An uneven but engaging story about racism and the transformative power of love.




Eze’s (Leadership Stories of the Mother Hen, 2012) debut novel offers a study of racial prejudice as seen through the eyes of young lovers.

Uchechi grows up in an unnamed village, seemingly in Africa. As a child, Uchechi steals a wresting trophy that his and a neighboring village are fighting over and threatens to throw it in a river, thus preventing a war. Although Uchechi loves his community, his great intelligence and spirit create many options for him, including the opportunity to study at a famous university abroad. Once he arrives, Uchechi encounters racial prejudice for the first time; his naïveté about how to handle it may strike readers as somewhat unrealistic, but it helps showcase the extremity of the racism that he encounters. For example, a classmate, Annarossa, obsessively works to get a higher grade than Uchechi because it would “shame her family” to be surpassed by a dark-skinned boy from “that region.” But when she fails to top him, her view of racial superiority is turned upside down, and she abandons her hostility and tries to learn more about him. She and Uchechi soon fall in love and start on a tumultuous path that crosses forbidden racial boundaries in their town. Despite the novel’s title, the story is less about Uchechi and more about Annarossa’s journey to develop her own beliefs and confront her family’s militant racism. The novel explores racism’s erroneous, rigidly held assumptions, and depicts the courage it takes to stand up against such prejudice, as well as the cost of doing so. Although the story has its compelling moments, there are some clichés and incorrect word choices (“he recollected himself” instead of “he collected himself” and “the dye is cast” instead of “the die is cast”) scattered throughout. Some readers may feel that the narrative has little emotional depth, but the high personal stakes for the characters make it compelling.

An uneven but engaging story about racism and the transformative power of love.

Pub Date: March 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-1456749453

Page Count: 160

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Did you like this book?

Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.


Piper Manning is determined to sell her family’s property so she can leave her hometown behind, but when her siblings come back with life-changing secrets and her sexy neighbor begins to feel like “The One,” she might have to redo her to-do list.

As children, Piper and her younger siblings, Gavin and Winnie, were sent to live with their grandparents in Wildstone, California, from the Congo after one of Gavin’s friends was killed. Their parents were supposed to meet them later but never made it. Piper wound up being more of a parent than her grandparents, though: “In the end, Piper had done all the raising. It’d taken forever, but now, finally, her brother and sister were off living their own lives.” Piper, the queen of the bullet journal, plans to fix up the family’s lakeside property her grandparents left the three siblings when they died. Selling it will enable her to study to be a physician’s assistant as she’s always wanted. However, just as the goal seems in sight, Gavin and Winnie come home, ostensibly for Piper’s 30th birthday, and then never leave. Turns out, Piper’s brother and sister have recently managed to get into a couple buckets of trouble, and they need some time to reevaluate their options. They aren’t willing to share their problems with Piper, though they’ve been completely open with each other. And Winnie, who’s pregnant, has been very open with Piper’s neighbor Emmitt Reid and his visiting son, Camden, since the baby’s father is Cam’s younger brother, Rowan, who died a few months earlier in a car accident. Everyone has issues to navigate, made more complicated by Gavin and Winnie’s swearing Cam to secrecy just as he and Piper try—and fail—to ignore their attraction to each other. Shalvis keeps the physical and emotional tension high, though the siblings’ refusal to share with Piper becomes tedious and starts to feel childish.

Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296139-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet