Book Review: Neighborhood Kandii & Neighborhood Kandii 2

Neighborhood Kandii

Authoress Tee Renee

129 pages

December 29th, 2015

B019SRQP1S

(Spoiler Alert)

     I normally do not partake in urban literature but, I want to support my fellow authors by purchasing, reading and reviewing their art.  And seeing as how Authoress Tee Renee has edited my book, Julie, I was eager to indulge in the literature she has published.  I was a little off-put by the slang spelling, but, I was able to catch on.  Because Renee is an editor, I’m sure I was not sent the final copy because the entire book was centered like a long poem.  And the work was riddled with missed punctuation.  There was an inconsistency in the headers of the chapters that made my little author soul cringe.

Neighborhood Kandii opens with Kandace Mitchell cheating on her husband, Troy.  My attention was successfully caught as Chauncey inserted his small penis and Kandii just laid there.  Unfortunately, I can admit that I have been in a similar terrible situation and like Kandii, hated every minute of it.  Unlike Kandii, I didn’t wait till he was done to inform him of his… minute details.  Kandii, the main character, is the Operations Manager at Club 3000 and though she has little time to waste on her marriage, she always seems to find a moment to sleep with Chauncey (who may be her Uncle), Bobby (another supervisor at the club), and Mo (the female bartender).

If I had to pick I’d say, my favorite character is Ebony.  She is just ratchet and mean but, thinks she’s “hood, but classy…”

I couldn’t relate to any of the characters because everyone was sleeping with everyone or cheating.  I kind of felt a little connection to Lucille but, we are not from the same sexual orientation and she used to drop thousands upon thousands of dollars on young prostitutes.

There also wasn’t too much versatility in the characterization.  Everyone sounded like different versions of one person (Ebony in my opinion).  Between that and the offset dialogue, I stayed confused.  There were times when Nikki and Ebony were speaking and the narration would kind of switch so it appeared as if the other person were telling the story.

This being the second book I’ve read from Authoress Tee Renee, I was sadly disappointed.  Especially in the way it ended.  When I turned the page to discover that there were no more chapters, I was downhearted.  But, she did send me Neighborhood Kandii 2 so, I shall be reading that soon.

Neighborhood Kandii 2

215 pages

January 26th, 2016

B01B5BHN66

(spoiler alert)

     This sequel answered all of the questions that the previous book left me with.  And for that, I am pleased.  In fact, everything that failed to impress me with Neighborhood Kandii was not so in this follow-up.

In Neighborhood Kandii by Authoress Tee Renee, there was a lack of distinction between the characters as nearly all of them sounded like the same person.  Everyone appeared to have the same personality.  In Neighborhood Kandii 2, I was able to see characterization.  Ebony was still scheisty but her cousin, Nikki was compassionate.  I couldn’t quite figure Troy out.  He seemed professional and a sucker when women are involved.  But, his whole personality changed whenever he had to interact with a man.  I didn’t know if he was putting on or he came from a different past.  Although Chauncey and JDubb sounded like the same person, JDubb was my favorite character in this book because his little brother turned his back on him after he paid the ultimate price of taking the rap for his brother’s sins.

I did question whether Nikki knew Troy was married or not because, in Neighborhood Kandii, Troy kept reminding her that he didn’t want to have sex because he was married. But, in the sequel, she swears up and down that she didn’t know.  I could not tell if that was an author error or she forgot due to the injuries she suffered from the ass whooping Kandii delivered in the first book.

The book did prove to be far more interesting than the one before it, but what did stand out to me was how the Authoress chose to write her dialogues.  There was never a ‘Nicole stated‘ or ‘Lucille hesitated before saying‘.  And I believe that was the author’s choice and although I am not used to that writing style, it didn’t make the reading hard.  As my mother says, it left room for the imagination.  Because there were times when I was curious as to how people were feeling or what was happening around them, I chose to paint the picture myself.

Collectively, Authoress Te Renee, I give both of these books 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: the Jots & Tittles

The Jots & Tittles

Compiled by: Elder D. H. Bonner

Momentum Publishing

Publication Date: January 10, 2018

244 pages

$17.99

978-0998073408

Ms. Bonner sent the Jots & Tittles to me for review and I was very eager to crack it open but, I soon discovered that this body of work was an anthology composed of five authors.  So, below I have decided to write a separate review for each story.  Let us begin!

Tittles are small distinguishing marks.  It is an integral part of the glyph of i and j.

The Plan by Dr. Joy Lough

Normally, when I receive a new book to review it takes me, on average, about a week to read through.  Between daily life activities and my work schedule, I did not finish in as timely a manner as i had hoped.  Finishing Jots and Tittles has taken me longer than a week to get through.  It has taken me two weeks just to make it through The Plan.  I am writing this review as I have just finished this particular short story and I truly hope that every story after this is supremely better.  I am unsure if Lough had intended to write a story or just a collaboration of sentences.  I was not clear upon the point of these pages.  The minimal dialogue was unnecessarily italicized, the scriptures were random and the content was vague and lacked suspense, drama and character.  If this piece were to be turned into a full length novel, I would not recommend.  I give the Plan 1 out of 5 stars.

 

The Color of Character by Min. Elaine Montford

The Color of Character was a breath of fresh air after reading the previous story.  This is what I thought Christian fiction was; a good story with a spritz of Christianity and Christian morals.  It didn’t have an overuse of Jesus.  It didn’t have unrealistic Christian advice like most Christian pieces.  Even the words of wisdom from the friend in the piece was something a person would need to hear.  Instead of “pray about it” or “God’s got you”.

I particularly liked how this story seemed sort of science fiction incorporating black characters.  My imagination was able to go off on its own tangent but I was still able to relate to the characters.

Montford’s style of writing was easy to read but also reflects that she herself is no novice to this game of writing.  I actually look forward to reading more from her.

I give The Color of Character 4 out of 5 stars.

 

The Other Sister by Elder D. H. Bonner

I loved this piece because I am a pastor’s daughter and this short was birthed from one of my favorite bible stories; the Prodigal Son.  I wish we knew what happened with Deran when she left because I relate to her so much.  Get money and leave ASAP.  My brother is more like Synthia.  He will save every dime and live with my parents before he just jumps out and does something.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this story, there just seemed to be too many holes.  What has Deran been doing for the past two years?  Why was Pastor Marcus at the club?  And why couldn’t he do “this” anymore?  Was he married?  Why was Synthia talking so much about Drake in Marcus’ presence?  And why did she think he and Deran needed to be introduced?

And then it just ended!  I was so lost as to what I was supposed to gain from the story.  And that is why I give The Other Sister 3 out of 5 stars.

(unfortunately my copy of Jots & Tittles was lost in my move from Atlanta to Las Vegas so I am unable to complete this book review at this time.  I will complete once I purchase a new copy.  I am saddened though.  My copy was autographed!)

Book Review: Souls of a Kindred Flame

Souls of A Kindred Flame

By: Derek J. Garlington

Sayville, NY

EH Graphics Publishing

Publication Date: November 1st, 2016

1st Edition

191 pages

$14.95

978-0692777688

Derek J. Garlington is no doubt a most talented author who deserves as much recognition as fellow authors that also encompass the talent to captivate and craft a world for readers to get engulfed in.

Although we both hail from the illustrious Hampton University, I had the pleasure of messaging Garlington via Facebook back in June of 2017.  We briefly spoke about his book and his new film campaign.  I was deeply gratified to discover that he was turning his body of work into a film after having it been released in less than a year’s time.  As we all know, things unexpectedly arise and I unfortunately forgot about Mr. Garlington’s publication.  Nevertheless, it was recoiled in my remembrance and I quickly ordered my paperback copy.

I will describe Souls of a Kindred Flame as fascinatingly stimulating.  It actually put me in the mind of The Door to December by Dean Koontz.  The two are enormously different but equally captivating.  In The Door to December, 9-year old Melanie can see another world or dimension on the same plane as ours.  She developed her abilities by being left for days on end in a sensory deprivation tank.  And her mother struggles to help her because she cannot visualize what threatens her daughter.  In Souls of a Kindred Flame, 18-year old Devinity is a recent high school graduate completely focused on finishing her sketch portfolio in hopes of obtaining a successful career as an artist.  She is young, smart, beautiful and an avid meditator.  Whilst meditating with her MMA fighter boyfriend, Fotigui (pronounced Foe- tee- gi) atop a boulder at the beach, she makes a special connection to the past world.

My favorite aspect of this work was how the author put himself into the story.  The fighting scenes and the moment when Devinity is introduced to the Manifestation Grid are detailed in such a way that my imagination does not have to veer on its own path.  I am unaware of whether Garlington believes in the energies that he wrote about but, he did an outstanding job of explaining the different theories of reincarnation and other dimensions.

That being said, my favorite character in the story was Rachael.  Rachael was full of positive vibes and her belief in spirits and energy made her an interesting character to read about and get attached to.  She had loose blonde dreads, she lived in the woods and she was a connoisseur of the marijuana plant.  As I read, I looked forward to Rachael appearing on the pages.

I do recommend this book as a good read and I highly anticipate the sequel.  Mr. Derek J., I’m going to give Souls of a Kindred Flame 4.5 out of 5 stars.  It had elements that I was not used to reading about and did not disappoint.  Your writing style is one that I thoroughly appreciate and tip my hat to you for.

Book Review: I Had to Let Go

I Had to Let Go

By: Precious Swain

CreateSpace Independent Publishing

30 pages

$5.38

978-1519696137

I must say that I was genuinely disappointed when I opened my box and inside was this brochure-like “book”.  I posted on Facebook that I was slightly perturbed and the author sent me a direct message expressing to me that, “I always keep them between 25-35 pages around an hour read so the reader gets the message. My target demographic aren’t necessarily avid readers so about an hour is all I am going to get out of them.”  When I first read this statement I thought, who’s target demographic is people who do not like to read?  But, then I considered that there may actually be a market for books of this nature.  I pulled back the cover and began to take in the information.

I Had to Let Go is an inspirational piece where Swain conveys her story of suffering in an attempt to assist others through their turmoil.  Upon reading, it is sadly obvious that the author neglected to recruit the assistance of her peers, a professional or even the basic spell check offered in Microsoft Word.  Misspelled words were not an issue but, grammatical errors infected the entire piece.  Before you state that my standards were a tad too high for the work in question, believe me when I say, I adjusted my hopes and requirements when I opened the cardboard box enclosing the 27 pieces of paper.

The lack of consistency was undeniable throughout.  I observed obvious font changes, there were “Important Notes” that were bold at some points and italicized in others.  Scripture sizes varied on nearly every other page.

I think I was most disappointed in the details that seemed to never appear.  Swain expressed having a client in the music industry but neglected her job title.  She mentions events and obstacles but refrains from solid details that we can relate to.  For example, she had a friend that did something to make her abstain from contacting them, then they came back in her life.  And I assume the friend is the client.

Overall, I did not enjoy I Had to Let Go but, before I sat down to write this review, my upstairs neighbor came to me highly upset because her husband of fifteen years had been cheating on her.  When she told him that she had caught him and how, he beat her.  I thought, she may be able to find some form of assistance in this book that I was livid at myself for purchasing.  I told her that it was 27 pages and she immediately replied, “that’s perfect!”  So, there is a market for people who don’t like to read.  And for that, I give I Had to Let Go 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Lost Futures

I have never been more excited to write a book review!

So, I just finished reading Lost Futures by Lisa Tuttle, and I have to say that I have never read a book that grabbed me and shook me the way this one has.  The thing about writing horror is it can be quite challenging to scare someone while reading.  I am currently on a quest to find fear.  I read the horror genre, and while the books are full of suspense and may disturb me, they do not frighten my soul.  I can honestly say while reading Lost Futures and even after reading the novel, I have dreamed about the content and could not stop thinking about the possibilities of myself living in alternate realities.


This book will ruin your life, just like Lost did.  It will be the only thing you think about and care about as you try to understand what is going on!

In this story, Lucy Clare Beckett is a single woman living in Virgil, NY.  She is successful with a career and a home she is proud to have, but she’s noticing a change in herself.  Moments of time is passing without her even realizing it.  Like, looking at the clock and seeing half an hour has passed and thinking, has it been that long?  After a discussion with her best friend, Sophie, Clare considers the possibility of variations of herself living in alternate universes.  For the first time in a long time, Clare is finally able to sleep.  And she dreams that she is married and happy.  An alternate universe.  Another dream, she is living with Sophie and helping her raise her daughter, Molly.  This story takes you along for the ride as Clare battles with her other realities for her real life.
The best part about the ENTIRE BOOK is that she lives these different lives while she’s dreaming.  The conversation on page 2 correlates with the discussion on the last full page of the book!  I mean, just like Lost, mind was blown but still totally confused.  LOL (but a good confused)
The only parts of the book I do not like are when Tuttle switches to the first person.  I realize it is one of Clare’s realities speaking, but, the way of which they speak is so confusing, I’m happy they only narrate for a short while.
Overall, I give this novel 5 stars.  Loved it, Ms. Tuttle!