Title: I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

Author: Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks

The Blurb

From #OwnVoices debut author duo Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones comes a page-turning and timely story about two teenage girls—one black, one white—who only have each other to get through the violent race riots enveloping their city over the course of one night.

Lena and Campbell aren’t friends.

Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big.

Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

The Review

I read an awful lot of books and it is always nice to be able to read a book that surprises me. With the amount that I read you would think that there would be few topics that I haven’t read a book about. However, I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones did just that.

The story follows two teenage girls – Lena and Campbell – as they traverse a night fraught with racial panic and riots. The two girls – who have very little in common – have to band together to make it through. As we watch their story unfold we see them both develop a respect if not a friendship towards each other.

Segal and Jones have used I’m Not Dying With You Tonight to highlight the very potent nature of race relations and how people of an ethnic minority are still persecuted on a daily basis. They haven’t tried to glorify or indeed downplay racism. We see it through the eyes of people who observe it. It is voices like Segal and Jones that make YA fiction so relevant and more importantly, necessary.

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones is available now.

For more information regarding Gilly Segal (@really_gilly) please visit www.gillysegal.com.

For more information regarding Kimberly Jones (@kimlatricejones) please visit www.kimjoneswrites.com.

For more information regarding Sourcebooks (@Sourcebooks) please visit www.sourcebooks.com.

She Caused A RiotTitle: She Caused a Riot – 100 Unknown Women Who Built Cities, Sparked Revolutions, and Massively Crushed It

Author: Hannah Jewell

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks

The Blurb

Often women in history are made to sound as if they spent their entire life sighing, and gently rebuking their oppressors. That isn’t how life works, and it never has been. The empowering, no-holds-barred history book She Caused a Riot gives 100 powerful examples of women getting their hands dirty, and inspires a courageous new movement to do the same.

The Review

Who knew that there were so many wonderful, talented, world changing women in the world? Not a lot of us because sadly women aren’t as celebrated throughout history as men have been. Don’t get me wrong, men have made some amazing contributions to how we live now and world history but so have women; a lot of them.

This is the subject of Hannah Jewell’s book She Caused a Riot. Through this book we traverse through time and space (world space not like interplanetary space) and look at the amazing women who have – as the extended title of this book suggests – crushed it.

Hannah Jewell’s acerbic sarcasm is so hilarious to read. She makes it very clear how much she thinks that the patriarchy sucks and you find yourself chuckling away with yourself as you read this it. I happened to be reading it in a hospital waiting room. Didn’t make me look strange, not one bit.

I made a mistake when I read She Caused a Riot. I tried to read it all in one go when really I should have dipped in and out of it. Especially when I had something coming up that made me feel like I needed the inner strength of one of the 100 women featured in She Caused a Riot. Never mind. It was still a jolly good, eye-opening book.

She Caused a Riot – 100 Unknown Women Who Built Cities, Sparked Revolutions, and Massively Crushed It by Hannah Jewell is available now.

For more information regarding Hannah Jewell (@hcjewell) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Sourcebooks (@Sourcebooks) please visit www.sourcebooks.com.

35 Stars

Seven Letters from ParisThe Blurb

Twenty years, seven letters, and one long-lost love of a lifetime

At age 40, Samantha Verant’s life is falling apart-she’s jobless, in debt, and feeling stuck… until she stumbles upon seven old love letters from Jean-Luc, the sexy Frenchman she’d met in Paris when she was 19. With a quick Google search, she finds him, and both are quick to realize that the passion they felt 20 years prior hasn’t faded with time and distance.

Samantha knows that jetting off to France to reconnect with a man that she only knew for one sun-drenched, passion-filled day is crazy-but it’s the kind of crazy she’s been waiting for her whole life.

The Review

Well, wow. Samantha Verant is living in her own romantic movie. Who manages to reconnect with a past love, whom lives in a whole other continent, after twenty years and have it all work out? This is exactly what happened for the author of Seven Letters from Paris. She lived the freaking fairy tale. I’m not going to lie, this is the fairy story I have always wanted to have…except for the living twenty years apart…but all the other stuff, I am totally on board with.

Strangely, I had recently read a very similar book (reviewed last week on LisaTalksAbout) by another writer. A memoir of someone in a loveless marriage who finds love – all with a Parisian connection, so I was a bit put out by that. Obviously, this is no one’s fault. It is just a freaky-deaky coincidence. I must admit that it did make me enjoy the book less. Not because Seven Letters from Paris isn’t good – it really is – but more from the fact that I felt I was reading another writer’s version of a story I had already read. Both books were memoirs. It couldn’t be helped.

Seven Letters from Paris is a great story for the hopeless romantic, those who have been scorned by love but still believe in the magic of love. This is the kind of book that gives the loveless hope. It is enjoyable and who doesn’t love a happy ending?

Give Seven Letters from Paris a read. It is well worth it.

Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir by Samantha Verant is available now.

35 Stars

The Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendThe Blurb

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended.

Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that’s almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend’s memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life.

But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town.

Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

The Review

Firstly, let me just say that I am full of warm and happy feelings right now. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald is a lovely, wonderful and heart-warming story and one that was a pleasure to read.

The story focuses on a small Podunk town in Iowa called Broken Wheel. Sara, a young Swedish girl has gone to visit her pen-friend Amy. Unfortunately, on the day that Sara arrives she finds out that Amy has recently died. The whole town take Sara under their wind and Sara pays them back in the best possible way…through the love of books.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend appealed to me based wholly on the title. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am swayed by title and book cover. What was completely wonderful is that the inside of the book was just as lovely as the outside. It had warmth to it, a gentle build up of story. It wasn’t all bells and whistles with mindboggling escapades so if you are looking for the thrill factor then this isn’t for you.

What I loved more than anything is that Katarina Bivald (and indeed translator Alice Menzies) has managed to verbalise the love of books. It is one that I, myself, have often struggled to describe in an adequate way.

Overall, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald is lovely. That is probably the best way to describe it. Lovely.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald is available now.

4 Stars