Month: June 2018

this week’s reads

With the pressure of writing my LL.B research paper I may have gone off my updated June reading list to read some lovely ebooks this week. I began reading Garri For Breakfast by Seun Lari-Williams. I’m in love with the unique tone each poem and its persona shared. They made me feel like I wanted to get to know them because they communicated to me in open, soothing stanzas. I absolutely love Full Moon. It made me remember my Tax Professor’s anticipation of the full moon and end of Ramadan. I found On Third Mainland Bridge and Welcome to Yaba Market funny recollections of experiences at major landmarks of Lagos.  I haven’t finished this poetry collection but it’s a feature in my handbag all week.

I also read Remember Me by Sophia Kinsella. I love the writing style, tone and London set novels of the Shopaholic Series Bestselling author. You should have seen how I read this ebook. My eyes scanned its reflective narrative, quirky amnesia suffering heroine, unbelievable plot reveals and unexpected climax. It was my break from research read.  There were many parallels with Lexi’s quest to regain her memories by knowing her past and my week. A unique, hilarious, but painfully honest chicklit, Remember Me, is highly recommended.

Rush reading two more ebooks off my reading list. I had reading vigils for Slow Hands by Leslie Kelly and To All The Boys I’ve Loved by Jenny Han(now a Netflix movie adaptation). Slow Hands taught me; not to be presumptuous, judge people but treat them nicely and all is not what it seems. Maddy’s successful career and  insecurities inspired me to work for my dreams, actively get I want and be more self compassionate. Being a Harlequin Blaze novel it was steamy with enough erotic encounters. An impressive depiction of a sextuationship. I mean toe-curling sex on a yatch in the middle of a cool, vast lake in Chicago after negotiation.

The following stuck with me.

“The point is people trade commodities all the time. Money for property. Stocks for liquid assets. Sex for marriage.” What more can be said?

“He’s a doll. I think it’s having sisters. In my opinion, every woman should end up with a man who had sisters. They drain all the assholeness out of him while he’s growing up and make him learn to treat a woman right.” Although, this is sometimes false.  I’m raising my younger brothers to treat women right.

“Maddy had worn a size two once. When she was two.” Witty!

As for To All The Boys I’ve Loved by Jenny Han which had me crying at how Lara Jean decided to end this! My Adobe Reader has many notes littered about this funny, deep, silly, stupid and downright unbelievable narrative. I really enjoyed this chicklit and YA Romance novel.

It’s delightful that halfway through 2k18 here at June’s end I can say I have met my reading goals to a large extent.

P.S: Can I just say I’m loving the YA Romance movie adaptations of 2k18. It’s always wondrous seeing my favorite romance characters and narratives in film.

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PRIDE MONTH READS

June was #PrideMonthReads on Bookstagram. Apart from reading HOLAAfrica as I usually do. I followed @savidgereads vestful pride month reads. I began reading Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women. I thoroughly enjoyed reading their erotica, memoirs, comic flash fiction and steamy series from the Lesbian Category.

Image result for pride month 2018

My three pride months reads of non-African experiences are

  • Everyday by David Levithan (adapted into a film being released this year),
  • The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein (this brilliant transgender memoir won the Victorian Prize for Literature)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Read (a recollection of Golden Hollywood and its glamorous bisexual star).

There were reoccurring in TBR picks and highly recommended LGBTQ literature from Pride Month Reads worldwide. Having mostly read more gay and lesbian romance I needed to read up other letters of the rainbow nation. The above books made me curious about exploring bisexual, transgender and queer narratives. I regularly read LGBTQ Literature, especially from HOLAAfrica To be honest I have only began reading The Trauma Cleaner and not the others.

Does it count that I watched Love, Simon and loved it? It’s the movie adaptation of Simon vs. The Homosapien Agenda a remarkable coming of age, gay, YA romance novel. A story of friendship, betrayal, love, connection, support and its adaptation had great music. Maybe it doesn’t count but it’s also a recommended pride month read. I’d recommend Under the Udala Trees, a brilliant purple covered African feminine queer novel I reviewed here. Also 14: An Anthology of Queer Art; Vol 1- We Are Flowers is another compilation of brilliant art, prose, poems, memoirs and photography by new and established African queer voices. I noticed there weren’t many poetry collections or more African LGBTQ works in the feed on bookstagram. What were your #pridemonthreads?

Where Rainbows End

WHERE RAINBOWS END by CECELIA AHERNS

“But knowing you, if you had a problem with me you wouldn’t be too shy to let me know all about it.”

“Ex-girlfriends are easily forgotten. Best friends stay with you forever.”

“She is the tiniest and most fragile little things I have ever seen, sometimes I’m afraid to hold her but then she opens her mouth and all hell breaks loose. It’s amazing how something so small can be so smelly and so nosy.”

“See the possibilities, smell the success in the air, taste the rewards.”

“I need to see my own life go for when Katie goes because I don’t see any Prince Charmings coming along to rescue me. Fairy tales are such evil little stories for young children.”

“People who says it’s a long story mean it’s a stupid short one that they’re too embarrassed and couldn’t be bothered to tell.”

“No, I have a shit job with shit pay, shit flat with shit rent. I have no time for shit sex with a shit man.”

One word- HILARIOUS!

Two words- Unbelievably honest.

Three words- I loved this!

I read this novel during three reading vigils second week in June. It was worth it!!!  This has been the most hilarious book I have read in forever. I never expected the turn Chapter Six took. My eyes are still wide open from the shocking plot direction. Pregnant! The novel introduces us to the funny childhood banter and friendship between Rosie and Alex. Over the pages and chat like style both characters grow through teenagehood, fights, adulthood, careers, family changes, love and marriages, growing children, loss and death and into old age. How fate kept interfering in the progression of their friendly affection into everlasting committed love was infuriating. The novel’s narrative is written in a series of letters, instant messaging and email correspondence which at first confused me. Geographically set in Dublin and other parts of Ireland and America it a refreshing change of scenery for my Off The Continent reads.

It is the most unusual romance novel I have read. Yet it’s a profoundly honest portrayal of long-lasting friendship and living life. Where Rainbows End is a box of love letters for every type of love one can have in life. I won’t lie Rosie did frustrate me oftentimes; I was like “cheer up, take a chance, stop sacrificing, let go babe!” The tone of the novel is comical, honest, open, witty, often times mysterious. Gosh! I loved the minor characters! Their contribution to the plot was always helpful, subtle and rib-cracking. Rosie’s mother willed her the Connenara house. I couldn’t help but be grateful Rosie could FINALLY run something close to a hotel. Infact after reading her B&B Brochure made me want to visit. Tears filled my eyes at Chapter Fifty’s messages and end. I wanted a staycation just to rest and bask in the end of this magnificent read. This novel showed we all choose and contribute to how we live our lives, dream filled or lacking. Another lesson I learnt was that you should address express our emotions and sort out issues with loved ones urgently or amicably. Time flies and when it does all these things don’t matter.

If I didn’t like anything about this stunning novel is that life events kept inhibiting Rosie from making choices that got her closer to her dream life. It felt unfair, but it made me love the novel and Rosie’s persona because it made the winding timeline memorable.

Where Rainbows End gets 4 fireworks plus a twinkle and comes highly recommended.

THE LAST DAYS AT FORCADOS HIGH SCHOOL

THE LAST DAYS AT FORCADOS HIGH SCHOOL BY A.H MOHAMMED

”Efua said nothing and Nene continued, feeling desolate. ‘I’m very , very,sorry and I understand if you hate me now, but I’ll never give up on our friendship.’ She stood up and twisted her hands.’

‘He suddenly thought: ‘you stood up for me and I didn’t do that for you, and his eye filled up.’

 

Wow! This novella was a short yet surprisingly sweet and emotional read.  I thought of my secondary school experience. This is the main reason I procrastinated reading the book. Gosh! I dragged it onnn, regrettably. I really admire the book art that highlight the beginning of each chapter. An exciting, coming of age novella of the Nigerian teenage experience. It’s honest with characters you will like only to discover you love at the end.

The plot twists with Jimi relationship with his brother Wole, Efua’s past, Forcados and its students were stunning. The double climax with Efua’s school embarrassment and Lab robbery were ingenious. I loved how it focused on the main characters and subtly showed how their parents and environment largely influenced them. Also, I liked the upsetting but truthful depiction of how Nigerian secondary school students react to ‘scandalous!’ LGBTQIA relations amongst themselves. The narrative had a few unpleasant but important surprises. I loved how Jimi Solade’s flaw as the hero was naivety. A young man dealt a lot of blows intermittently by life within his last days as a senior. Efua Coker could be mistaken for the villain, but is really an amazing anti-hero.

**spoiler alert

Themes of friendship and betrayal ran through the novella. These boldly emphasize the values of family and friendship. This also reminded me of how loved ones can act when hurt, jealous or frightened. I found Jimi to be the more likable brother but felt grave sympathy for irredeemable Wole. Their father blamed their mother for having ‘bad children’, instead of communicating and connecting with his sons. This made me angry and sad because the average Nigerian would make such a statement yet be poor parent. The behaviors of temperamental Mr and indulgent Mrs Solade to Wole were on opposing extremes which wasn’t helpful. One investing time, guidance, love, values and not just money makes one a positively impacting parent.

Expressing admiration is often misconstrued as subtle flirting. Forgetting intimacy isn’t always for lovers, it becomes scandalous, forbidden, embarrassing when two females are intimate. Efua ignoring boys’ interests and requests made it easier for her letter to be misunderstood. It sadly contributed to her humiliation by other students. I did not like that this discrimination occurs in real life either. The environment was as vivid as its characters were real. Settings; the time, psychological and geographical settings of this novella added a warm, life-like quality to this story. Sometimes I was standing at the sandy assembly ground of my secondary school or leaning in between buildings at Forcados High School.

Although it is a material for Joint Admissions & Matriculation Board(JAMB) and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination(UTME). I highly recommend this novella with three bursts of fireworks!