Review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

So here’s the deal. I absolutely adore Jodi Picoult and will read anything she puts out. In all fairness, I always have unusually high expectations for her stories. Maybe that’s unrealistic because this book disappointed me. It started off well enough with an intriguing storyline. But then it became very disjointed, hard to follow, not compelling. I mean, it took me nine days to finish which is an unheard of amount of time with me for a book by a favorite author. And honestly, I probably would have abandoned it if it were by most other writers. But I stuck with it, hoping the pendulum would swing back. Sadly, it didn’t. It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly what it is that threw me off. I will say, though, that the time reversal aspect of the storyline was a huge downside for me. By the time I got to the end, well actually the beginning, there was no element of intrigue. No suspense, no plot twist to bring it all home. Sure, there was one little moment. But that wasn’t enough to save the story in this case. My review is not meant to dissuade anyone from reading this one, as it won’t keep me from eagerly anticipating her next one. It just is what it is.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: A Spark of Light

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Review: Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith

20140321-194407.jpgAs much as I love reading with every fiber of my being, I’ll be the first to admit that the majority of my reading choices don’t lean towards the very deep or especially thought-provoking. This one was a complete departure from that typical experience.

Martin Grey is an up and coming lawyer who has everything going for him. He and his best friend own their own rising law firm. He has a beautiful wife he adores. And he’s just won the biggest case of his career. Now he’s asked to become part of the club-a group of elite, prestigious men who also happen to all be black. In fact, that’s a requirement for acceptance into this secret group. In a twisted attempt at avenging the crimes committed against their ancestors, these pillars of society have reversed the roles of slavery. At a hidden compound deep in the forest, they are the masters and abducted Caucasian men and women are the slaves. Although Martin is horrified by what he discovers, he quickly realizes that simply walking away is not an option. These men will stop at nothing to preserve their twisted secret. Will Martin survive?

Forty Acres was such an emotional, thought-provoking book for me that I had to let it simmer in my heart and soul for a few days before even attempting to write a review. I knew I wanted to say great things about this story, but at the same time I wanted to make sure my words did the story justice. The content is sure to stir up some controversy, and that alone is a good enough reason to add this one to your next book club list. It forces the reader to ask deep questions of both their own feelings and those of our society in general. Have we come as far in the area of equal rights as we’d like to believe? Is there justification in feeling slighted because of the actions of people from previous generations? And can we truly ever say that the past is behind us? For me personally the answer is no. This book reminds us that there is always danger in letting ourselves forget the sins of the past. Grab this one and settle in for quite a ride!

~Thalia

Buy it Now: Forty Acres: A Thriller