This Is My America – Kim Johnson
Racism, judicial error, African Americans, race relations, prisoners, murder, family problems, young adult, fiction.
Tracy knows her father is innocent of a crime he didn’t commit. She writes letters to InnocenceX in hopes of getting their help in freeing her dad. She has less than a year before her father is executed. Tracy researches legal help as she wants to become a lawyer to fight for the rights of African Americans. When a teenage girl is found murdered and her brother is on the run, he is being framed for murder. She knows he is also innocent but being blamed because he was found near the scene of the crime along with his jacket. Tracy seeks out help and tries to bring home not only her father but brother as well.
This novel was not easy to read. As covering the topic of systematic racism is a very serious topic. Johnson describes a reality that all African American families face when someone in their family was innocent of a crime that they did not commit but they were framed and sentenced to jail. Systematic racism exists and it impacts more than the individual but thousands of African American families, young and old. These families struggle to gain a sense of safety and security in a land that is extremely racist and discriminates. Trying to find legal help is never easy just like Tracy when she was trying to get help from a foundation that is dedicated to helping free innocent African Americans. Nothing is free of cost and getting lawyers costs a lot of money and this is a cold truth and reality of the justice system. The justice system is geared to suppress African Americans from succeeding. It was built on racism and discrimination.
This novel, as it is fiction, does have a happy ending where her father and brother were freed from the investigations and trials to form the harsh stereotypes that were placed upon them. Many in real life don’t get the happy ending of having their family member come back home alive.
Here is a link of all those who were murdered in police brutality and in the hands of the police Know their names: Black people killed by the police in the US
Those are only some that appear on the news headlines.
Many others don’t.
Racism ends here.
This Much is True – Tia Louise
Romance, single fathers, fiction.
Hope was drunk and passed out in the backseat of the chevy impala she technically sold. J.R. was in a need of a vehicle to get him to go see his son and confront his dad. He was locked away for two years for being caught up in a drug trade he was not involved with. He enlists his brother to come help prove his innocence in a crime he didn’t commit when he finds a stowaway in the backseat. Hope is flustered and angry with J.R. and tells him he has to take her back but unfortunately there is no turning back. J.R. picks up his brother, Scout, and the trio head off on a road trip. She learns more about J.R. and Scout and they learn about her and her family. J.R. slowly grows more in love with Hope and vice versa. They arrive at the destination. J.R.’s grandma and brother want him to marry Hope because she is a keeper and he doesn’t want to drag her into the mess. However, she proves resilient and proves that she wants to be with J.R. She helps him prove his innocence and save his life.
I really enjoyed reading this novel. I was simply amazed by the plot and the timing that the novel takes place in. The characters felt so alive and the interactions felt so genuine. I really enjoyed the different perspectives, one for Hope’s POV and J.R.’s POV. This was organized and there were a lot of emotions I felt through the characters. There were times I laughed and cried throughout this novel. I didn’t really want this novel to end but unfortunately there was an ending that was perfect. The author did an excellent job of storytelling and the perfect amount of romance with some steamy moments that were unexpected. Overall, I finally understand the hype for some romance novels and before I hardly never read them because of the premise that there is strictly only sex everywhere. This was not the case. There was a lot of substance and action happening that wasn’t sexual. I do recommend this novel because it’s a really good read.
This Heart of Mine – C.C. Hunter
Young adult, romance, heart conditions, mystery, suspense, fiction.
Leah wears her heart on her back, quite literately carries her heart around on her back. She needs the artificial heart to live due to the heart condition that left her without a heart. One day, she gets a call that changed her fate, she got a heart waiting for her. Matt finds that his brother was found in the woods dead, presumed suicide. Matt doesn’t believe this news and his mother doesn’t want the heart donated but Eric was a donner either way. Matt sees Leah arriving and puts the pieces together, she is going to receive his brother’s heart. Eventually their fates will become intwined to figure out what really happened to Eric while slowly falling in love with each other along the way.
I don’t cry when I read books but this one made me use a whole box of tissues because this was a rollercoaster of emotions. Beautifully written and the author had really freshened up the usage of the dying teenager trope with some mystery and added a lot of drama. To be honest, I have read this book a few times and had to buy it because I couldn’t wait for the library to have the book due to others borrowing the book. This book caters to not just only young adult readers but new adult as well as adult because of some of the themes. I can’t stress enough how much I love this book. Anyone who’s into mystery romance should give this book a read.