Category Archives: Reason: The Coven of Forbidden Books

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy is a must read. The work Bryan Stevenson has done getting innocent people out of jail and getting sentencing guidelines for juveniles changed is so important. The book follows the complete story of a Black man falsely accused of killing a white woman, a case with so many holes in the prosecution it’s shocking he was sentenced to death row. Other stories of innocent people as well as those given sentences that were way too harsh for the crime committed are also told along with facts and information about incarceration in America. Stevenson is an amazing writer. The subject matter could easily have been dry and boring, but he makes the stories come to life in a way that makes you want to keep reading because you are totally invested. We have a long way to go in this country to get to a fair prison system, but people like Bryan Stevenson are working hard to get us there. I very highly recommend this book to late teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 27
Pages Read in 2023: 8184

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: B&N Book Challenge, Reason: Flourish & Blotts Reading Challenge, Reason: The Coven of Forbidden Books

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

As far as useless books go, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one of the better ones. It’s still pretty bad, though. The main character learns nothing from his experiences. He is kind of obnoxious and gets more so when Earl is around. The writing is bad and the premise is basically taking The Fault in Our Stars and making it terrible. It’s basically a waste of time to read. I don’t recommend reading it.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 114
Pages Read in 2022: 39,606
Graphic Novels: 4

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Filed under Reason: Grim Readers, Reason: The Coven of Forbidden Books, Young Adult

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the Colleen Hoover of the 90s. Popular books, mainly because they are emotional rollercoasters, with mediocre writing. The Pact is billed as a love story. It’s not. It’s about a toxic relationship that everyone except the dead girl thought was amazing. There are a couple flashbacks, one when the main characters were 9 and one when they were 13 and 14, where they don’t act remotely like the age they are supposed to be. The nine-year-olds act more like 13 and 14-year-olds and the 14-year-old acted more like he was 9. The lawyer’s son being all impressed that his father was bringing woman after woman to their apartment was also not at all believable. He was 13. He’d have been completely grossed out thinking about (and hearing) what his father was doing with those women. The courtroom part got a bit tedious. It was odd that the dead girl’s mother’s character was never really developed. You’d think she’d be important, but she was pretty much a non-entity (except when destroying evidence, something that is never mentioned again). It does give a bit of a snapshot of 1997, though, and the way teens felt pressure to never say the word suicide because you might give someone the idea. Also, the book reminds us that rape culture was so much worse back then. All in all, it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. If you like emotional rollercoasters and don’t mind plot holes, you’ll enjoy The Pact.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 107
Pages Read in 2022: 37,702
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: The Coven of Forbidden Books

Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres

Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres

Julia and David were raised as virtual twins. Julia is white and David was black. I found the treatment of David (and their other adopted brother Jerome) horrifying. The parents were racist white saviors who enjoyed looking extra pious to their church community for raising these boys “as if” they were family. The author’s writing is very engaging and paints a terrible picture of a few terrible lives. The treatment of the boys and the religious abuse are very triggering. I recommend this book to adults who enjoy memoirs, but be aware of those triggers before reading.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 92
Pages Read in 2022: 32,754
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Memoir, Reason: The Coven of Forbidden Books

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

This book is horrifying and disturbing and heartbreaking and so incredibly well written. I can’t say I enjoyed it exactly, but I am glad I read it. It’s one that’ll stay with me for a while. A couple things surprised me, but, unfortunately, the complete CPS failure (and the thought something like this could happen in real life) did not. It’s told with a variable timeline, kind of just random thoughts the main character had as she related the story. Given what you find out at the end I think that was an extremely effective choice. I highly recommend Monday’s Not Coming to anyone who enjoys young adult books.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 86
Pages Read in 2022: 30,658
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Reason: Grim Readers, Reason: The Coven of Forbidden Books, Young Adult