Cecile and Marie-Grace are ten year old girls in New Orleans, 1853 — the year of the big yellow fever outbreak. The girls pull together to help where they can and build a friendship at the same time.
The story itself is fine. I don’t have any beef with the characters (except that they’re almost never together). Switching their perspectives from book to book shows the reader what life was like for a white girl and a free person of color. I didn’t honestly see much of a difference, except for some pretty hard segregation. I’m sure there was more to it than that, and it would have been interesting to learn about. It was interesting to see how primitive their knowledge of medicine and disease were in 1853. If this were just a book for middle-grade kids to read to make history fun, I’d move on and probably never thing about this series again.
I’ve gotta be honest, I didn’t know who Tiffany Haddish was until she hosted Saturday Night Live a few months ago. After a few lines of the monologue, I liked her. I felt like I knew her.
Her book is called The Last Black Unicorn, which was a huge draw for me because I loved The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. I knew when I started reading that Haddish’s Unicorn would be nothing like Beagle’s, but she had my attention.
Lightness follows one of the survivors of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and how she learns to see beauty again.
I had to read this book in small doses because of the subject matte’s gravity. While the “plot” of the book can be summed up tidily, the author pulls us into her head by showing how faulty her memory had become after the attack and by tying her past to her present. She sees the attack everywhere she goes, from the police escort that follows her in Paris, to the statues in Rome, to paintings in the Louvre. She sees her dead colleagues when she experiences things they would have enjoyed.
Jimmy is a 15 year with some demands for the Devil (wishes, to be specific). As you might expect, ol’ Satan had his own ideas.
This story is an easy, quick read that left me smiling the whole way through. It has moments of humor, thoughtfulness, and because we’re dealing with a character as basal as Satan, it challenges ingrained ideas.