Teaser Tuesday: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Today I am sharing an extract from Pride by Ibi Zoboi. I picked up this Young Adult novel last year when I heard that it was a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I loved reading Zoboi’s perspective. Not only did she incorporate references from one of my favourite classic novels, she also added the viewpoint of a culture far removed from that of Austen’s England.

The novel is set in Brooklyn and is told from the POV of Zuri Benitez, a woman who has pride in her Afro-Latino roots. The wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, the epitome of those who are slowly gentrifying her neighbourhood. Zuri wants nothing to do with the Darcys but as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial shifts into understanding.

“I don’t smile when Mrs. Darcy greets us. Her eyes immediately drop down to our shoes. So I look down too, to see Mama wearing her leopard print platform stilettos that she bought for her fortieth birthday party at a small club in Bed-Stuy. My face gets hot with embarrassment because I knew that this wasn’t the kind of party for those kinds of heels.” (108)

(2018, Balzer + Bray, Harper Collins Publishers)

Pride is definitely worth the read for those who enjoy Pride and Prejudice retellings, or diverse reads.

Do you enjoy reading Pride and Prejudice retellings? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

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Teaser Tuesdays: Crossfire by Jessie Kwak

I received Crossfire by Jessie Kwak and eagerly picked it up to read as I had enjoyed the first novel in her Bulari Saga. Yesterday found me sitting on the sofa reading the story until it was done – I could not help it, I had to now what would happen!

“Pitch darkness is strange. It’s claustrophobic, shrinking down the entire world to the amount that fits into your awareness, a palm-sized space where your breath leaves your body, your organs thrum in your chest cavity, you feel the tiny, disconnected sensations where parts of your body press against unknown objects. But it’s also expansive, your potential environment no longer confined by the physical walls that once hemmed you in. Pitch darkness is what your imagination makes it.” (p298)

(2019, Independent Author)

In Crossfire, I have learned more about Kwak’s characters – and I am getting to love them. I also enjoy the writing – it is precise and the imagery is on point.

Do you enjoy reading independent authors? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Teaser Tuesdays: Double Edged by Jessie Kwak

It had been a while since I had read a good science fiction read and was thrilled when I picked up Double Edged by Jessie Kwak to discover that the good writing kept me interested and on the edge of my seat.

“Level C hits Manu like a physical thing: the scents, the din, the crush of people. Manu pauses in the entry, taking it all in. The air is heavy with fry grease and engine oil and voices echo off the high ceiling, jumbled so it’s hard to pick out anything individual. Warring news and music programs blare from the lunch stands, callers hawk wares as they wander the crowds, and the buskers and street performers only spike the chaos” (p36)

(2019, Independent Author)

The novel is gritty and realistic. And I loved it. A reader can almost forget that it is set in a futuristic environment.

Do you enjoy Science Fiction? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Teaser Tuesdays: Women Talking Mirian Toews

During the past week I read Women Talking by Mirian Toews. The book centres on a discussion held by traditional Mennonite women over 48 hours after a series of rapes in the community. While deciding on the choice the women are to make in response to the rape, the group discuss many issues. Today I will quote one:

“Greta Loewen sighs heavily. She says that although we may not be animals, we have been treated worse than animals, and that in fact Molotschna animals are safer than Molotschna women, and better cared for.” (p39-40)

(2018, Penguin Random House)

As the discussion progresses, the relationship between the men and women in the patriarchal society that exists in the Molotschna community is continuously referred to. It angers me to think that there are still women in the world who are treated less than animals.

What do you think of the extract I shared? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

A little more of The Library of Lost and Found

My favourite read so far this month is definitely The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick. (You can read my review here.) The extract I have chosen to share with you describes the main character, Martha, and the current state of her home:

“Bin bags and other boxes lined the floor in here, too, all neatly labeled. All contained her parents’ things, or stuff that didn’t have a home, or jobs she had taken on and hadn’t given back.

Feeling daunted by the size of the task facing her, Martha wrapped her arms across her chest. She wondered if Gina had glanced inside the room when she used the bathroom. Her cheeks flushed as she imagined what her nana’s carer might describe her as. A hoarder? A bit strange? Can’t let go of the past?

Could any of those be true? (p213-214, Harlequin, 2019)

The quoted words give you a hint that the novel is so much more than what a reader would expect.

What do you think of the extract I shared? Would you pick up the book?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

A Poem by Julie McIsaac

I was fortunate to win a giveaway for National Poetry Month held by Wolsak & Wynn Publishers. I chose to receive the poetry collection written by Julie McIsaac.

Many of the pieces encourage me to think – about what has been written, and about how the poem reflects my own experience. I share one of the pieces with you:

“They took the bus downtown and when they arrived they sat next to a great fountain. They threw pennies in and made wishes. Then they clipped their hair and planted it in the dirty weeds that sprouted through the concrete next to where the fountain was built. They made more wishes. They thought future. She said nothing. (p14, Wolsak & Wynn, 2018)

The pieces in this collection are definitely raw and to the point. I still have many to read and know that they will not be easy reading.

What do you think of the extract I shared?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Confessions of a Tinderella by Rosy Edwards

Confessions of a TinderellaIt was a long time ago that I was on the dating scene: going out with men who were essentially strangers in the hope of finding that one person to spend the rest of my life with. I remember the awkwardness of getting to know one another, the dates that did not quite match up to expectations, and the effort put into getting to know another person.

Confessions of a Tinderella by Rosy Edwards peaked my interest. Not only because the story is about dating, but because it describes dating using the app Tinder. I had heard many stories about my son’s Tinder dates, and I thought it would be fun to read about someone else’s experience. The novel describes Rosy Edward’s  experience with the dating app and the men she meets through her use of it. My teaser describes her meeting with one of the first men she meets:

“Overall, he bears a good to his photos; his looks are not the problem. The reason I want to go home at ten past eight is because I don’t fancy him. I knew it from the minute I saw him and I can’t imagine I’m going to change my mind before I’ve finished my drink. I don’t find Elliot engaging; I don’t feel any sexual chemistry and I don’t think we have anything in common beyond the fact that we’ve both seen all of The Sopranos. I’m sure that one day he’ll meet a fellow mariner (mariness?) and they will sail off into the sunset together, tweaking their booms and cleets as they go. The received wisdom is that you’re supposed to ‘know’ when you meet The One and I think the same is true when you don’t.” (p 31, Penguin Random House UK, 2015)

The novel was hilarious as the main character, Rosy, moves from one date to another. I found myself chuckling not only at the experiences of this woman in search of The One, but also at the tongue-in-cheek humour of the writer. I enjoyed this novel immensely and have set it aside for my girls to read this summer.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Woman of God by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

During the weekend, I picked up a book at the library. The title, woman of God, intrigued me as did the blurb on the inside of the sleeve: “St.Peter’s square, Rome. White smoke signals that a new Pope has been chosen. Is it possible that the new Pope … is a woman?” The idea of women as priests, and even as a Pope, excites me. It is an event I would love to see in a world that has been dominated by men for centuries.

In this novel by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, the story centres on Brigid Fitzgerald. Brigid is a woman who, in spite of a difficult childhood, graduates to be a medical doctor. As a doctor she works on healing those in war torn Sudan. As her life moves along, she becomes more involved in the Catholic church.

My teaser comes from the beginning of the book and describes one of her experiences in Sudan while the hospital she worked at was under attack:

“I yelled, “Sabeena! Help me!”

She had her hands full. The girls were with her. Bullets were flying. I wasn’t sure that she had even heard me.

I said to Father Delahanty, “I’m going to help you up. You have to help me get you to your feet. Grip my forearm.”

But he didn’t do it.

He was losing so much blood. He was going into shock. And then he said in a whisper, “It’s been two weeks since my last confession.”

“You have to get up,” I said. I was frantic.

“I must confess.”

I sat back down beside him and held his hand. I wanted to fall on his chest and cry, but I contained my sobs and tried to keep my voice even. “Tell me,” I said. (p 60-61, Little Brown and Company,  2016). 

I am enjoying this book and its unusual subject matter. The topic certainly makes a person think.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Teaser Tuesday: The Melody Lingers On

Teaser

Every time I see a novel written by Mary Higgins Clark, I pick it up knowing that I will enjoy the story that she has created. This weekend I opened the story titled The Melody Lingers On. The story features Lane Harmon, an assistant to an upscale interior designer. Her current job is to work in a modest townhouse owned by the wife of Parker Bennett, the notorious financier who disappeared with the money of his investors. Lane finds herself moved by Mrs. Bennett’s calm dignity and faith in her husband’s innocence; and is drawn to the son, Eric Bennett, who is determined to prove that his father is innocent. Unknowingly Lane puts herself, and her daughter, in jeopardy the closer she gets to the Bennetts.

My teaser this week highlights the thoughts of one of the FBI lead investigators:

“But we will find him, he vowed. We will find him. 

But even as he made that promise, he wondered if he would be able to keep it. With the Bureau’s focus on terrorism and the number of individuals who had to be watched, resources were stretched very thin. The previous week an agent who had worked with him on the Bennet case had been reassigned. He did not have the heart to tell Cunningham and the investors that if a break in the case did not happen soon, more agents who were working with him would be assigned elsewhere.” (p28, Pocket Books, 2015)

I enjoyed this read – and the unexpected ending.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Miz B’s Teaser Tuesdays at Books and a Beat)

Teaser Tuesday: The Daily Five

Teaser

Product DetailsDuring this past week I began re-reading the book written by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser titled The Daily Five: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades. My first reading was five years ago and I decided to refresh my memory a little on some of the characteristics of using The Daily Five in the classroom.

Reading the introduction reminded me of why I like the Daily Five concept:

“We wanted to change the atmosphere in our classrooms and our own roles, from trying to “manage” students, rushing around the room putting out fires, to creating routines and procedures that fostered independent literacy behaviours that were ingrained to the point of being habits. Our goal was for all students to have internalized these expectations and shared experiences in a way that allowed for every child to become engrossed in their reading and writing.” (p9, Stenhouse Publishers, 2006)

I have fostered independence in my classroom and this year I aim to fine-tune my students’ independence. Hopefully a re-reading of this book will help me do so.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Miz B’s Teaser Tuesdays at Books and a Beat)