Mini Review: The DNA of You & Me & The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Hi everyone! I’ve been lax with writing up reviews and this is me trying to make up for it. This is my mini- review post featuring The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins and The DNA Of You and Me by Andrea Rothman. They are both debuts but belong to completely different genres.

1. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins(3.5/5 stars)

         BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY

  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Publication Date: 4th April , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 384 Pages

Review: The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins is a wonderful debut and I have officially put Sara Collins on my debut authors to watch list. The premise is intriguing: Frannie, a mulatto is brought by her master to England and ‘given’ to another master; later she falls in love with her new master’s wife. The Confessions is told entirely from Frannie’s point-of-view which she wrote while she’s in Newgate Prison awaiting trial in Old Bailey for the murder of her new master’s and mistress.

The Confessions is described as a black woman’s love story inspired by the popular gothic romance Jane Eyre. The author loved reading Austen but never saw a woman of color as a protagonist in those stories instead she read stories a woman of color was the victim. With Frannie Langton, author Sara Collins wanted to write a black woman’s love story and not of her suffering. However, through Frannie’s words we come face-to-face with her love and her suffering as well.

The writing is flawless but the plot is unforgivingly slow. The ending kind of smacks you in the face but in a good way because my boredom turned to interest: interest in finding out if Frannie is guilty of double murder or not? Overall, I would recommend it if you love reading historical fiction set during the Victorian era and if this mini review intrigues you so.


2. The DNA of You & Me by Andrea Rothman (3/5 stars)

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  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Publication Date: 12 March , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 242 Pages

Review:  I loved the unique story of The DNA of You and Me but it’s not for everyone’s taste. Emily was raised by her father and due to a childhood allergy, she was accustomed to spending most of her childhood indoors. This would’ve put a damper on her socializing with other kids but as she grew up, Emily realized that she preferred the company of herself rather than others. Her personal experience eventually left her to research new genes responsible for guiding olfactory neurons to their targets. (Olfactory: the sense of smell) During this research, she meets another academic Aeden and after a series of long arguments, their relationship goes to another level. However, there’ll come a time when Emily has to make a choice: Her career or a life with Aiden?

I loved it but as I said before that this book isn’t for everyone. Most of the book is filled with genomic sciences jargon that took the story a little to much to the non-fictional side. There’s romance if you skim the scientific stuff but it’s an easy read. The sex is almost clinical in the beginning and that may be because it’s told from the POV of the narrator. However, there’s a scene when Emily says ‘no’ but Aeden still goes ahead and that left a bitter note in the entire story. I’m ashamed to say that I even forgot about this scene until I read another Goodreads review. The ending left me emotional but happy and hopeful for Emily. It did give me Eleanor Oliphant vibes but this one has way too many scientific jargon for a reader to enjoy.

However, considering this is a debut and the fact that I liked the writing, I’d definitely look forward to reading her upcoming books.

Thanks to the publishers for providing me ARCs in exchange for an honest review.

Do you think you’ll read The DNA of You and Me or The Confessions of Frannie Langton? Do you prefer reading mini-reviews or full reviews? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Newcomer by Keigo Higashino is a brilliant book if you’re new to Japanese mystery/​thriller genre

Newcomer by keigo Higashino review

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Synopsis: Detective Kyochiro Kaga of the Tokyo Police Department has just been transferred to a new precinct in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. Newly arrived, but with a great deal of experience, Kaga is promptly assigned to the team investigating the murder of a woman. But the more he investigates, the greater number of potential suspects emerges. It isn’t long before it seems nearly all the people living and working in the business district of Nihonbashi have a motive for murder. To prevent the murderer from eluding justice, Kaga must unravel all the secrets surrounding a complicated life. Buried somewhere in the woman’s past, in her family history, and the last few days of her life is the clue that will lead to the murderer.


REVIEW | WHY SHOULD YOU READ NEWCOMER ?

The only translated novel I’ve read this year -before Newcomer– was The Flowers over the Inferno by Illaria Tuti. You should check it out, btw. It is superbly written .

Newcomer is a translate Japanese murder mystery set in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. It is the 8th book in the Detective Kaga series but you need not read the first seven books in order to read Newcomer.

The protagonist is Sergeant Kyoichiro Kaga, who has been newly transferred to a new precinct and is assigned to investigate the murder of a divorced woman. Since the woman has ties to the Nihonbashi business district, Kaga has to investigate everyone working in the neighborhood and maybe even their relatives. During the investigation, Kaga finds that everyone – from The Girl at the Rice Cracker Shop to A Detective of Nihonbashi- all have secrets, some of which may be a motive to commit murder.

I had some difficulties with the format -especially keeping track of all the characters and their stories but it didn’t take long to find my footing and to immerse myself deep into the story.

Kyoichiri Kaga just became one of my favourite fictional detectives. We didn’t get a deep insight into how he is a person but as a detective, he is brilliant. He is clever, has incredible observation and communication skills. It’s a bit difficult to put him in a neat little box, a little difficult to familiarise with him but he is a likeable and brilliantly created character.

Overall, this is a mystery novel to cozy up with on weekends and to add it your reading list if you want to read more translated and/or Japanese fiction. I enjoyed this book immensely and it was in a travel-friendly sized which I loved. I would definitely watch out for more of Keigo Higashino’s books.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Keigo Higashino here .

  • Publisher(Translated in English): Hachette India
  • Publication Date: 10 Jan 2019
  • Paperback: 416 Pages

Have you read Newcomer by Keigo Higashino? Did you like it? Love it? Hate it? Let me know all your thoughts about it?

Also,I’m happy to note that this is also my second review for the Year of The Asian Challenge 2019! If you’ve read any translated fiction ,then let me know your recommendations in the comments below .

ARC Review ​: The Kinship of Secrets by Eugenia Kim

Cover image of blog post

Synopsis: In 1948 Najin and Calvin Cho, with their young daughter Miran, travel from South Korea to the United States in search of new opportunities. Wary of the challenges ahead, Najin and Calvin make the difficult decision to leave their other daughter, Inja, behind with their extended family; soon, they hope, they will return to her.

But then war breaks out in Korea, and there is no end in sight to the separation. Miran grows up in prosperous American suburbia, under the shadow of the daughter left behind, as Inja grapples in her war-torn land with ties to a family she doesn’t remember. Najin and Calvin desperately seek a reunion with Inja, but are the bonds of love strong enough to reconnect their family over distance, time and war? And as deep family secrets are revealed, will everything they long for be upended?

Told through the alternating perspectives of the distanced sisters, and inspired by a true story, The Kinship of Secrets explores the cruelty of war, the power of hope, and what it means to be a sister.

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Cover(Goodreads)

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Review: There are a couple of words I could use to describe Eugenia Kim’s The Kinship of Secrets and those are beautiful, riveting and heartbreaking.

Continue reading “ARC Review ​: The Kinship of Secrets by Eugenia Kim”

#ARC review ​of another brilliantly written books of 2018

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Synopsis: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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US edition

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Review: I picked up this book because I was given an ARC by the publisher. Although I have seen it making rounds on Instagram, I wouldn’t have picked it up anytime soon.

The title “The Seven husbands …” makes you wonder that this book is entirely about the love life of a Hollywood actress but it so isn’t.

The book starts with Monique Grant, an ambitious journalist, who is sent to interview a famous ex-actress Evelyn Hugo. It should be a normal interview but it isn’t for a number of reasons:

One, Evelyn specifically requested Monique ;

Two, when Monique went to meet with Evelyn, she confessed that there isn’t going to be an interview afterall!

LET ME EXPLAIN:

Evelyn doesn’t want to do a “tell-all” interview, she wants Monique to write her biography which she has to publish after Evelyn’s death. Day after day, Evelyn unravels all the secrets and lies and finally, she reveals the real love of her life. The questions are : Did she love any of her seven husbands? Or, did she love someone else? Why did she specifically request Monique Grant?

Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :

  • I loved Evelyn Hugo. She is such a flawed character and is totally aware of it. When you will read about the struggles she had to go through, I’m sure that you will fall in love with Evelyn as well.
  • I loved the pace of the story and the surprise ending.

Overall, I loved reading this book. It has everything -from old Hollywood stories to topics like sexism, racism; drama and a heartbreaking reveal.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Taylor Jenkins Reid on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK Fiction
  • Publication Date: May 2018
  • Paperback(ARC): 400 Pages


My Sister, ​The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite | Book Review

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Synopsis: “Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer.”

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead.

Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.

Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s deliciously deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening.

Continue reading “My Sister, ​The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite | Book Review”

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