Review: The Love Sisters Series by Christina C. Jones

CCJ blog

Am I the only one that looks for book recommendations even though my TBR list is ten miles long? When I saw this series recommended not once, but twice in the same week…well, you know I had to get to reading lol. Simply said, I devoured this series in no time! Each book focuses on one of three Love sisters.

I Think I Might Love You 

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“I Think I Might Love You” was the first book that I have read by Christina C. Jones. This book focuses on Jaclyn Love. She is a hot mess but she’s working on it and I love her! I knew I was in for a good read as soon as the book started lol. This book was absolutely hilarious! I definitely laughed my way through the entire story. It was a very cute romance with very relatable characters. I love how the story naturally progressed. It did not feel rushed at all. I absolutely love Jaclyn and Kadan. ❤

Highlights of this book included a hilarious scene with Miss Thing. 

I Think I Might Need You

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“I Think I Might Need You” is the second installment of the “Love Sisters Series”. This installment focuses on Joia Love. This story gave me all the feels and I loved Joia and Teddy’s relationship, although Joia did work a nerve a time or two, lol. The plot was super sweet and even a little unexpected. Teddy, Teddy, Teddy. ❤

Highlight of this book… “Man…give me my baby. I’m about to go.”- Teddy 

 I Think I Might Want You

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“I Think I Might Want You” is the final book in the “Love Sisters” series and it focuses on Jemma Love. I hated to see it come to an end but this book definitely ended everything with a bang. This was the steamiest of all three books. I loved Jemma and Levi’s relationship. Both are dealing with their own personal issues and issues with love. I also enjoyed getting an update on everyone in the epilogue. I’m always sad when it’s time to say goodbye to the characters I’ve grown attached to but this series ended perfectly. ❤

Highlight of this book was the epilogue ( and did I mention the steaminess?!) 

Final Thoughts

   I enjoyed this series so much. The sisterhood that Jaclyn, Joia, and Jemma had was amazing. Not only were they sisters but they were best friends as well and I loved it. Overall, these were just fun, realistic reads and I’m so glad I read them. Sidenote: look at those adorable covers.

I enjoyed each book but if I had to put it in order from my most favorite it would be:

I Think I Might Love You

I Think I Might Want You

I Think I Might Need You

I have claimed my seat in the Christina C. Jones fan club. Definitely looking forward to reading more from her in the very near future.  

 

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

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1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020:
 
The books pictured are my top 5 of the year so far.  I have really read some great books this year so far and definitely could not narrow it down to one, lol.
 
2. Best Sequel You Read So Far in 2020
 
Down Among the Sticks and Bones ( Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire
 
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:
 
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
 
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
 
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
 
There’s Always Hope by Johnni Sherri
 
A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir
 
5. Biggest disappointment
 
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
 
6. Biggest surprise
 
A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum
 
7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you)
 
New to Me-Alexandra Warren
Debut- Holly Jackson
 
8. Newest fictional crush
 
Jah from Jah by Alexandria House
 
9. Newest favorite character
 
 Paris from the Heartbreak U duology by Johnni Sherri
 
10. Book that made you cry
 
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
 
11. Book that made you happy
 
I Think I Love You by Christina C. Jones
 
12.  Most beautiful book you’ve acquired this year
 
Although the release date was pushed back until 2021, it would definitely have to be The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. Stunning cover and the book is amazing! 
 
13. Favorite Review You’ve Written this Year
 
“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
 
14.  Six books you need to read by the end of the year?
Carter Girls by Desiree
Haunted by CCJ
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson
Happiness in Jersey by Jacinta Howard
Storm and Fury by Jennifer Armentrout.

July TBR

Banner (1)   As some of you may already know…. I’m going on a book buying ban for the month of July *yikes* . It just has to be done lol. I have about a hundred physical books and literally thousands of ebooks that I need to read. So for the month of July, I’m going to concentrate on those as well as some ARCs that I need to catch up on. Hopefully, I can make a little dent and feel better about all these books I own that have yet to be read, lol.

I’ve found that I don’t really like making TBR lists for the month because I’m such a mood reader and very rarely stick to it unless it is an ARC or book club read. I don’t know which books I will get to personally for July but here are some that I know I will be reading for sure. 🙂

  1. 8 Seconds to Love by Monica Walters- Book Club Discussion
  2. Bless Your Heart by AshleyNicole- Book Club Discussion
  3. You Should See Me in A Crown by Leah Johnson -Book Club Discussion
  4. A Special ARC that I can’t wait to tell you guys about. -Book Tour
  5. She. in the color blu by Milo Khoeli- Read/Review

*Disclaimer* There are certain stipulations to my book buying  ban LOL! Fingers crossed!

   What books are you planning on reading in July?

June Wrap-Up

Hey y’all! The month of June just zoomed right by! I have to admit that I did not get as much reading done as I had anticipated. I did manage to finish eleven books. They were:

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The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson- 4 stars

Well-Read Black Girl (Anthology)-4 stars

I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones- 5 stars

The Passport by Nako- 4 stars

Money Devils 1 by Ashley  & JaQuavis- Review coming closer to release date

Last Chance to Love by B. Love- 5 stars

The Delay by Danielle Allen- 4.5 stars

Unfinished by Daynice Cochran- Rives

#birthdaygoals by AshleyNicole-4 stars

This Is My America by Kim Johnson- 5 stars

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett- 4.5 stars

I did not “DNF” any books this month so that’s a plus 😊

Physical Books I Added to My Collection

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Butterfly 2 by Ashley Antoinette

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

If Only For the Summer by Alexandra Warren

eBooks I Added to My Collection

Haunted By Christina C. Jones

Finding Forever by Christina C. Jones

Love & Other Things by Christina C. Jones

Strictly Professional by Christina C. Jones

The Trouble with Love: a tale of two sisters by Christina C. Jones

The Makings of You by Xila Jaye

The Hand on the Wall ( Truly Devious 3) by Maureen Johnson

Mahogany: The Love Drought Series by Nako

In Case You Missed It:

Ten Tips To Get Out of a Reading Slump

Self-Care Sunday 

Follow Me

Goodreads: Carla 

Instagram: The Rantings of a Book Addict 

How many books did you read in June? Any standouts? Any upcoming July releases that you are anticipating? Thanks for reading ❤

Review: “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett

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Synopsis

“From The New York Times -bestselling author of The Mothers , a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.”

My Review

4.5/5 stars

“All there was to being white was acting like you were.”

I have been hearing about “ The Vanishing Half” for some time now. Even though it is not in a typical genre that I would rush to check out, something just drew me to this book. On a whim, I decided to read it and I am so glad that I did.

At first, I was a little taken aback by the alternating timelines and scenes that wove between past and present and back again, sometimes very abruptly and without warning. I quickly fell into step with Brit Bennett’s amazing storytelling and did not want the book to end. This is not just Desiree and Stella’s story. It is also Jude and Kennedy’s. I loved the various point of views. The characters came alive and were very well developed. Each character in this story served as a  piece of a puzzle and it was so enthralling to sit back and watch the pieces fall into place.  Stella was a character that infuriated me, but I also pitied her at the same time. Colorism has been a huge issue in the Black community for quite some time. “Passing” is not unheard of. “The Vanishing Half” puts these issues straight to the forefront. It was truly thought-provoking, emotional, and poignant.  I would definitely recommend. I look forward to reading more from Brit Bennett in the future.

ARC Review: “This Is My America” by Kim Johnson

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Synopsis:

Dear Martin meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting YA novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.

Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

Fans of Nic Stone and Jason Reynolds won’t want to miss this provocative and gripping debut.”

My Review:

5/5 stars

Time is running out…

Seven years ago, Tracy’s dad was arrested for murder. A murder Tracy is sure he did not commit. With his execution date drawing near, Tracy will stop at nothing to prove his innocence. But everything comes to a halt when Tracy’s brother, Jamal, is accused of murdering a white classmate. Will Tracy be able to save them both or will her family crumble ?

Time is running out…

“This is My America” is a glimpse at real life racial issues in America. While reading, I had to remind myself that this book was not set in the 1960’s but instead is set in the modern-day United States. This book touched on a variety of complex issues when it comes to race in America. The media’s bias was one of them. We see it every time we turn on the news. Other topics included lack of diversity , interracial relationships, duty versus self, and various areas of systematic racism . This book was heavy and even a little difficult to read at times given the present climate of the country. But it was so needed and necessary.

In short, this book held my attention from page one. There were moments that I was overcome by grief, by rage, by hope. The characters were all well developed and each one served a purpose. I loved the mystery aspect of it as well. As a mother to a Black male, this book definitely resonated with me in many, many ways. Tracy is a fierce, determined female lead who will stop at nothing to protect her family . I am in awe that this is a debut novel. I also enjoyed reading the author’s note and list of resources that were included at the end of the book. I cannot wait to get a physical copy for my bookshelf. Definitely a must read in my opinion. Perfect for fans of The Hate You Give, Just Mercy, Dear Martin, and more.

 

Release Date: July 28th

10 Tips to Get Out of a Reading Slump

10 Tips to Get Out of a Reading

Hey there! Carla here and this week I’m bringing you ten tips to help  get out of a reading slump. We have all been there. You feel like reading but nothing you pick up holds your interest. It’s not because the book isn’t good or anything like that. You just simply cannot get in the mood to read. Have no fear! I have compiled ten easy ways to help you get out of the dreaded reading slump.

  1. Switch genres. This is a big one for me. For instance, after reading psychological thrillers back to back to back, things start blending together and I can find myself slipping into a slump. This is when I know it is time to switch it up and go to another genre. Usually I will go for something that is the complete opposite. Maybe a fantasy or an urban fiction book. Changing genres is a great way to get out of a slump.
  2. Try a shorter book. Sometimes after I have read a super long book, I just want something short and straight to the point. Short stories or novellas often do the trick. It is an added bonus that the shorter the book, the easier it is for you to fly through. When I finish, I am often ready to hop right into another book.
  3. Step away from the books. Give yourself time to miss reading. Focus on some other hobbies. Maybe you want to start up a garden or do some redecorating in your house. Maybe you want to catch up on some Netflix or Hulu shows. The point is that it is ok to not be in the mood to read. Take a day or two to really focus on other things. In other words, embrace the slump! It will not last forever. I pinky promise.
  4. Reread an old favorite. Now those of you who know me know that I am not a re-reader. I may go back and revisit favorite quotes or certain scenes, but I don’t reread the whole book. However, I know that rereading is very common, and it just might be the key to taking you out of your reading slump. It can be like revisiting an old friend. You may find comfort in your favorite read and that just might be the key to pulling you out of the slump.
  5. This next one kind of ties into the last one. Instead of rereading an old favorite, try checking out another book by the same author. For instance, “An Affair in Munthill” by Takerra Allen is one of my favorite books. I might check Amazon or my local bookstore to see if she has any new releases out ( she doesn’t by the way 😦 ) in the hopes that I would fall in love with that one as well.

       6. Try something totally new. Try  reading something  from a genre that you normally would not read. Step outside of your reading comfort zone. You might find that you like it!

  1. Put the phone away! I am so guilty of this. I sit down to read a book but three minutes later I find myself immersed in my phone checking emails, Facebook, Instagram, and more. Not to mention the constant interruptions of notifications, text messages and phone calls. Put your phone on the opposite side of the room or turn it off completely if possible. I know…easier said than done lol.
  2. Y’all are going to love this one! ….Visit a bookstore. That’s right. Take a walk through your local bookshop or browse some bookstores online. Take the time to read the descriptions. Maybe even check out a few pages. Browse through those books. Something is bound to pique your interest!
  3. Join a book club. With everything going on in the world with Covid-19, I am no longer a part of a physical book club at the moment. Fortunately, I am a part of many Facebook book club groups. It is so motivating to see others reading, discussing books, offering recommendations, claiming their book baes, and simply loving books. Yassss! I am here for it! I have come across so many new to me authors due to recommendations from online book club members. Added bonus: more book friends!
  4. Switch the format. Usually a physical copy reader? Try listening to an audiobook or reading on an eReader. Switch it up every now and then. I usually flip flop between physical copies and my kindle.

How do you get out of a book slump? I would love to hear from you! As always, thanks for reading! ❤

Can’t Wait Wednesday (#4)

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings. The purpose of Can’t Wait Wednesday is to put the spotlight on unreleased books that I can’t wait to read. For this week’s Can’t Wait Wednesday, I’ve chosen “ When No One is Watching” by Alyssa Cole.

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Here’s the synopsis:

“Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?”

  Why I Can’t Wait

Getout meets Rear Window? Thriller?! Count me all the way in!

Goodreads Monday (#7)

It’s Monday so you know what that means! Time for another Goodreads Monday! This segment is brought to us by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do is pick a random book off  of  your Goodreads to-read list and highlight it! For this Goodreads Monday, I chose ” Dear Martin” by Nic Stone.

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Synopsis

“Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.”

I ordered two copies in hopes of buddy reading it with my son who is 13.