Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

4.5 stars to this unputdownable novel. The narrative gripped me with its first sentence and captivated me until the very end. The book begins with a trial, 14 years after Angela Wong was murdered by Calvin James. Georgina Shaw is on the stand at his trial testifying to what transpired on that night when she was sixteen years old. After fourteen years of hiding the truth, Angela’s family has closure. But the past holds many secrets and is more complex than anyone imagined. Continue reading

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Roberto to the Dark Tower Came by Tom Epperson

The book opens up with Roberto waking up in the middle of the night to receive a death threat on the phone, and the narrative counts down each day before the unknown man’s deadline. Roberto to the Dark Tower Came is overall a powerful novel about a young journalist in an unnamed South American country fighting for the truth in a region that journalists – and other subversives – are routinely murdered for doing their jobs. Continue reading

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Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

This is an incredibly powerful novel about resilience in the face of adversity and loss. It is about community. It is about taking a stand against the system of oppression, even if it seems hopeless. This is an incredibly difficult read, but it is such an important read. The Bay Area, and Oakland especially, has a long history of activism and holding the police accountable yet there is a long documented history of police brutality there. This novel shines a light on what it is like to be a person of color in Oakland. Compton. Chicago. And countless other cities around the United States. Continue reading

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Tin Man by Sarah Winman

★★★★☆
This is a beautiful tale about first love, friendship, and the ebbs and flows of life. This book packs a lot into its 224 pages, detailing the instant and deep friendship between Ellis and Michael. This is not a linear story, and there are differing perspectives. Continue reading

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