Saturday, May 23, 2009

Loving Dasia by Ana Gia Wright

Urban Books: March, 2009
Reviewer: Toni Mac
Rating: 3

Every girl dreams of her wedding day. A church filled to capacity. A beautiful wedding gown. Mr. Right, with his handsome self, waiting at the altar. Dasia Warrington’s dream quickly turns into a nightmare when her husband to be professes to her before God and all their family and friends that he doesn’t love her.

Crushed and devastated, Dasia locks herself in the hotel room that should have been her honeymoon suite to cry and drink away her sorrows.

Grimarious Guatreaux can’t ignore the sobs and sounds of pain coming from the room next door. Hating to see a woman cry, he lends an ear and supporting shoulder. Before long, the two find themselves attracted to the other.

Is it true that what you don’t know won’t hurt you? That may not be the case for Dasia. There’s more to Grimarious than she knows. And what she doesn’t know may very well mean her life.

“Loving Dasia” was an okay read. It was a surprisingly different read for me. It was like Bourne Identity falls in love. The elements were there for a good story; however, the execution fell short. At times the story was confusing and not consistent. Grimarious was involved with The Agency, a covert like type organization. At times I wondered if it was so covert that the author didn’t know exactly what he did! I couldn’t get a firm grasp of either character. More background on both characters would have helped for a smoother flow as well as detailed insight on exactly what it was that Grimarious did. “Loving Dasia” is not a bad read, but a read in need of better focus. I think the author has potential and the assistance of a good developmental editor would display that talent better.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Them by Nathan McCall

Washington Square Press: ; August 2008 (Reprint Edition)
Reviewer: TS
Rating: 3.5

A good read for book clubs. Good discussion starter…

Nathan McCall's novel, Them, depicts the gentrification of Atlanta 's Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, where Martin Luther King Jr's home is located. The story gives some history the Old Fourth Ward to help you get a better idea of how things were before the changes.

The story focuses on a middle aged man who is suspicious of all forms of government, which he refers to as "Caesar". He starts to feel that it's time to get some roots, so he decides to purchase the home he and his young nephew Tyrone are renting and this is where the story takes off.

As white couples begin to move into the neighborhood, one couple purchase the home next door to Barlowe and Tyrone, and the racial tensions begin to show though out the neighborhood. The couple, Sean and Sandy attempt to fit in and meet neighbors, but they come up against nothing but resistance and cutting eyes from their neighbors. Then you see that their own fears and assumptions begin to take hold the longer they live in a neighborhood that is clearly not welcoming.

McCall does an excellent job of giving you an up-close look at racism and change (or lack there of). The story continued to develop which keeps the story from becoming too predictable. The character development was strong enough to keep you focused on what will happen with the residents of the Old Fourth Ward instead of focusing only on all the negativity occurring in the book.

This book is an eye opener and the story seems believable, although some of the situations that occur are very stereotypical.

Over all, it's entertaining and you will see how this book parallels to real life and will defiantly result in some good discussion.

Single Husbands by Honey B

Grand Central Publishing: March 2009
Reviewer: Toni Mac
Rating: 2.5 (Amazon 3)

Before I knew what the book was about, I planned to read it. Like many, I was caught with the title. Unfortunately, after reading “Single Husbands” I still don’t know what it’s about. It was a full helping of sex with a side of story – a very small side. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some erotica and I’ve enjoyed her previous novels, but this was just too much. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I feel that this premise, still overflowing with sex, could have worked with more of an actual story.