Ya’ll . . . I must admit I’m in a bit of a reading slump. Amongst a variety of responsibilities (including making an interactive visual novel), my head just hasn’t been in reading mode. Hopefully, I’ll get back into my rhythm next month, but for now, I only have a few lovely reads to talk about.
All Photos Courtesy of Goodreads
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
“You taught me that the bravest, hardest work anyone can take on is facing their own shit. Challenging all the lies we tell ourselves. Admitting when we’re wrong. Cleaning up our own mess. You’re the queen of all that stuff.”
Short Description: Business-owner and ex-sex worker Naomi teams up cinnamon roll Ethan the rabbi to teach new synagogue attendants the ways of modern intimacy, soon finding themselves falling for each other in the process.
Critic Quote: “The romance between Naomi and Ethan felt very…full to me, if that makes sense? They are two well-rendered characters who seem to connect in a profound and multidimensional way. They have great banter, deep conversations, can fully let their guards down together, and have incredible chemistry.” –Smart Bitches Trashy Books
My Verdict: First 2/3 was awesome! I loved Naomi and Ethan! Chemistry was great! . . . and then things dragged, romantic declarations got cheesy, loose ends tied up too easily, and I stopped caring . . . I still overall enjoyed this book, but I’m hoping Danan will write a smoother ending in her next book.
Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte
Silence. I’m sure that many hearing people, especially those who don’t know the deaf, imagine our lives are filled with silence. That’s not true. If my mind and heart are full of energy and fun, and I’m looking ahead with excitement, I don’t feel silent at all. I buzz like a bee in good times. Only in bad times, when I am numb and full of sadness, does everything turn silent. Like our house with just Mama and me in it.
Short Description: In 19th century United States, a deaf 11-year-old girl named Mary navigates the up-and-downs of her nearly entirely deaf community, a community that is soon forever changed by the arrival of an English stranger.
Critic Quote: “A vivid depiction of Deaf community along with an exciting plot and beautiful prose make this a must-read.” –Kirkus Reviews
My Verdict: The beginning was a bit slow, but once I got into the story, I really enjoyed it! Kudos to LeZotte for tackling so many serious subject matters and doing so artfully. If you’re looking for a Middle Grade book with some bite, definitely pick this up!
Of Women and Salt by Gabriel Garcia
We are more than we think we are. There was always more.
Short Description: A multi-generational tale of two families of Cuban women and their struggles to endure and find meaning in their lives.
Critic Quote: “. . . this is also a true poet’s novel: a painstaking attentiveness to rhythm and metaphor allows Garcia to sketch complicated, thorny parallels between mothers and daughters. . .” –LA Review of Books
My Verdict: An excellent, beautifully written novel with memorable characters and messages that strike just the right emotional balance. I’m stunned that this is a debut novel and I’ll be on the lookout for Garcia’s next work.