maggie preparing the evening meal for her and Frank, it then takes a bit more of a sinister turn, when Maggie just sits down at the kitchen table and starts emptying multiple packets of sleeping pills to take. Frank is unaware of what his wife is doing, and he is upstairs playing solitaire on his computer.

You see, even though Maggie and Frank have been happily married for 40 years, for the last 6 months, they haven’t spoken to each other, at all!

When the smoke alarm goes off and doesn’t stop, Frank goes to investigate, and finds Maggie slumped in her chair, with the packets of pills beside her.
After being rushed to hospital she is placed into a medically induced coma, and Frank is told that she might not pull through and that he should encourage her to wake up by talking to her.

But what do you say to someone that you haven’t spoken to for 6 months?

And so Frank begins to tell Maggie the story of them, how they met, and all that has happened in between, but can he eventually tell her why they stopped taking?

We see Maggie and Frank through both of their eyes, and the story they tell is so beautiful, and heartbreaking, and so cleverly written, I was genuinely invested in their marriage.

Please grab this one when you can, you will not be disappointed!

**Many thanks to Netgalley, Cornerstone, and the Author for the digital copy of this book**

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Synopsis

Resonant with the emotional power of the bestselling novels of David Nicholls and Jojo Moyes, a rich and poignant debut about lies, loss, and a transcendent love at the heart of a troubled marriage.
A lifetime together.
Six months of silence.
One last chance.
By all appearances, Frank and Maggie share a happy, loving marriage. But for the past six months, they have not spoken. Not a sentence, not a single word. Maggie isn’t sure what, exactly, provoked Frank’s silence, though she has a few ideas.
Day after day, they have eaten meals together and slept in the same bed in an increasingly uncomfortable silence that has become, for Maggie, deafening.
Then Frank finds Maggie collapsed in the kitchen, unconscious, an empty package of sleeping pills on the table. Rushed to the hospital, she is placed in a medically induced coma while the doctors assess the damage.
If she regains consciousness, Maggie may never be the same. Though he is overwhelmed at the thought of losing his wife, will Frank be able to find his voice once again—and explain his withdrawal—or is it too late?

UK Purchase Links

As you are all aware, Indie book sellers are having a pretty rough time at the moment, so I’m going to try to help them out as much as I can by posting the links to their online shops.

Please let me introduce you to Bert’s Books

Waterstones
Amazon Affiliate link

 

 

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell #Audiobook #BookReview #MyDarkVanessa

Hello book friends, how are we all doing so far with the lockdown?
I hope that you are all safe and reading some great books.

One that you won’t go far wrong with, is this one.

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My Review

OK, before we start, I need to make something VERY clear, although I occasionally pop in a trigger warning or two if I think a book warrants it.

This one has TRIGGER WARNING written in capital blinking red flashing lights – If you do not like reading about the following, then I would steer clear of this one if it is a trigger for you.

Child abuse
Rape
Manipulation
Grooming
Gas lighting
Emotional abuse

That being said, I still gave this book 5 big stars.

It is a story told from the POV of Vanessa, it flips between now and then, then being when she was a 15 year old school girl.

If you are not aware of the context of the book, here we go!!

Vanessa is 32 years old, and still really struggling with life, she hasn’t settled down with anyone, and finds it incredibly difficult to hold down any kind of relationship with a man. She is in a spiral of drink, drugs and one night stands, that is because she always finds herself drifting back and daydreaming about her ex lover Jacob Strane.

This love affair would be all very well and Ok, BUT this love affair happened when she was 15 years old, and Strane? Well Strane was her Forty Two year old teacher, that she is still in contact with today. Yes you read that right!

Even though we know, and can clearly see the red flags waving helplessly in our faces as we watch 15 yr old Vanessa fall deeply in love with her teacher, he is a master at manipulation, gas-lighting and grooming her, so much so, that she believes that this “relationship” is absolutely real, and when he tells her that he loves her, she doesn’t think anything different, why would she?

His hand slips out from under my skirt and he slides like liquid out of his chair and onto the floor. Kneeling before me, he lays his head on my lap and says, “I’m going to ruin you”.

Strane is an English teacher, who likes to flaunt his cleverness at Vanessa to make her feel inadequate, but also like to make her feel ‘special’ by giving her presents, like a book for example, I mean, what student wouldn’t be happy with a copy of Lolita 😮
But to Vanessa, that book reads like a love story, their love story!!

And this is why Vanessa can not see what is happening to her, even though you as a reader are SCREAMING at her to run, to just tell someone, ANYONE!!

But now Vanessa has reached 32, and Strane is contacting her about a possible sexual abuse case that he is being accused of, but obviously she wasn’t abused, she was different, wasn’t she? And if she is a victim, what does that make her now?

I can’t lose the thing I’ve held onto for so long, you know?” My face twists up from the pain of pushing it out.

“I just really need it to be a love story, you know? I really, really need it to be that.”
“I know,” she says.
“Because if it isn’t a love story, then what is it”?

I look to her glassy eyes, her face of wide open empathy. “It’s my life,” I say. “This has been my whole life.”

Despite the subject content, which is sometimes very graphic (you have been warned) I couldn’t stop listening to this audiobook, the narration was brilliant, and the story was very complex and beautifully written.

I absolutely disagree with the people saying that they are conflicted, was it love or was it abuse?, and did she instigate it or was she manipulated? The answer to both of these questions is SHE WAS 15 YEARS OLD!!!

This book will certainly make you uncomfortable, and that is good, because it also shows us that the world through a teenagers eyes are sometimes not as cut and dry as we think, sometimes they don’t even know what they are getting themselves into, sometimes they think that it *is* love.

I would highly recommend this book, especially in audio form.

 

🎧🎧

Brilliantly narrated by Grace Gummer, she told a fantastic tale and I will certainly be looking out for other books she has narrated.

Enjoy
Vicci 📚💛✨

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Synopsis

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?
Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of RoomMy Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

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