March Book Reviews

Can you believe we are already in April? This is blowing my mind. I have a few things going on in April. I have a challenge with co workers to work out, I have a birthday at the end of this month, and I have a goal of reading 2 books. I know I will get it all done. So! What did I read in March?! See below!

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Good Reads Synopsis:

The first novel in a captivating three-book series about modern womanhood, in which a young Black woman must rely on courage, laughter, and love—and the support of her two longtime friends—to overcome an unexpected setback that threatens the most precious thing she’s ever wanted.

Tabitha Walker is a black woman with a plan to “have it all.”  At 33 years old, the checklist for the life of her dreams is well underway. Education? Check. Good job? Check. Down payment for a nice house? Check. Dating marriage material? Check, check, and check. With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a “paper-perfect” boyfriend, and even a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, everything seems to be falling into place.

Then Tabby receives an unexpected diagnosis that brings her picture-perfect life crashing down, jeopardizing the keystone she took for granted: having children. With her dreams at risk of falling through the cracks of her checklist, suddenly she is faced with an impossible choice between her career, her dream home, and a family of her own.

With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the mom jeans-wearing former “Sexy Lexi,” and the generational wisdom of her grandmother and the nonagenarian firebrand Ms. Gretchen, Tabby explores the reaches of modern medicine and tests the limits of her relationships, hoping to salvage the future she always dreamed of. But the fight is all consuming, demanding a steep price that forces an honest reckoning for nearly everyone in her life. As Tabby soon learns, her grandmother’s age-old adage just might still be true: Black girls must die exhausted.

Shoedooo’s Review:

Jayne Allen kept my attention in this book. The book is about a mid thirties black woman in LA, navigating family, friends, what she thinks is love, and fertility issues. Tabitha is at an all time high navigating becoming Senior reporter until she receives news that her egg reserve is diminishing. This causes her to evaluate her love interest Marc , who informs her he is not ready for marriage or kids.

We watch Tabby navigate her friendships, the in between of that as well as navigating her own family turbulence and coming to terms with her imperfectly perfect family. Overall I really enjoyed the book and recommend if you like fiction that feels real, to read this book.

The book kept my attention, and I was able to relate to some of the dilemmas the characters navigate through in this first installment Allen’s book series. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Do you plan on reading this book? Comment below and let me know!

Black Girls Must Be Magic by Jayne Allen

Good Reads Synopsis:

In this highly anticipated second installment in the Black Girls Must Die Exhausted series, Tabitha Walker copes with more of life’s challenges and a happy surprise–a baby–with a little help and lots of love from friends old and new.

For Tabitha Walker, her grandmother’s old adage, “Black girls must die exhausted” is becoming all too true. Discovering she’s pregnant–after she was told she may not be able to have biological children–Tabitha throws herself headfirst into the world of “single mothers by choice.” Between her job, doctor’s appointments, and preparing for the baby, she’s worn out. And that’s before her boss at the local news station starts getting complaints from viewers about Tabitha’s natural hair.

When an unexpected turn of events draws Marc–her on and off-again ex-boyfriend–back into her world with surprising demands, and the situation at work begins to threaten her livelihood and her identity, Tabitha must make some tough decisions about her and her baby’s future. It takes a village to raise a child, and Tabitha turns to the women who have always been there for her.

Bolstered by the fierce support of Ms. Gretchen, her grandmother’s best friend, the counsel of her closest friends Laila and Alexis, and the calming presence of her doula Andouele, Tabitha must find a way to navigate motherhood on her own terms. Will she harness the bravery, strength, and self-love she’ll need to keep “the village” together, find her voice at work, and settle things with Marc before the baby arrives?

Shoedooo’s Review:

This is book 2 in the series that Jayne Allen is writing. Once again she did not fail me! The book is about a mid thirties black woman in LA, navigating pregnancy, family, friends, what she thinks is love, for herself and others. Tabitha is a new Senior reporter who is battling viewers who do not like her change in hair on TV. This causes her to evaluate her self, and if she should meet others standards of comfort.

We watch Tabby navigate her pregnancy, Marc her on and off again boyfriend, how he people pleases which brings to light how she does it in her life. Grandma Tabby’s friend who is in her 90’s is hilarious in this book and helps Tabby navigate finding the comfort in who she is no matter who feels uncomfortable about it. Overall I really enjoyed the book and recommend if you like fiction that feels real, to read this book.

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

Goodreads Synopsis:

A twisty, compelling new novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.

It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation.

Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her children, and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?

Fractured relationships and deep family secrets grow more compelling with every page in this twisty, captivating new novel from Sally Hepworth.

Shoedooo’s Review:

Sally Hepworth did a great job on this book. It is a mystery book, but with a slow burn. The character development to me was good given the setting and circumstances.

We began with main character Lucy at her home with her husband and children being informed her mother -in – law, Diana, is dead. Things begin to unfold from there. As we glimpse from the present to the past from Lucy, and Diana’s view, we learn just how complicated, and secretive each of the characters are.

Lucy wants approval from her mother-in law, and it always out of reach. Nettie desperately wants children, and it affects her in surprising ways. Ollie has a business venture that he keeps hidden from his wife. Diana is rich and practical, which her children seem to despise.

As we untangle the present with the past, we learn who Diana is as well as who each of the characters are and how they play a role in her life. Hepworth did an great job of explaining who Diana is. Learning Diana’s point-of-view, helped me warm to her character and have empathy for her.

Overall, this one drew me in, and kept me engrossed throughout. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to a person who likes great multi-character development. 

So I have read 8/15 books. Can you say I am on a roll? Yes. Will I read more? Yes.

By the way, none of these books were purchased. I choose to read through my local Library on the Libby app within the Harris County Public Library Branches! Check them out!

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