#BookReview: Small Great Things by @jodipicoult is more than just ‘a great read’; it’s a movement.

We are all familiar with the hashtag on social media #BlackLivesMatter. Yet I didn’t come face to face with it until I read Jodi Picoult’s newest masterpiece, Small Great Things.

Following the main characters through vignette like first-person accounts of the story we meet Ruth Jefferson, the woman this story is centered around. Ruth Jefferson is a 20 year nurse at West Haven Mercy Hospital and is working when the Bauer’s come in because Brit Bauer is in labor is ready to deliver her baby. Ruth Jefferson is a neonatal nurse and a mother herself. Her husband died while serving in Afghanistan.

Instantly, you relate to Ruth and connect with her.

So it equally pisses you off when a wonderful woman like Ruth who was just doing her job is suddenly under investigation for murder, and not just any murder.

The murder of Davis Bauer, newborn son of Brit and Turk Bauer, known white supremacists.


Picoult weaves a story that shows literary merit but relevance in today’s racism-driven society, one that shares the struggle each person goes through when living based on skin color, or judged solely by it.

It’s brilliant. And I recommend you read it NOW. Get to your local bookstore and buy a copy for you and a friend or family member. It may be Picoult’s 24th book and 9th best-seller but it showcases Picoult’s true talent of writing literature that isn’t limited by time but instead exceeds beyond her years in wisdom, words, and grace.jodi-picoult-435


I’m holding a fundraiser to benefit The Smart Cookie Philes and Metropolitan Ministries! Want to help out? Check out the link below. Can’t donate? No worries. Just share the campaign by retweeting the tweet below or by sharing the campaign via the webpage.

#BookReview: Behold The Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Within America, even the America we know today, comes the finest pixie dust blowing between the New York City buildings and inside houses during Florida summers while the air conditioner cools down teenagers on summer breaks who sit staring at their smartphones waiting for school to start again.

This same pixie dust gives birth to the American dream most of us have let go of like a hard exhale after a runner’s morning jog. Yet, to country outsiders who are oppressed in their home countries by governments that aren’t democracies, they are exhilarated by the hope of a better life and a better job in the greatest country this world still can’t figure out: land of the free and home of the brave.

This is the theme and underlying heartbeat to Behold The Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, a debut author who herself has not only studied the craft of writing a best-selling novel but has herself lived to tell the tale.

It beautifully crafts the story of Cameroon native Jende Jonga who has immigrated to Harlem and finally landed the greatest opportunity he could ever dream of in his career- as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Encompassing themes of racism, illegal immigration, marriage, wealth, and spirituality without missing a step or a word misplaced. All in all, no trap door in the American dream is missed but only if you are up to the challenge of reading between the lines. This book is nothing less than a must read!


Imbolo Mbue is a native of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for over a decade, she lives in New York City. BEHOLD THE DREAMERS is her first novel. And like any real extremely talented artist, she is not on social media.

MAGIX Music Maker

#BookReview: Joyride @byannabanks

The first time I ever saw Anna Banks, I thought she was the coolest person in the room. I admired her personality and how she could command the authority of every eye in the room not with just her good looks but also because she had a brain and clever one-liners. There, in a lecture hall, at Saint Leo University, I vowed that one day when I was a best-selling author, I would be as cool and confident as Anna was that day.


Just as the author herself made me want to be her when I grew up, her writing does the same thing to anyone who dares to not get hooked by the authenticity of her characters and the social issues her books discuss. Being that I knew she was a best-selling author of the Syrena Legacy, I knew her writer was going to be far from mediocre. Yet, one thing I wasn’t aware of is how quickly her writing took me out of this world and into the world of Carly Vega.

Carly Vega is just like any other teenager except that her home life is anything but pristine. She studies hard, and works every available shift at the Breeze Mart just to take care of her and her brother who live together in a trailer park. And before you go and judge her, you should watch what you say around Carly because she’ll put you in your place if she thinks you’ve stepped over the line. And she is cool with going unnoticed and not being an unruly teenager.

That is until she meets Arden Moss, former star quarterback and the town sheriff’s daughter.

Not only did I find myself relating to Carly on a personal level but this story will take you on the ride of your life from page one. I’m not even kidding.

Banks grips you with romantic plotlines and witty remarks said by characters that go from being ethnically defined on page one to being a human you both admire and want to be friends with someday. and a hero you root for. Banks’ Joyride mentions current social issues like illegal immigration and racism but she uses clever plotlines to make you fall in love with the character as a human and start to see that maybe people shouldn’t be defined by ethnic heritage but as who they are as humans, as people.

I’m pleased to announce that in order to get the whole world in on the Joyride bandwagon, I am hosting a new giveaway. 10 winners will win either a Joyride bookmark or a Joyride sticker signed by NYT best-selling author and Florida native, Anna Banks.

Just enter this Rafflecopter giveaway and you’re all set. Winners will be announced 1 month from today!

Joyride Giveaway

To get to know more about the extremely cool Anna Banks, follow her On Twitter and check her website for more information about her other books and upcoming releases.





#BookReview: The Cilantro in Apple Pie by @knightsley

I love YA  novels but one thing I love is when I am automatically gripped by a character in a YA novel. Something about them resonates with you because as you keep reading, you find that they are a mirror of you, in some way.

I was surprised that I found myself mirrored in the character Rubie Keane, a sixteen year old from Trinidad and Tobago, who speaks the dialect and really seems like a fish out of water in her new school, Lumiere Prep. She really starts getting attention when the school’s most popular A-lister, Gil Stromeyer. He is drawn to Rubie and foils her plans to be overlooked in her new life in Boston.

What I love most about Knights’s writing is that it speaks loud and proud to both her own culture (the author was born and raised there just like Rubie) and how she takes the reader to school not only about Trini culture but hits on common social issues of today such as racism and mental illness. Yet, she weaves a gripping story from start to finish that ties all these ingredients together like one delicious and flavorful recipe. For a debut novel from an indie author, this looks to be a rare but meant-to be destiny for Knights much like watching a shooting star glitter a foggy night. Looking forward to more from this author.


The author is holding a giveaway via her facebook page  where you can enter to win a Cilantro in Apple Pie tote bag and a $25 Amazon gift card.

You can find her also on Twitter here. View the book trailer for The Cilantro in Apple Pie below.