Reviews

Review: ARC of Queenie ~ by Candice Carty-Williams

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Review: Queenie ~ by Candice Carty-Williams

Pages 336 (hardbound) ~ Gallery/Scout Press

March 19th, 2019 – Adult Contemporary

My Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Description:

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle-class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

Note: Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing me with the ARC of Queenie in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are all mine.

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My Thoughts:

Queenie is described as being “Bridget Jones meets Americanah.” I haven’t yet read Americanah, but I feel like comparing this book to Bridget Jones doesn’t quite do it justice. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bridget Jones, but while Bridget is dealing with one bad man and silly parents, Queenie is dealing with much more serious issues. It definitely has a similar type of humor and it does deal with Queenie’s many sexual exploits, but underneath the humor, this novel tackles some really heavy and honest issues.

Queenie is a smart, young journalist who wants to use her unique voice to bring awareness to issues that matter to her. Her work as a journalist, so far, has only allowed her to write on trivial matters. But Queenie longs to write about more important topics: Black Lives Matter, police brutality, discrimination, etc. However, Queenie struggles under the weight of this burden because she is simultaneously dealing with the pain of a recent breakup, anxiety, her own racial identity, and a traumatic childhood that she has never really faced. It is painful at times watching her struggle on this journey, but it is also a really hopeful story of self-love, acceptance, friendship, and family.

Queenie’s family and friends were my absolute favorite part of this novel. Her Grandparents (“the water rates!”), her Aunt, her cousin, her mom…they are all such funny, unique, and loveable characters. And I really hope that Queenie’s best friend, Kyazike, is based on a real person because she is just to perfect not to be. I love that each of these characters plays their own unique role in helping Queenie heal.

The therapy sessions were some of the most interesting moments in the novel. We really get inside Queenie’s head here and we also start to see the healing process unfolding. The therapist, Janet, was also such a great balance to Queenie and their dynamic was great to read. I also loved the “Dame it, Janet” Rocky Horror reference. I loved that Queenie ultimately got better due to the therapy, which I think goes a long way in breaking down the stigma that is sometimes attached to therapy.

I relate to so many of Queenie’s struggles, but there is no way that I could possibly relate to all of them. Reading this book opened up a whole new type of understanding for me, and I honestly feel like a better person having read it. I completely believe that everyone will find something worth holding on to in Queenie’s journey.

Queenie comes out March 19!!

For more information on Candice Carty- Williams and her books, check her out on Goodreads & Instagram

Follow me on Instagram @somewhereinpages & Goodreads @erinrossi

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Monthly Wrap-Ups

November Wrap-Up

Happy December, Everyone! Time is flying by and now it is full speed ahead into Christmas. November was such a great reading month for me. I managed to read 4 books total, but I didn’t have a lot of time to write up individual reviews throughout the month. So, I thought I would do a monthly wrap-up with 4 mini-reviews. So here goes:

Roomies by Christina Lauren ✰✰✰✰

I was in the mood for something lighthearted and fun over the Thanksgiving weekend and Roomies was a perfect choice. It definitely indulged my weepy romantic side, but it was also really well written. The characterization of both Holland and Calvin was so unique and really gave a sense of the whole person, not just who they were in terms of the relationship and the plot. I loved that the authors included all of their embarrassing moments – including Holland’s obsession with her “hot subway busker,” and Calvin’s marriage lies to his family back home in Ireland. These were all very real and relatable moments. My only complaint here was that I never really questioned either character’s motives in the same way they questioned each other. So it was a little frustrating at times to watch the two of them essentially make up things to be upset about. But overall, this was a perfect feel-good romantic comedy with really adorable characters.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren ✰✰✰✰

img_1016Ok, full disclosure, I read Roomies so fast that I needed another feelgood romance to finish out the long Thanksgiving weekend. Since I loved Roomies so much, I picked up Josh and Hazel. This was a really cute “friends to lovers” troupe with a fun twist. Ok, Hazel herself is really the twist. She was so unlike any female lead character I’ve read. She is unapologetically over-the-top, loud, blunt, free, and absolutely amazing! I loved that even though she’d been told time and time again that she was “too weird” or “too crazy” she never changed. She never altered herself in any way or attempted to please anyone but herself. For that, I give Christina Lauren a big high five. Hazel’s personality contrasted so well with Josh’s uptight demeanor and they made such a funny pair of opposites. I also really loved the Portland vibes. Having lived there for two years, I can definitely see someone like Hazel being happy and thriving in this amazing city. Thanks for keeping Portland weird Christina Lauren.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager ✰✰✰✰

The second I read that this book took place at a creepy summer camp in upstate New York where a mysterious crime once took place, I was all in. Emma is a prominent New York artist who returns to the summer camp she attended at age 13 to confront the unsolved disappearance of her 3 cabin roommates 15 years prior. Once Emma actually arrives back at the camp, she starts to uncover cryptic clues and messages left by the girls. She has to unravel these clues in order to finally figuring out what happened to them. This novel was so fast paced and kept me guessing the entire time. It led me on a wild goose chase. Emma herself is constantly following different leads and theories, and I was following right along with her. Every time I thought I had it figured out, a new clue appeared and it was right back to square one. With about 5 pages left in the book, I thought everything was nicely wrapped up. I was completely wrong! Another crazy plot twist left me stunned. This was a perfect mystery with a crazy fun plot twist! My only complaint was that at times there was this weird time warp happening- where things happened exactly as they did in the past. Even down to what the camp served for dinner. I am not sure if all of this was intentional, but it took away from the believability at times.

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay ✰✰✰✰

After Halloween, I was really feeling the witchy vibes. Although the plot took a little while to pick-up for me, I loved the mood of this book. Witch grimoires, talking ravens, crafting spells, reading tea leaves- all of this created such an irresistible mood. The 1880s (Gilded Age) New York was the perfect setting for this story- gas lamps, horse-drawn carriages, bowler hats, parasols, plus the growing urbanization of the city. Adelaide, Beatrice, and Eleanor, our witches, are powerful women, but still, have to hide their talents for fear of persecution. With the start of Women’s Suffrage at this time, their little tea shop becomes a safe haven for all women seeking change. The overall message of the story was a really powerful one about what women can accomplish when they come together.

So that is my November Wrap-Up! Here’s to some more cozy holiday reads in December! Happy reading! 

-Erin

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