Reviews: 4/1 – 4/8

A Perilous Path
by Sherrilyn Ifill, Loretta Lynch, Bryan Stevenson, Anthony C. Thompson

This is a transcription of what was a very interesting conversation on race, equality, and the law. It talked about where the inequalities come from, how they’re in our laws (especially after the gutting of the Voting Rights Act), and how we can use the law to fight against them. It’s a really fascinating (and quick) read that I definitely recommend to people looking to be more active in civil rights.

The Silent Companions
by Laura Purcell

A spooky ghost book, to be sure, but I found it dragged a bit to much for me to get really into it. There are three timelines going on at once: the present, the past, and the far past. Jumping between them became taxing when I just wanted to follow one storyline over another. Still, it’s atmospheric and Gothic, and you can never go wrong with sinister figurines.

The Astonishing Color of After
by Emily X. R. Pan

I really didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but it’s a very touching story on family, love, and loss. This is surprisingly bigger than you think it is, but it keeps you reading so it doesn’t feel like a drag. Our lead is very identifiable and there’s an element of magic running through the story that keeps things interesting. I definitely recommend reading it, but I can’t guarantee you won’t cry. I did, and I’m not an easy crier.

Groucho Marx, Master Detective
by Ron Goulart

I just found out about this series the day before I requested it from the library. I don’t even remember how I found it now, but I’m so glad I did. We go back to the 1930s when studios ran Hollywood and the Marx Brothers had just come off of some of their most popular movies. Groucho is about to do a radio show in which he plays a bumbling detective, only to have a murder fall into his lap like a cheap date. The writing style fits perfectly with the patter of the Marx Brothers, and our second lead, the writer of said radio show, can keep up with Groucho like the best of them.

The murder mystery is solid (with two bodies by the time we’re through) and the book moves fast, really keeping your attention with each passing chapter. There’s six books in the series and if anyone can find me copies of them I will be forever grateful to you (my library has exactly 0 copies of book number two ;__; ).

People Like Us
by Dana Mele

Oh boy, it’s another scholarship kid at a boarding house murder mystery. I seem to be tripping over these in my quest to read every mystery ever. This was all right, though. The mystery is delectable and twisty enough to keep your attention and the chapters don’t drag on, so the pace is quick (though not as quick as GM,MD above). While I am getting tired of this setting (oh, the scholarship girl makes friends with the bitchy clique, now she’s One Of Them but not really because scholarship) and the general plot (revenge against Them), it didn’t stop the book from being readable. I recommend it if you like these kinds of books, or are looking for a fast thriller.

Aru Shah and the End of Time
by Roshani Chokshi

Ugh, this was so good. Aru is too adorable for words. When Aru accidentally awakens the being known as The Sleeper, which sets off the process for the end of the world, she and a new friend must journey to the realm of the Gods to find the weapons to defeat the Sleeper. Layered with Hindu legends (and sporting a very full and very helpful glossary), Aru Shah is a story about becoming who you were meant to be, even if you don’t feel special. Aru’s confidence in herself is inspiring, and even when she has doubt, she’s got a friend to bring her right back up. The friendship between Aru and Mini is perfect; they complement each other so well, with Aru’s confidence and imagination, and Mini’s smarts and preparedness.

I really can’t recommend this enough if you’re in the market for a diverse middle grade read. Sometimes it was painful, because we all remember being twelve and the middle school torment that entailed, but the book is full of heart. I can’t wait for the next book in the series, although it won’t be out until ;___; next year.

About Fleet Sparrow

Writer, Reader, Critic, Bear.
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