Quarantine book reviews

    When the world gets bent out of shape, like the last three months, it only seems fitting to alter one’s reading list to provide some much-needed perspective. Different people deal with unprecedented situations differently—my solution is  to read literature that presents worse circumstances than those that we must now accept as our reality. 

“A Dangerous Act of Kindness” by LP Fergusson

To start off is this  timeless romance published in 2019 that takes place in the midst of WWII between a German pilot and an English widow in the war-torn countryside  of England. Though a perfect match, they epitomize the term “star-crossed lovers,” struggling to overcome their backgrounds and prejudices as they grew ever fonder of one another.

The cherry on top? Even after the widow’s fear of the injured pilot fades and she develops feelings for him, her fellow neighbors want nothing but to see all German soldiers dead. Betraying both her country and all rational thought, the widow hides the pilot in her home. 

The two of them live in constant fear of her overstaying neighbors, especially her late husband’s best friend who happens to fancy her hand in marriage. I wish you best of luck should you take up this emotional journey of a story, and a word of advice: have some tissues ready for the inevitable waterworks. 

“Sadie” by Courtney Summers

This one is a bit unique. Imagine “Criminal Minds,” but it’s a missing person case told from two persepctives; an investigative journalist and the missing girl herself. The 2018  masterpiece is essentially a string of clues from both parties that are slowly woven into the motive behind her disappearance, with cold, hard facts from the journalist sought out by a family friend and the story behind them from the girl, who went missing after her losing her sister.

 It’s a true crime and mystery mash-up, with quite a dark twist toward the end. The ending will leave you protesting about the unlawfulness of cliffhangers, albeit with a newfound respect for audiobooks. While it does take a while to get through at eight hours in length, the suspense and plot twists are worth the investment.

“Heavy: An American Memoir” by Kiese Laymon

In light of the Black Lives Matter movement,  and given how little I really understood about racism, I decided to educate myself about American racism  from the perspective of the victims of this story. In his 2018 memoir, Laymon, an African American man who grew up in the 1980s, lays  bare his childhood that was deeply affected by racism. 

Now a college professor, he writes about his life as a person of color in the South with  eloquence, covering everything from growing up in a country that stifles and dehumanizes black people, to having a mother who instilled in him the gap between him and his white counterparts. Although an intense read, this 2018 publication is quite the eye-opener on topics that are even now tiptoed around.