Tag: fiction

Book Review: Your Corner Dark by Desmond Hall

Your Corner Dark
Author: Desmond Hall
ublished: January 19, 2021

384 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 12-29, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars     

Book Description:

American Street meets Long Way Down in this searing and gritty debut novel that takes an unflinching look at the harsh realities of gang life in Jamaica and how far a teen is willing to go for family.

Things can change in a second:

The second Frankie Green gets that scholarship letter, he has his ticket out of Jamaica.
The second his longtime crush, Leah, asks him on a date, he’s in trouble.
The second his father gets shot, suddenly nothing else matters.

And the second Frankie joins his uncle’s gang in exchange for paying for his father’s medical bills, there’s no going back…or is there?

As Frankie does things he never thought he’d be capable of, he’s forced to confront the truth of the family and future he was born into—and the ones he wants to build for himself.

Jessica’s Review:

Your Corner Dark is the debut novel by Jamaican native Desmond Hall who gives the reader a whole different perspective of how difficult life on the island can be: Jamaica isn’t just pretty sand and beaches, it has a whole rough side of life to it dealing with the harsh social, political, and economic realities of many who live there.

Frankie is our main character who has just received a full ride to college in the USA! He is ready for this to better himself and then something unexpected happened:  Frankie’s father is shot and hospitalized. And the bills are going to be very costly. 

Frankie is given an option from his uncle: He will pay Frankie’s father’s medical bills if Frankie joins his gang, which would mean giving up his scholarship and the way he thought his future was going to go. And Frankie’s father would be furious if he joined the gang….

Hall shows us another side of Jamaica with what the natives go through– a very difficult life– and we experience most of that with Frankie and the choices he makes and the repercussions from those choices.  This was a hard novel to put down as I had no idea how it was going to end or what was going to happen with Frankie next!

There is a small potential romance that comes in the last portion of the book, but with everything else going on, it was not really necessary for me.  There is a lot of violence, and yes, death along with political leanings and poverty in this novel, but you can’t help but to root for Frankie to pull through everything.  And I really liked Aunt Jenny as well! 

The conversations in the novel are written as how the natives would speak.  I did have to get used to it, but it also added to the novel for me. 

This book would not have come to my attention if I was not taking part in #Diverseathon2021 this year. I read this for September’s prompt which was a book set in Jamaica. I am glad I came across and read it.  I did get Your Corner Dark finished in September, but was just not able to get the review written. 

Now since we are in a new month: For October the prompt is: A main character who lives/lived with abuse.

October’s Host is Yami @ A Bookworm’s Thoughts.  She will host at Facebook and Instagram.

**She will also be having a giveaway: See her Facebook and Instagram pages for information on the giveaway.

For full details on this year long read-a-thon, please click here.
And don’t forget about the awesome GRAND PRIZE at the end of the year. Click the link here for that information.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Naomi’s Room by John Aycliffe

Naomi’s Room
John Aycliffe

Published: November 21, 1991
216 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Charles and Laura are a young, happily married couple inhabiting the privileged world of Cambridge academia. Brimming with excitement, Charles sets off with his daughter Naomi on a Christmas Eve shopping trip to London. But, by the end of the day, all Charles and his wife have left are cups of tea and police sympathy. For Naomi, their beautiful, angelic only child, has disappeared. Days later her murdered body is discovered.

But is she dead?

In a howling, bumping story of past and present day hell, Jonathan Aycliffe’s haunting psychological masterpiece is guaranteed to make you sink to untold depths of teeth-shaking terror.

Kim’s Review:

First time ever: A book gave me nightmares.

Normally, I’m pretty good about compartmentalizing when I read horror. And even when I don’t, I turn Netflix on and drown out the silence! But this one? I wasn’t even expecting it because the little bit I read was dark, but I wasn’t too freaked out. Then I went to bed and I dreamed some scary stuff! Then I finished the book the next day and stayed pretty creeped out through the whole experience! Naomi’s Room does a great job of mixing paranormal horror with some interesting psychology. I also liked how it wasn’t really implied horror; Aycliffe simply told the story and added a lot of action and description so I wasn’t left guessing at what was going on. The story and character were unique; I felt like I hadn’t read any of it before. Overall, it’s a brilliant book that all horror fans should read!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin

The Boys From Brazil
Author: Ira Levin

Published: February 12, 1976
312 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Alive and hiding in South America, the fiendish Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele gathers a group of former colleagues for a horrifying project—the creation of the Fourth Reich. Barry Kohler, a young investigative journalist, gets wind of the project and informs famed Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman, but before he can relay the evidence, Kohler is killed.

Thus Ira Levin opens one of the strangest and most masterful novels of his career. Why has Mengele marked a number of harmless aging men for murder? What is the hidden link that binds them? What interest can they possibly hold for their killers: six former SS men dispatched from South America by the most wanted Nazi still alive, the notorious “Angel of Death”? One man alone must answer these questions and stop the killings—Lieberman, himself aging and thought by some to be losing his grip on reality.

At the heart of The Boys from Brazil lies a frightening contemporary nightmare, chilling and all too possible.

Kim’s Review:

I randomly found this book referenced in a silly conspiracy book I found in the clearance section of Books-a-Million. It was about Hitler’s use of dark magic in his rise to power and all it did was disprove the author’s whole thesis. I didn’t make it through chapter 3 of that book, but thankfully, I got a good book recommendation out of it.

I’m not sure I’d call Rosemary’s Baby horror, and I kinda feel the same way about this book. The overall idea is a scary one. However, the book comes across more as a thriller with some medical leanings. I mean, Dr. Mengele is the main villain so of course there’s gonna be some medical weirdness happening. I don’t want to give away the twist, though I knew half of it going into the story. I was still surprised once the twist was completely laid out for me. I didn’t see the whole picture clearly until then and I actually liked that. Even the open ending didn’t bother me!! It did get a little slow in the middle, but other than that, I really enjoyed this book!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK