Book Review: Black Cake By Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake By Charmaine Wilkerson is a family history drama with a unique voice from a debut author. Black Cake is on Goodreads’ and Amazon’s Best of 2022 So Far list, which is a reason I checked it out. Black Cake is a pretty ambitious debut novel with over 15 different perspectives, and it makes sense. Wilkerson writing to her credit did not make me feel like I was reading a brand new author more in the middle of seasoned pro. My biggest complaint of new authors is forced dialogue but it is avoided here. The flow of the story is a little disjointed as the narrative is telling a life in the past and a couple lives in present day at the same time. I loved the ending for this story so much, and it fixed a big hole in the story for me. The story itself is interesting and I have not read many stories of the Caribbean, so I loved the detail and insights. My biggest complainant for the story is I did not connect with one of main characters, I felt they were unfinished and saw no joy from the character. This book has of LGBTQ characters that are represent well one better than the other. Black Cake was published on February 1 2022.

The Plot Summary: Eleanor Bennett has passed away her lawyer has invited her son and Daughter to watch a video farewell that is really a confession. That Eleanor Bennett did not exist and her past has been a lie, and her children have a secret sister. She tells the tale of how all this happened and dark family secrets that made Eleanor the good mom that she was. Her two kids have not seen each other in years they have to come together and meet this new sister as their mother’s dying wish for them all to use the last Black Cake their mother made for the occasion.

What I Liked: he writing is really good I liked the dialogue, the descriptions, and the interesting way that the story was set up. I love the full circle writing and how everything was explained at the end and it wrapped all the storylines up. I like the metaphor of the Black Cake and how it served as the only thing from Eleanor’s past that she got to keep and it was thing she got to pass on to her daughters. The ending was really great and was a great reveal for one of the characters. I liked the story’s little twist and turns that were very subtle but effective.

What I Disliked: The writing style I ultimately called really good took a little while for is too make sense. I do have to suspend belief that her kids did not know that their mom was half black / half asian. I did not like the character of Byron, I feel so much was on Benny that his story was unfinished. I saw no joy from that character, when there was moments of joy to be had.

Recommendation: I recommend you check out this new voice in storytelling. This story has all, drama, romance, family secrets, and betrayal. I will read the next Charmaine Wilkerson novel. I rated Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson 4 out of 5 stars. I really solid first novel. This was a hard one to rate I went with 4 but it is a high 4 star rating.

Book Review: Under the Whispering Door by T. J. Klune

Under the Whispering Door by T. J. Klune is a novel about life but takes place in afterlife/inbetween. The description that got me to pay attention was A Man Called Ove in the afterlife. After having read it A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is really good comparison, but I feel it also reminded me of the Albert Brooks film Defending Your Life as well. This book is whimsical and a provides a really interesting view on the afterlife. The characters are memorable and the writing makes you truly care for the majority of them. I loved the beginning chapter so much and what it does for characterization, the reader comes away knowing exactly who Wallace is. The pace has a few bumps in the road I liked the beginning but the middle got almost too philosophical and took away from the story a little bit, when the countdown got introduced the story got instantly better. The ending was a nice wrap up and will make you feel for the characters at the end. The romance angle worked for the most part, as you saw the love between Hugo and Wallace start to grow. The is very LGTBQ friendly as the two leads are gay. This is my second T.J. Klune novel after I was blown away by The House in the Cerulean Sea, Under the Whisper Door is not as good but those are enormous shoes to fill.

The Plot Summary: Wallace is a lawyer and it is his whole life. He has no family, no friends and no life. Actually he died and has no life, a reaper finds him at his funeral, with only 4 in attendance his ex-wife and 3 law firm partners. Wallance does want to be dead he wants to be at work. The reaper brings him to a place he doesn’t expect, a tea shop. Where the reaper, Mei, works with the ferryman, Hugo, who’s job is to get the ghost to go through the door to the other side. There are other ghost there as well Hugo’s grandfather and his pet dog. They are there to help Wallace accept he is dead and go through the door, but Wallace finds a life, love, and finally a reason to not leave this world.

What I Liked: A really cool look at the afterlife. It would be cool if there was an acceptance period after death to get you acclimated to passing on. The characters Klune writes take on a life of their own and they become like your friends this is the second novel that he has done this to me. The relationships that are formed was great, romantic and friendship. I liked the side story about Nancy and how that worked out. I liked the end result of the Husk. The opening was one of the best. I loved the bits of humor through out especially from the grandfather.

What I Disliked: I did not like the look of the manager, I liked what the character represented but did not like the look. I did not like that sex was brought in at the end, Hugo and Wallace had this beautiful relationship and then sex is thrown in at the very end, first with the manager making graphic gestures of gay sex then the innuendos from Wallace. I felt it ruined their sweet subtle romance that was about hugs until they can touch then it was all about sex, it was too fast. The middle was just a bit too slow.

Recommendation: Read this book, it is easy to become attached to the characters, it provides such a unique look after death you will hope it is real. I had some fun with this book. I rate Under the Whispering Door by T. J. Klune 4 out of 5 stars. For the two books I’ve read of KLUNE he has a combined rating of 4.5. I will read another Klune when I get a chance.

Book Review: Harley Quinn: Reckoning by Rachael Allen

Harley Quinn: Reckoning by Rachael Allen is an original take on Harley Quinn’s origin, a rocking feminist revenge plot and a mystery all rolled up into one. Harley Quinn: Reckoning is part of the DC Icons series which tells origin stories for the young adult audience before the hero or villain has became a super hero or super villain. So far the DD Icons series has covered, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Black Canary, and now Harley Quinn. I have only read Batman: Nightcrawler before and I had some mixed feelings I like Harley Quinn: Reckoning a lot better. Harley Quinn is one of my favorite characters and represented pretty well here it was a little shaky at the beginning but at the end I fell she was nailed. The narrative starts with a flash forward then goes back 8 months and catches up to flash forward a little bit after the halfway point. I think it was a good idea to start with the flash forward because the book sets up a lot to get you there then become unputdownable when you get there. This book was paced pretty well. A big part of this book was the mystery, and I was really compelled to find out who done it. There’s a couple of really clever plot twist and there is some twist that lead to the mystery that is Harley Quinn. The book really dives in to the bisexual aspect of Harley and is very LGTBQIA+. I do have small trigger warnings for domestic abuse and unwanted sexual advances. I read this book early thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children’s. Harley Quinn: Reckoning is published on April 26 2022.

The Plot Summary: Harleen Quinzel is a high school student taking part in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) internship where she gets to work at Gotham University. She discovers a lot of sexism and wants to get even. She finds kinship in other girls and forms a vigilante group called the Reckoning. They take revenge and have fun doing it but they stumble on to something more sinister than sexism when a member ends up in a coma, and the other members are hunted. Harleen goes from victim to aggressor as she takes steps to becoming Harley Quinn.

What I Liked: The twist in the plot and the ones that are about Harley Quinn are really clever and the final one is really great. I liked all the references that were worked in about the hyenas, Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy), the stuffed beaver (that one I was shocked but I loved it), the references to the Joker, and the work in of Harley’s catch phrases. I liked the plot to the story. I like that the author explains in the acknowledgements that these incidents of sexual harassment are from real life interactions. I how the iteration with the Harley and her abusive father was portrayed and the end result of their relationship.

What I Disliked: the added pop culture references, about Tiktok and celebrities in the real world, I rolled my eyes a couple of times. I counted one male character that was decent and not a total pig it would have been nice if their was at least one more. I could not stand the character of Kylie.

Recommendation: If you are a fan of the character of Harley Quinn then this book is a must. Having been a fan of Harley’s I’ve read a lot a not always the best this is one of the better stories about her. This and Harleen by Stjepan Šejić are my favorites which both happen to be origin stories. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I rated Harley Quinn: Reckoning by Rachael Allen 5 out of 5 stars. This book was right on the nose of 4.5 but the cleverness of it put me over the edge. This book is proposed as a trilogy and I’m so there for the next book in the evolution of Harley Quinn.

Book Reviews: Star Wars: Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland

Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland is the second Young Adult novel in The High Republic series. The High republic comes 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope. This novel is paced so slow with only 3 battles. Reath and Master Cormac are the returning Jedi from the first YA but given background roles in this. The ending of this book saves it from being a 2 star review. There’s is only two things of significance that happen that will effect the adult Star Wars: The High Republic novels. This book was missing humor there’s one recurring event that was funny. What the book is filled with is young adult angst, which reached an annoying level, instead of being poignant. There’s a LGTBQ relationship that was good for inclusion purpose but the relationship wasn’t all that strong. I feel the adult version handled the LGTBQ relationship better. The plot is a huge long con, the pay off is all at the end which saves this novel, but I wanted to see this good writing through out. After reading the 2 adult and 2 YA Star Wars: The High Republic novels Out of the Shadows has been my least favorite.

The Plot: A device that can rip ships from hyperspace is causing havoc. The Jedi are sent to research this. A freight hauler lands in a conspiracy when she finds out her mother she thought dead is rumored to be behind the device. Vern one of the Jedi is called out by a mysterious voice guiding her to something, is the voice friend or foe?

What I Liked: The ending was great, the lead up to it was not. I liked that the character of Nan, who was in Out of the Past and was a frenemy with Reath and part of the Nihil returns to have a bigger role. I did like the running gag of Vern crashing what ever ship she is in, that was the only funny part in the book and it worked. I liked the plot line of Vern and the voice and who it belonged to. I like the attempt at the LGBTQ relationship but it could have been a lot better. I liked the speeder bike fight even if it was super brief.

What I Disliked: The pacing was really bad in this, one of the worst I’ve read in the 20 or so Star Wars novels that I have read. I was not happy about the Jedi plot lines in this story. I needed way more humor in this story. Barely any battles in a 352 page book maybe 30 pages were battles.

Recommendations: If you’re a casual Star Wars reader I would recommend skipping this one there’s two things of significance that involve the Nihil, and I imagine the adult novel catching us up in less than one page of dialogue. If you are a super fan then you are like me and going to read this book anyway. I rated Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland 3 out of 5 stars. This book was almost a 2 star review, but the ending really saved it.

Book Review: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica is a uniquely told mystery because it is told in reverse, but you still don’t know all the facts making it very compelling. There are some big twist that will make you change your whole theory of what is going on. The writing was good with just enough description to let you visualize what is going on. The narrative is told at three different times by four different people in the story, at first this is a little dizzying, but then starts to fit in to place. The way the story is told makes it brilliant, if it was told the normal way it would still be good but they way it is told makes you question and doubt everything. This is my first Mary Kubica and I was blown away I have heard her name mentioned in mystery but didn’t expect to be this blown away and frankly jealous that I did not think of this brilliant way to tell a story. The finale is heart ponding and the villain gets what they deserved. This book does have LGTBQ characters. There are trigger warnings of extreme child abuse that could ruin this book for some. I would like to thank Netgalley and Harlequin trade publishing for giving me an advanced reader’s copy of Local Woman Missing. Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica is published on may 18th 2021.

The Plot: A girl escapes people that have been torturing her for 11 years, the girl is famous of a sort for missing. The novel jumps back 11 years to the day of the missing girl, and we know she is not the only one missing the mom and another local woman are missing as well. Then the novel jumps back even further to 11 years and 3 months, where the mom receives a threatening text message saying I know what you did years ago, you will be punished.

What I Liked: The plot and the way it is told add so much tension. The past will change you perception of the future, it was really cool how that was done. I liked the psychological aspect to the book on the toll of reintroduction of a girl missing takes on her and the family, having Leo, the younger brother of the missing girl be the narrator was great as we get in his head. I did like there was a lesbian couple that no one batted an eye at and trusted there kids with. The finale was tense you already know who the villain now you want to find out if they get caught or they do more destructive things. I was very satisfied with the ending and the turn of events.

What I Disliked: There was one plot twist about a cheating husband, an accusation, then we find one girl had an affair I was bummed that it wasn’t tied into the husband, and that the husband having an affair just went away in the story, I kind wanted to know if it was true, or the accuser was just paranoid. I liked having the perspective of Leo a young 14 year old, but he has some lines about love and sex that felt more like a 40 year old that has been through the ringer not a 14 year old virgin.

Recommendation: Read local Woman missing it is a really smart mystery, that takes the reader for a ride shows you all the suspects and slowly fill in the details of the past and the present. Be warned of the trigger warning for extreme child abuse and entrapment. If I had to compare the narrative style to another book I would say it was closest to The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, as close as it is the two are very different and this book doesn’t have a perspective that you can not trust. I rated Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica 5 out of 5 stars. I will definitely be reading more Mary Kubica in the future.

Book Review: The One by John Marrs

The One by John Marrs is great science fiction, where a scientist has found a gene that links you to one over person on the planet that you’re supposed to be with, your one and only love. That scientist of course cashed in and makes it a website that you send your DNA to get the results. This premise gets Black Mirror-ed showing the horrors and doubt that can arise with this technology. It gets you the reader to wish this technology exist then shows the horrors that go with it. We follow five people that use the website, some in reluctance , some eager, and some with trepidation. What I enjoyed is that the stories all have twist some come right at the beginning, some in the middle and some at the end. So as one story will slow down another will have a huge twist and totally change it. The One has been made into a Netflix show, that I can’t wait to check out. This the 4th book I have read by John Marrs and it did not disappoint in the least. The technology in The One is mentioned in The Passengers and The Minders which are books about future technologies, that hackers try to hack and manipulate. The book does have an LGTBQ storyline which is done really well

The Plot: A gene is found that links you to the one you are to belong to, your one true love. A website is started where you can send in DNA to have it analyzed. We follow five people, Mary who has been showing everyone her match, but something happens before they can meet, Jade who lives in England is matched with a Australian farmer with a catch, Christian is a serial killer of women that has just been matched, Nick and his bride to be dare each other to take it, when Nick does he’s matched with a man, and A super rich women with no time to date, becomes matched with a regular guy, she must keep secrets to see if this is real.

What I Liked: The premise and the story arcs are great. I liked that the characters never meet each other, it would have been to much of a stretch to make this happen. The characters are great and you know and understand them in the end. The twist are really good, each story has a major twist, and they are all plausible. My favorites were Christian, Mary, and Nick. Their are some happy endings and some truly messed up endings. The end twist was a great one that made you question every thing and every couple.

What I Disliked: The only tale that I never connected with was Jade’s, I did enjoy the twist but it took a while.

Recommendation: I really enjoyed this story as I have enjoyed all John Marrs so far. If you have never checked out his work I would recommend this story The One and What Lies Between Us. Marrs is If he king of domestic thriller, every book he writes is a page turner. I rated The One by John Marrs 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero is a horror set in the 90’s that is a take on Scooby Doo and his gang grown up and dealing with real monsters and not some man in the mask. I is a little similar to the new DC run Scooby Apocalypse, where the gang is a little more grown up and deal with real monsters. Meddling Kids is a combination of Lovecraftian creatures meet the Goonies being portrayed by the Scooby Gang. The twist and turns mainly come at the end a few are a stretch but some I really enjoyed. It has LGTBQ representation in the lead character of Andy. The book is a slow build up to an exciting finish but it will test the readers patience by having slow pacing. A. Z. Kimrean the lead of This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us Cantero’s follow up book makes an oh so brief cameo in a mental ward.

The Plot: In 1977 a group of kids started the the Blyton Summer Detective Club where four kids and a dog solved local crimes. The last case when they caught an old man in a creature mask, and admitted to the crimes calling them ,meddling kids. But 13 years later the group is still haunted by what they saw, on member Peter has recently committed suicide. The criminal has been released and when confronted he admitted it didn’t commit the crimes, but lied so he would be protected in jail. The Blyton Summer Detective Club decides to get back together and solve the crime they missed.

What I Liked: there’s a lot of clever pop culture references. Nate seeing a ghost of Peter device is used really well, and adds to the mystery. I like what they did with the dog to make it “Scooby-like” at the very end. I liked what they did with the town bully, Joey. The climax was really exciting with a couple twist and turns. There was a lot a well placed Scooby references. One of the coolest cover art’s Ive seen for horror.

What I Disliked: The pacing is super slow at the beginning, it takes the gang way to long just to get to the town on their road trip. The monster’s could have been described with more detail, it was hard picturing. Never have a I read a story that needed a flashback scene so bad, I think a flashback scene would have solved most of my problems with it.

Recommendations: I think Edgar Cantero is a really clever writer, but this one didn’t live up to my expectations after liking This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us so much, so therefore I can not recommend this one. In This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us the plot is very focused, where Meddling Kids the plot keeps going off in tangents. I rate Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The House on the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune is a heartwarming Young Adult novel about intolerance in magical creatures the world misunderstands. This story is the themes of intolerance in the X-men comics by Stan Lee and Chris Claremont meets the odd yet lovable characters from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Rasom Riggs. This book is mainly Young Adult, but it brought up some adult themes that were refreshing, body image, LGTBQ issues, and Christianity. the LGBTQ characters are handled with care and love like I haven’t seen before, being gay is not a huge revelation and the book gets that gay people are actually all shapes and sizes. The themes of intolerance are layered though out wither it be sex, religion, and race. See something say something is a common phrase in the book posted on billboards and repeated through out. This book has been blowing up the blogsphere and I’m happy to say it lived up to the hype.

The Plot: Linus Baker is a by the book official whose job is a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he visits orphanages and checks too make sure the orphanage and child is safe. He is quiet in his observations and never invoking feelings into the cases. He lives a quiet sheltered life with his cat the only exciting thing about Linus is he’s gay, but he never seems to put himself out or dates. He dreams of the ocean, but has never been, then finally he gets a chance as Linus gets an ultra sensitive case with an orphanage on the Cerulean sea. He gets this case because it requires no emotions and he is so unbiased. He reads the first file and passes out at what the first child is and can be, and there is 7 of them. This will be the hardest case of his life to have no judgement.

What I Liked: The heart of the story is full and beating, I couldn’t help but get emotional, as Mr. Baker grew to the person he was supposed to be. Lucy and the record store owner was my favorite scene, the dialogue was hilarious. Chauncey was my absolute favorite character, he has all the heart, all he wants is to be a Bellhop, just let that kid be a Bellhop. Runner-up character is Sam, I love what his character becomes. The Gay relationship was done with such tenderness and affection. I liked the twist when Linus gets the full file. The overall story really works, sure the reader knows where the story is going but it was still beautiful being there with Mr. Baker when he figures it all out.

What I Disliked: I wanted to see the change in Sam, it is only talked about I would have loved to see his voice change. I would have love to see the stoner guy do a counter protest when the town turns. I didn’t like the Zoe relationship thrown in at the end, since we rarely ever saw those characters say two words with one another.

Recommendations: I recommend this heartwarming story of intolerance for the young adult audience. There’s some adult themes but it it brought up both playful but taken seriously. I think this book will open some eyes on intolerance, which is always a good thing. I rated The House on the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune 5 out of 5. It was a wonderful story that made me feel things and like a character that I did not at the beginning.

Book Reviews: Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht is a confusing female lead space opera. This novel is very confusing especially at the beginning, this is one I fought with myself over do not finishing but I pushed through. The story is like a one off episode of Star Wars The Clone Wars, merged with some characters from the Alien franchise, there’s an Ellen Ripley in Angel, there’s a Call in Kennedy, and a whole lot of Private Vasquezs. The character are different but most of them all talk the same. The plot is pretty crazy and doesn’t really start going until half way, we get the villains motives at the 90 percent mark. There is bits of exciting action but once again most it is often hard to follow. The bear action scenes were awesome. The best part of this novel is when the Merc crew talks crap to each other, there’s some good lines that I would include in this review but I read an ARC copy, thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books, and can not post words since they are subject to change. The book does have a non-binary character and lesbian characters to represent the LBGTQ. When I read the description I had high hopes for this novel as it is being publicized as a female lead Mandolorian like space opera, but I just did not enjoy it.

The Plot: Women with political influence start getting murdered, they are linked to indigenous alien race that have advance technology. The villain wants the tech for her own devices. The Merc crew perform a suicide mission protecting the race against and army of mech suited soldiers.

What I Liked: The scenes of the women talking crap about past missions and relationships was the best I wish it had more scenes like that. The bear verse mech suit was the highlight of action, there’s another scene where one of the aliens communicates with a bear that was pretty cool. There is some great lines of dialogue, most take place in the two talking crap scenes. I do love te female empowerment and LGBTQ representation. I like the characters of Angel, Kennedy, Beak, and Sukyi. The relationship with Angel and the ship the Kurosawa was a special one.

What I Disliked: The whole first half of this book is so rough, you will have twenty names in the first thirty pages and 17 of them all talk the same, making it impossible to form a connection. It jumps a round to weird spots, who set up the log bobby traps? why is one team now separated when they were just together? The villain’s motive is way too late the woman seems to be evil and then she starts getting bossed around, it was bad. The world building is half realized, or we as the reader only see half of it. Catholic religion is brought in briefly then never talked about again.

Recommendation: I recommend you skip this book if you need LGTBQ charters in a science fiction setting please check out the excellent Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. Star Wars the ultimate for your space opera fix. The Star Wars series has been bad about not having too many strong female protagonists, but has been slowly changing and making effort for more, so check out the newer novels. I rated Persephone Station by Stina Leicht 2 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is a family drama about race, focusing on the light and darkness of skin color. The book will really make you self reflect your own prejudice and bias based on skin color. Bennett doesn’t just analyze the white standard of skin bias but the black on as well. The book starts in the 1950’s and goes up to the early 1980’s. The story follows 3 generations of the Vinges family women. The story jumps in time a little a the beginning which took some getting used to but, I liked what it set up. The story was really good and really got into the psychology of its characters. The way the story was told reminded me of The Immoralists by Chloe Benjamin, and how the story jumps in time. The Vanishing Half is an important story that needed to me told. This book features an interesting portrait of a trans man transitioning, which was pretty bold. I do fear that the scene will turn off some readers, who came for a story about race, which would be unfortunate. The Vanishing Half won the Goodreads choice award for Historical fiction in 2020, I do feel this is a little bit of a stretch as history is an afterthought to the drama the only moments in history that are highlighted are Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. assignations and the Aids crisis that’s really all, there’s rarely a pop culture reference. The story is a fantastic general fiction that involves four decades. The Vanishing Half is being developed as a limited series at HBO and HBOmax.

The Plot Desiree and Stella Vinges are twin sisters in the small town of Mallard, Louisiana. A town so small it’s not even on the map. The Vinges are all very light skinned and so is every other colored person in the town, that’s the only way the white people can tolerate them. Stella and Desiree are so light they could almost pass for white. Stella has experimented with this and passed for a brief moment when a black man working security spotted her. The twins lost their father to a mob of angry white men, there mother did what she could but she couldn’t pay the bills, she made the girls drop out of school and work with her to pay the bills. The girls each dreamers, wanted more out of life and weren’t happy, they decide to run away. They stayed with each other for quite some time until Stella a perfected playing white and leaves her sister Desiree for a different life as a white woman. Desiree find love and marries a dark skinned man and has a dark skinned child in Jude. The husband beats her and she returns home with her child causing a stir because of her daughter’s skin color. Desiree meets Early and bounty hunter that she knew as children and hasn’t lost his crush, he covers for her to her husband and starts looking for Stella.

What I Liked: The story and the conversation around skin color is really fascinating. The relationship between Loretta and Stella was my favorite, someone she feared would reveal her secret would be the only friend she could talk to. The psychology of faking white and what it does to Stella towards her relationship towards black people. June was my favorite secondary character, I loved the psychology of her and secrets. I liked how the story made connections, it was real and messy not tied up in a bow. There’s to many good lines of dialogue here are my to favorite exchanges “White folks kill you if you want too much, kill you if you want too little.” Willie Lee shook his head, packing tobacco into his pipe. “You gotta follow they rules but they change ’em when they feel.” and “You did all this for a man?” “Not for him,” she said. “I just liked who I was with him.” “White.” “No,” Stella said. “Free.” Desiree laughed. “Same thing, baby.”

What I Disliked: Stella still hides her true self from one of the most important people in her life, I feel if she told them they would not have believed her anyway, but she would have got it off her chest. I do find it a little unbelievable that no one questioned Reece about being trans before he could start the hormones and have surgery.

Recommendations: The Vanishing Half is a heck of a read that will make you think after you read it. The Vanishing Half has a hard look about skin color backed up by a fantastic story. The story flows really well and was hard to stop at certain points. I rated The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett 5 out of 5 stars. I look forward to reading more from Brit Bennett in the future.