Book Babble: Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone has been all over my life. Patrons have been constantly checking it out, I’ve been constantly processing it for holds, and it’s been all over my YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter feeds since it’s release. At first, I wasn’t going to read it because I have hipster tendencies and tend to avoid reading things that end up being repeatedly shoved in my face and because I usually don’t enjoy YA fantasy novels.

Buuuuuut, I do occasionally feel like I have to read things by black authors, especially black women authors who are writing fantasy. You know, support the people and all that ish. Aaaaaand, the synopsis didn’t sound too bad, aaaaaaand, I’ve heard decently good things about it.

So, did I love it?

Not exactly.

I liked it. I could definitely see a younger me being absolutely in love with this. If this book had came out when I was in elementary or middle school I would have been all over it, but alas, it fell into too many of the YA tropes for me.

The main character, Zélie, is your typical “Chosen One”. She fucks up, gets in trouble, is insanely beautiful along with being a talented fighter, oh, and has a tragic backstory. Zélie, and her older brother, along with a runaway princess named Amari, embark on a quest to bring back magic via some magical artifacts and a celestial event and then aim to bring down the ruthless king (who happens to Amari’s father). To add more to the mix, the ruthless king has tasked Amari’s older brother, Inan to halt their quest, kill Zélie, and destroy the artifacts. Inan has to make some decisions, figure out who he is and who he wants to be, etc. – it’s almost like everyone in this novel was going through two forms of puberty and it was driving me crazy.

However, Adeyemi is a fantastic writer. Which is probably the main reason as to why I managed to finish the book. The story is told through Zélie, Amari, and Inan’s POV and each one is so drastically different that it works out excellently and makes for a very smooth blend. The world-building was on point, the plot was on point, and just the general subtle changes in the characters was on point.  Everything was on point, but as stated previously, it just didn’t appeal to me as an adult reader.

I would definitely recommend this book to fantasy lovers, black kids who thought Harry Potter was semi-wack, and people who just want to read fantasy from the African/African-American perspective.

Have you read Children of Blood and Bone yet? Or are you like me and avoiding it for as long as possible due to all the hype surrounding it? What did you think of it if you did read it? And who are some of your favorite PoC fantasy writers?

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book!

Rae

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The Parking Lot Attendant | Book Babble

Taking a break away from Batwing because honestly…I totally just remembered why I don’t do the superhero comic book thing, but that will be discussed later on!

I picked up The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat from work on Thursday and started reading it on Saturday and finished it roughly 20minutes ago. I enjoyed the first chunk of it. I found it interesting, a tad bit creepy, and almost relatable.

The main character is a young Ethiopian girl who is the daughter of two immigrants who came to America to make better lives for themselves. Straight up, they are lowkey horrible parents. The father isn’t present for the first 6 years of the girl’s life and the mother disappears as soon as the father is semi-present.  The girl remains nameless throughout the entire story, which I actually didn’t mind that much. She felt like the kind of character who would have rebelled against a name anyway and just changed it depending on who she thought she was; which I thought was super cool writing on Tamirat’s behalf.

The girl forms a close friendship/bond with a parking lot attendant named Ayale who’s the unspoken leader of the Ethiopian community in Boston. The relationship is…creepy, but almost understandable as the story unfolds.

However, I started losing interest in the story as it became more and more about the main character’s feelings toward Ayale. I’m always uncomfortable being in the mind of a teenage girl, especially when that teenage girl reminds me occasionally of teenage me. The desire to be loved, to be special, to be something more to someone who you know damn well is dangerous for some reason is something that hit a little bit too close to home for me.

I did finish it though. I stuck it out and when I got the end I was just confused. The whole story became so insanely confusing and slightly unrealistic and just…odd. This was one of those books where I loved the author’s writing, I loved the way how the characters unfolded, but I didn’t love the story because I felt like it just fell apart and was only being held together by words that fit perfectly with each other but didn’t actually mean anything.

If you’ve read this book before, let me know what you thought about it! And if you haven’t, have you ever read a book that finished simply on the strength of the writer’s way with words even though the story made absolutely no sense?

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book!

Rae.