Book Talk: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Pride by Ibi ZoboiPride by Ibi Zoboi
Published by Balzer + Bray on September 18, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Retelling
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

It is a truth universally acknowledge that if anything Pride and Prejudice-related comes out, Christina absolutely must have it. Pride is my first book by Ibi Zoboi, so I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I fell in love with the concept and the cover (that blend of classic and modern is perfection) instantly. Plus, I’d heard great things about American Street, which was another encouraging sign. Pride absolutely lives up to the all of that awesomeness. Pride‘s a clever modernization of Pride and Prejudice, taking the classic romance and turning it into a novel about gentrification.


Bookish Pet Peeves

By and large, we book nerds are an opinionated and particular bunch. We can argue until the end of time about the proper way to shelve books (Dewey VS LoC; alphabetically, by genre, by color, by size) or cover changes or the best pop culture adaptation. (The proper way to shelve books in your personal collection is clearly alphabetically by author however you see fit.) Today, I’m going to talk about some of my bookish pet peeves, and I want you to tell me yours.


Book Talk: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Book Talk: Roomies by Christina LaurenRoomies by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery on December 5, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren’s (Beautiful Bastard, Dating You / Hating You) new romance.

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a bigtime musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

By this juncture, I’m pretty familiar with Christina Lauren’s work. You know, just slightly. Considering this was my 11th of their books that I read in the span of a single month. I DO NOT DO THINGS BY HALVES. What is a backlog for if not to read in a passionate, mad dash? Anywaaaaaay, I can state with great authority that Roomies is the fluffiest of all of those. This one’s the most rom com of them all.


Book Talk: Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Blood Water Paint by Joy McCulloughBlood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
Narrator: Xe Sands
Length: 3 hrs, 52 mins
Published by Listening Library on May 15, 2018
Genres: Historical
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father's paint.

She chose paint.

By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome's most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost.

He will not consume
my every thought.
I am a painter.
I will paint.

Joy McCullough's bold novel in verse is a portrait of an artist as a young woman, filled with the soaring highs of creative inspiration and the devastating setbacks of a system built to break her. McCullough weaves Artemisia's heartbreaking story with the stories of the ancient heroines, Susanna and Judith, who become not only the subjects of two of Artemisia's most famous paintings but sources of strength as she battles to paint a woman's timeless truth in the face of unspeakable and all-too-familiar violence.

I will show you
what a woman can do.

TBH, I almost missed out on Blood Water Paint. I’d seen it around a little bit, mostly because I used to post Cover Snark, so I was constantly digging around for forthcoming books. However, I immediately dismissed it because the cover bored me, the title very much didn’t interest me, and it’s a verse novel, which, for me, is a kiss of death. Only because someone I follow on Goodreads read and loved it did I reconsider. And, of course, bless audiobooks, because they make verse novels doable for me. Blood Water Paint blindsided me with feminist rage and empowerment.


The Truth About Love and Dukes & The Trouble with True Love by Laura Lee Guhrke

The Truth About Love and Dukes & The Trouble with True Love by Laura Lee GuhrkeThe Truth About Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Dear Lady Truelove #1
Published by Avon on March 28, 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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Dear Lady Truelove . . . I have fallen in love, truly and completely in love, for the first time. The man whom I hold in such passionate regard, however, is not of my station. He is a painter, a brilliant artist. Needless to say, my family would not approve . . .

Henry, Duke of Torquil, wouldn’t be caught reading the wildly popular “Dear Lady Truelove” column, but when its advice causes his mother to embark on a scandalous elopement, an outraged Henry decides the author of this tripe must be stopped before she can ruin any more lives. Though Lady Truelove’s identity is a closely guarded secret, Henry has reason to suspect the publisher of the notorious column, beautiful and provoking Irene Deverill, is also its author.

For Irene, it’s easy to advise others to surrender to passion, but when she meets the Duke of Torquil, she soon learns that passion comes at a price. When one impulsive, spur-of-the-moment kiss pulls her into a scorching affair with Henry, it could destroy her beloved newspaper, her career, and her independence. But in the duke’s arms, surrender is so, so sweet . . .

Since I revisited my obsession with historical romance novels back in 2014 by reading my first Tessa Dare, Romancing the Duke, I’ve been constantly on the hunt for more authors who write the sort of historical romance I love. I’ve found Julia Quinn (an oldie but a goodie), Lenora Bell, Courtney Milan, among others. When I first asked for recommendations, Guhrke was one of the names I got from several people, and those people were spot on. Guhrke writes solid, creative, feminist af romance novels, and they’re absolutely what I expect of historical romance of recent years.