Running For Our Lives

I truly enjoyed reading Robb Ryerse’s tale of running for the House of Representatives. Ryerse is a progressive Republican who saw how his district in Arkansas could benefit from gun safety and health care. When his wife suggests he run as part of Brand New Congress, an effort to take out career politicians by bringing in everyday people who 9780664266219_p0_v1_s1200x630 (1)understand what the laws do on a practical level. Ryerse, a co-pastor a local church, knew this would be a hard competition but also knew this was something he had to do.
Ryerse walks you through running for office and how hard it for normal everyday people. The setup of campaign finances is cost-prohibitive to many and the way money is used from special interest keeps career politicians in power. He also discusses other issues that come up during campaigning and how it’s not as easy as the TV makes it look.
The best part though is that Ryerse uses his faith to guide him and he speaks out against the Religious Right that blindly follows the current administration. He details his interactions with members of this subsection of Christianity and explains that these people are often one-issue voters. Reyrse tries to explain during his campaign, as well as in this book, why Christian faith is about people. That we have to take care of our neighbor and these “progressive” views are doing just that. While he was met positively by most people for not being a career politician it never seemed to overcome the ideas he shared with the progressive left.
I would recommend Running for Our Lives, A Story of Faith, Politics, and the Common Good  to anyone who wants to see politics from the inside; how things really work; to see Republicans as progressive allied; to see that the Evangelicals aren’t always looking after the common good. This book will challenge many preconceived notion of those all along the spectrum.

 

Publication Date: February 18

I received an ARC through NetGalley; all opinions are my own.

The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly

This novel is not what you expect. Instead of a ghost story, it is a metaphor for modern life.

Autumn Casterly deals drugs to her friends while she saves to go to vet college. Everyone thinks she’s a slut and no good. So when she disappears the police aren’t interested in finding her. It is her sister Ivy who actually cares and decides to find her. What Ivy 67af50ff-af79-4f78-b6c1-0912c0655ec8_2.adc9c3424942f004e6fd374364449d9cdoesn’t know is that Autumn’s spirit is leading her to clues so Ivy will find Autumn before she dies.

You must re-see the plot and the characters knowing that this story is not a ghost/metaphysical/supernatural story. And I tell you this upfront to help manage expectations. I was truly disappointed with how little the supernatural was used. But after understanding it was a metaphor, I began to see the metaphysical was just a tool for the writer to explain how women are unseen in this world. This is when you can truly appreciate the book for what it is. Meredith Tate masterfully integrates what it’s truly like to live life as a woman with a sketchy past. It’s a beautiful tribute to how horrible people can be and the beauty of when people rise above it.

The title still confuses me. Autumn never truly confesses anything. Maybe it is a metaphor like the rest of the story and the confession is her finding the strength to speak what actually happens to her. Maybe I still don’t get it at all. Regardless, it disappoints me as a title.

Overall, this is a YA book that screams to be read. Each person will see themself somewhere in the story. They could be the nerd, the jock, the bad girl. And they will see that their lives go past more than just the typical stereotype. We all deserve that.

 

Publication Date: February 12

I received an Arc from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

 

Own Voices

In honor of Black History month, this own voices feature includes the reviews I have done since I turned my blog into a book review blog. Two of these are Bo CLub picks that will elicit conversations. The third  is truly recommend as a beautiful piece of literature

The Deep

solomonr-deepusThe Deep is the result of work by many voices. The book written by Rivers Solomon is inspired by the work of clipping. which was inspired by yet someone else’s work. Because editor Navah Wolfe saw a beautiful vision, this multifaceted art project exists.
Yetu is the historian. She holds the memory of the Wajinru, merfolk who evolved from the African slave women who were thrown overboard pregnant. Once a year, Yetu shares these memories, the pain with her tribe; this is The Remembrance. Yet she doesn’t exist outside these memories and this year Yetu makes a choice that will change her own life and the lives of her people. Continue reading…

 

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

I read I’m Not Dying with You Tonight as part of The Big Library Read. This global bookIm-Not-Dying-With-You-Tonight-e1564125646558 club ensures anyone who wants to read the book club titles can though the digital library for a certain period of time.
This novel is an interesting collaboration; the women, one black and one white worked together to spin a narrative to encourage discussion about race, police action and our perception of the world.
It’s just another Friday night for Lena. She’ll hit the school football game and then meet up with her older boyfriend. For Campbell, this night is a terror already. She’s been in town for six weeks and made no friends and is working at the football concession stand with a bunch of people who aren’t helping. When a fight breaks out, racial relations across the town spiral out of control and these two girls from very different backgrounds must manage to make it out together. Continue reading…

 

The Hate U Give

f043712f-4655-4c8a-b60f-fca1e4c6ca9fThe Hate U Give is ripped from the headlines and showcases the actual lives of African Americans and the issues they face.
Starr straddles two worlds: the first is the poor area of town filled with minorities and drug dealers. The second is the rich world of a white private school that Starr attends. She has to balance being in both cultures while keeping her lives separate. That all comes crashing down when she sees her black childhood friend gunned down by the police. Starr must find her voice and learn that she is more than just either side of her personality. Continue reading…