If I wasn't already skeptical about Scientology when I started reading this book, it would have completely won me over. Beyond Belief is a terrifying story about how an organized religion in modern-day America can get away with all kinds of crazy things. I spent the vast majority of my time listening to this book completely outraged.
The Invisible Line was more about the phenomenon of actually crossing the "race line", families changing from black to white, than about "pretending" to be something else. Sharfstein makes some really interesting points about what it means to be black, white, or somewhere in the middle (usually referred to as "mulatto" in the book), and the stories of the three families that he uses illustrate the difficulties in trying to establish a rigid di...
Even though I've heard a lot about how fantastic Beloved is, I never really knew what it was about, even when I decided to bring it home for the read-a-thon a few weekends ago. I knew vaguely that it had to do with slavery and racism in the United States, but somehow I had missed out on the dead-baby-haunting-her-mother's-house part. How did I miss that?
What the synopsis doesn't tell you is that Jay is an African-American man who saves a white woman from drowning in the bayou in a very poor, very black neighbourhood, and that she refuses to say anything to him, his wife, or the boat's driver. It also doesn't tell you that Jay has a history in the Black Power Movement, and that this history is a very important part of the story, its effect on him (and some of the other characters) a key charac...
I'd heard lots of good things about The Book of Negroes, and have contemplated borrowing it from my library at school to read, but hadn't gotten around to it yet, so I decided to select it as the first audio book that I would try out. It did not disappoint.
Sentences tells the story of Percy Carey (aka M.F. Grimm) from his perspective, as he lives in the world of American hip-hop and street crews. It's a really good look into the mentality behind the people who get involved in that kind of lifestyle, and why they make the choices that they do.
Listening to this book was painful. Not because it was poorly written, or because the narration was bad. Not at all. It was painful because I just wanted to shake the author and everyone around her throughout pretty much the entire story. It was like watching a disaster happen and not being able to stop it.
The dark humour and attention to detail that Atwood is known for is definitely one of the strong points of this book. It just made the crazy things happening seem more realistic. Really, it's one of the best dystopias I've ever read, and I do love them, so that's saying a lot.
Most of the villains in this series have relied on brute force and violence, and it's been fun reading about Gin taking them all down. Mab's daughter, Madeline, was introduced at the end of Poison Promise, and is the main villain in Black Widow. Unlike the other villains so far, Madeline doesn't rely on straightforward attacks, instead coming at Gin and everyone else in a more sneaky, backhanded way.
At the beginning of this book, I found myself really frustrated with some of the characters. I especially was pretty annoyed with Bria - it seemed like she had suddenly become kind of bitchy out of nowhere.