Hello fellow book lovers! Today I’m doing a bit of a different but hopefully fun post. A few weeks ago, Dee did a post where her and her best friend choose books for each other, and it was really cute. I decided I wanted to do something similar, so I enlisted one of my best friends to choose my next two reads!
About the best friend: this is Shadi. We’ve known each other for over ten years now and she’s one of my closest friends. We’ve 100% been mistaken as a couple at a party.
Essentially it works like this: I give her a list of books, she chooses two of them, and I read those two next.
Here are the books I gave her to choose from:
- The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
- Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
- Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Slide by Jill Hathaway
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
These are all either owned by me or on my 2019 TBR (or both!). She ended up choosing Homegoing and Slide, which is great because (1) I’ve been meaning to read Homegoing for AGES now and (2) I’ve been in the mood for an easy YA book. So these two were perfect!
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
Slide by Jill Hathaway
Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth – her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.
Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.
I ended up really enjoying both of these books! I’ll have full reviews in a few weeks, but here are some brief thoughts on both of them.
Homegoing (★★★★★): an easy five stars for me. Essentially everything I enjoy in a book: historical fiction, a long period of time, interesting themes and discussion, strong female characters, a satisfying ending, good writing. I don’t have anything bad to say about this book.
Slide (★★★☆☆): a perfectly adequate, interesting, and engaging YA novel. The plot is interesting and engaging and I enjoyed reading it. The characters are fine; nothing special, but not terrible either. The main character mentions she has pink hair too many times, but that was my biggest complaint.
Overall, this was a lot of fun! Thanks, Shadi, for choosing such great books and forcing me to read books that had been on my TBR. We also have a post coming eventually where we chose books for each other, and I haven’t actually read that book yet, but I’m really excited to.
Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Let me know!