Bamboozled By Jesus – Yvonne Orji

I feel like fate brought me to this book, which is oh-so-appropriate, considering this book’s premise and its many positive messages. I initially became interested in it because, for the past few months, I rekindled and further developed a relationship with God. I used to pray often when I was younger, and believe in God’s presence in my life, but somewhere along the way, I stopped believing and praying (unless I was alone at night and got really, really scared). My and God’s relationship is only at its beginnings though, so I thought that by reading this book, I would get to know Him and the author better. It’s only when I actually opened it that I realized that it was written by the actress who plays Molly’s character in the TV show Insecure, which is such an amazing series. Molly’s character spoke to me on so many levels that I knew before I even read the first page that I would really like this book.

I didn’t know, however, that it would become one of the best books I’ve read all year. From the get-go, Yvonne is candid, confident and a hella amazing writer. I am a little sorry to say that I’m surprised. It’s not that I assume all entertainers to be amateur writers or to use ghost-writers, but Yvonne not only uses vocabulary in a very appropriate way and shapes sentences that flow very well, she does that WHILE letting her personality shine through. Sometimes she’s more formal, other times a little more relaxed. Sometimes she shares professional stories, other times more casual or personal ones. She does all of this while being herself and speaking to us as though we are right in front of her and she already knows we are worthy of her time and wisdom. It started slow for me, as I haven’t read a Christian book in a long time, but by the end of it, I didn’t want to let it go. And maybe I don’t have to. I’ll definitely watch the author’s YouTube videos and pay closer attention to her presence on screen. Overall, I believe she did a really good job of connecting daily moments and Bible moments, so much so that I feel like buying a Bible today. I used to own one, and even started reading it, but I wasn’t so into reading it from start to finish. I think I will follow Yvonne’s advice and just read whichever parts speak to me in the moment, or open it at a random page and analyze whatever I stumble upon. All that to say that Yvonne Orji delivered here an absolute gem that I look forward to rereading in the future (this time with highlighters!)

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for an honest review!

The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Try as I might, I can never predict Jennifer Lynn Barnes. You’d think that after reading between 300 and 500 mystery books, I’d become a pro at guessing who the ‘‘killer’’ is, or in this case, the attempted murderer (and other mystery-filled elements). This is, of course, a good thing, because it makes me think that I’m not ruined forever, regarding mystery plots, and it sure makes for enjoyable ‘‘wow, did not see that coming’’ moments.

Ah, Avery. She’s a tough one. She hasn’t had the best experience growing up and she’s pretty guarded. She’s especially reluctant to be involved with the Hawthorne family, the head of which has died and turned her into a billionaire, which no one saw coming. Now she’s got people following her around everywhere, and a couple of Hawthorne-signed daggers aimed at her back. Avery and most of the Hawthorne members think Tobias Hawthorne has made a grand mistake, and they are trying to figure out what crazy thoughts could have driven him to choose Avery. But for that to happen, they have to play by Tobias’s rules.

This is a relatively fast-paced mystery. Oftentimes, I prefer mystery-thrillers, because they just seem to have a little more intensity and to not be as slow, but although The Inheritance Games did not have a whole lot of ‘‘thriller’’ scenes, the author paced her clues and revelations so well that there is a lot of excitement throughout the storyline. I especially enjoyed Avery’s interactions with each of the Hawthorne brothers as well her reactions to being thrown into the spotlight. I do think that some scenes—most notably those regarding Emily—were over-the-top, so if you’re okay with characters who sometimes seem to ‘‘perform’’ for the reader, you will have a blast reading this. I personally did not particularly mind, but it does mean that I do not find this story, as enjoyable and curious as it is, all that believable.

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for an honest review!