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Kenny Loves to Read

I'm an avid reader and I also love to write. Hopefully my reviews will help people find their next favourite book.

Currently reading

How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life
Caroline Webb
Don Quixote
John Ormsby, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Stay with Me - Adebayo Ayobami

This was a great read with a few unexpected twists which kept me turning the pages late at night. My only gripe was that the drip feeding of the political climate seemed forced and didn't add anything to the story. In fact, there was a particular scene which I'm convinced was introduced for shock value and yet it failed to hit the mark. I grew up in Nigeria in the 80s and 90s so recognised pretty much everything decribed and yet it all felt like an add on. Other than that, I loved the way the real story of Yejide and Akin unfolded and the raw honesty of the characters' emotions. Highly recommended.

China Rich Girlfriend: A Novel - Kevin Kwan

Utterly pleased with this second installation in the crazy rich, fickle and idiotic people series. Once you get used to the ludicrously lavish and indulgent world the characters live in from the first book, it's so much easier to see and enjoy their lives as almost normal. Almost. There are still some things nobody can excuse. I particularly loved the way the older generation scrimped on basic things like hotel bottled water yet spurlged on the most ridiculous luxuries. And yes, I will be buying the next book. I need to see how things pan out for quite a few of the characters.

Arrow of God - Chinua Achebe

Another engrossing story from Achebe who very eloquently and fluidly relays the traditional rituals of the Igbos through the lives of his characters. I really enjoyed reading about Ezeulu and his large and colourful household. His love-hate relationship with the rest of the village(s) and his encounter with the British colonisers was very well played out. The end felt a bit rushed and abrupt though with everything sort of wrapped up in the last few pages (very much like in Things Fall Apart). Maybe this was just Achebe's writing style, but it left me feeling wanting, inspite of the overall great read. It's still a book I'd recommend, plus I definitely enjoyed reading all those beautifully rich Igbo words.

Who's That Girl? - Mhairi McFarlane

I have to admit, I was expecting this to be just another wishy washy chic lit with a catchy name and funny tagline (I've clearly read far too many), but 'Who's that girl' had me hooked from the first chapter until the very last word. It was witty and believable and I actually found I really liked the protagonist so I cared about what she was going through. Yes it was a tad bit predictable in soms areas but there is nothing new under the sun, as they say. It probably also helped that it was set in Nottingham, a city I studied at, so I enjoyed recognising so many of the places mentioned. Anyway, highly recommended.

Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe

This is a great capture of Igbo culture, much of which is still relevant today for Igbo people. Entertaining and memorable characters but I thought the book ended a little abruptly with not much of a conclusion for some key secondary characters. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to get a true taste of Igbo culture before the infiltration of Western influences. Looking forward to reading the two remaining books in the African Trilogy.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge

It doesn't matter your race, age, class, gender, I would recommend everyone reads this book. Whether or not you agree with everything the author says (I know I don't), you'll be sure to learn something new about the topic and reality of racial discrimination in today's British society, you'll question yourself over things you hadn't ever stopped to consider and you will see the world a little differently. The most harrowing chapters for me were the first two which were based on the history of slavery in the UK and the institutional racism people of colour still face today. As a black woman working in a very white male dominated construction industry I find myself in awkward situations which quite a lot of people seem to be comfortable with or have no recognition of, which echoes a lot of what Reni has written about. The struggle is very real but I want to believe that books like this, controversial as they may seem, will continue to keep the debate alive and relevant and not just turn the subject of race into a box ticking exercise as we so often see. Well worth the read.

Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan

Ah, the lives of the obscenely rich and famous! The wealth described in this book was sure to make even the most content of us wonder what it would be like to be THAT stupidly rich and never have to worry about losing sleep over an unpaid bill. Or maybe it was just me, ha! I really liked Rachel and Astrid, both came across as strong, rational women so I was rooting for them all the way. Okay, Astrid may have been a little naive about somethings but I still liked the light she was painted in. Nick on the other hand...soooooooooo naive! I wanted to reach into the pages and shake him every single time he said money didn't matter. If he had lived a sheltered life, it would have made sense but he lived and worked in NY as a professor, so he must have understood that yatch and jet owning would make a difference to someone who's mum put herself through night school to become an estate agent. I mean, really!? Anyway, overall I really enjoyed this crazy, crazy story of excess and drama. The footnotes annoyed the hell out of me at first, but then I got used to ignoring them, most of the time. I didn't realise this was part of a series so I was a little surprised at the almost abrupt ending but I guess this mean I will be tucking into books 2 and 3 very soon...now time to go watch the movie!

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah

Wow! What a great read. I'm not a fan of non-fiction or memoirs but this was truly interesting, funny and weirdly relatable. Almost unbelievable to think that he lived this life but that's probably what makes it such a good book for a fiction reader like me. I found myself laughing at horrific scenes I should have been shocked at but, with the comedic tone he writes in, I'm fairly certain that this was Noah's intention. His storytelling style started to jar a little at some point towards the end but once I started reading that last chapter, I knew this would be one I'd be recommending to everyone.

Love and Other Wounds: Stories - Jordan Harper

Some really good stories but some completely missed the mark for me. All pretty gritty and violent, which isn't for everyone, so bear that in mind.

The Secret Life of Violet Grant - Beatriz Williams

This book was everything I didn't realise I was looking for, and more! Totally blew me away. The style, the plot, the end, everything. I know I'm gushing a bit but I really loved how Vivian's story was told and how Violet's played out beside hers. Can't recommend this enough.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick

Not sure I would ever have read this if it wasn't for the movie adaptation but I enjoyed it. I think it may have been more powerful back in the time it was written but there were enough thought provoking elements to keep it feeling relevant for me. It's pretty different from the movie so don't expect it to be similar.

The House at the End of Hope Street - Menna van Praag I didn't dislike this book but I can't say I liked it either, so I'm a little bit torn. I guess it doesn't help that I had 4 protagonists to potentially connect with and I felt absolutely nothing for all 4 of them. The story got a little but interesting with Alba's parents' romance but fell flat for me outside of that. Its not badly written but I just wish I liked it a whole lot more.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean - Jenny Han

Hmmm, I'm done but still don't know what the point of this third book in the series is. There wasn't really a definitive plot or real conflict or goal, not like the first two books which I really enjoyed. I feel disappointed but I guess my expectations were high and some people may like the way things played out just for the sake of having a trilogy. I still enjoyed reading about Lara Jean and Peter but I can't understand why this final book was needed at all. Ah well.

P.S. I Still Love You - Jenny Han

I was lost in a wonderfully cushy world of cuteness again. Love love love this series. Although I have to admit the story dragged a tiny bit in the middle but it got better closer to the end of the book. On to the next one!

Chances  - Jackie Collins

I probably shouldn't love this book because it's so crass and trashy and much longer than it really could have been, but I do love it and I have decided that is all I'm going to say. A great rollercoaster ride!

Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi Adeyemi

Really enjoyed this. Sometimes the three main characters were waffly and unreliable and I found it difficult to connect with them but I liked the flow of the story in general. Only one thing bothered me and it may seem petty but I couldnt stop thinking about it. I know it's meant to be fantasy and anything is possible in a mythical world but I was very distracted by mention of snow and autumn in a book based in the very tropical country of Nigeria where snow is pretty much non existent and seasons are dry or wet. Whatever happened to harmattan winds or torrential rainfall which could have been just as easily described? Other than that, if you like action packed YA fantasy with a little romance thrown in, you'll like this book.