Tag: Akwaeke Emezi

Review – Freshwater

Posted February 21, 2023 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Freshwater by Akwaeke EmeziFreshwater, Akwaeke Emezi

Freshwater is fascinating and difficult to get a hold of and describe. To say too much would spoil the experience, I think, and anyway to say anything feels like holding onto water. If I were to just describe the book, I’d have to decide whether to take some elements literally, or whether to discuss it in a spiritual/supernatural light.

So I won’t do that. What I will say is that you need a strong stomach to read this. The main characters hurt themselves and others, deliberately; the main character is abused by others in various different ways. There’s a suicide attempt (and related hospital trip), there’s parental neglect in two different flavours. There’s a religious aspect, too, which some might find uncomfortable reading.

It’s not an easy read, but fascinating; there’s much to unpick in a discussion with others who’ve read it. In the end, it wasn’t entirely for me, but I’m glad I read it.

Rating: 3/5

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Review – Bitter

Posted June 4, 2022 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Bitter by Akwaeke EmeziBitter, Akwaeke Emezi

Bitter is a prequel to Pet, and it’s slightly unfortunate that some of the important details from Pet have now slipped my mind, because I think that would’ve helped significantly in finding my feet again in the world. Bitter is Jam’s mother, and this covers the period leading to the upheaval that made Lucille such a utopia for Jam. It makes more sense of Bitter’s reactions to Pet, and the world which Jam and Redemption live in.

I didn’t love it as much as I hoped; it felt very topical, particularly when a character loses an eye during a protest, and for the first half of the book seemed mostly to be a chronicling of current events in lightly fictionalised form. Then Bitter finds her magic, and things open up, giving us access to more of the background of Pet: the angels and the takeover of the city.

It’s a really quick read, and I enjoyed the background it gave to Pet, but it didn’t quite speak to me in the same way, even though I fully understood Bitter’s insecurities and fears. Maybe that’s part of why I didn’t get involved as much!

Rating: 3/5

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books for a Younger Me

Posted September 8, 2020 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

It’s Tuesday, and I’m joining in with Top Ten Tuesday for the first time in a few weeks! The theme this week is “books for your younger self”, and I can think of a whooole bunch of different ways to interpret that. I’m going with a list of books I wish I’d read sooner than I did!

Cover of The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin Cover of The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison Cover of Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart Cover of Pet by Akwaeke Emezi Cover of An Unsuitable Heir by K.J. Charles

  1. The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin. Okay, maybe this one’s cheating, but I’m reading this at the moment and being so annoyed at my slightly younger self for not jumping right on that.
  2. The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. This book has been such a comfort to me; teenage me could’ve really done with it.
  3. Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart. Or really any Mary Stewart book; I was so snobby about romance novels, but reading Stewart and Heyer made me see. How much awesome could I have read if I started sooner?!
  4. Pet, by Akwaeke Emezi. I feel like I’d have appreciated this even more if I’d read it when I was closer to the age it’s aimed at. I liked it now, but… I’d have liked it more then, I think.
  5. An Unsuitable Heir, by K.J. Charles. Also one of the books that properly pulled me into romance, but this one is extra special because the existence of Pen as a character, as a person it was possible to be, would’ve possibly sped up figuring out some stuff for me.
  6. Spillover, by David Quammen. Because it helped me figure out that staying curious about stuff really does help with anxiety — and maybe if I’d read it a couple of years earlier, some of my anxiety would have hit less hard. Or maybe it’d have chosen a different path, who knows.
  7. Feet in Chains, by Kate Roberts. Or pretty much any Welsh classics, the existence of which I only discovered at the age of 21, having been told that Welsh people didn’t write anything worth reading.
  8. River of Teeth, by Sarah Gailey. I needed Hero. Much like Pen, they’d have taught me a bit more about what’s possible. Also, hippos.
  9. Strange Practice, by Vivian Shaw. This is just so much fun, I’d have liked it to be in my life way before now.
  10. Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers. Or the whole series, of course, but I can’t believe I only picked these up in my twenties. Though that’s partly because they were out of print, I think? I can’t imagine my mother wouldn’t have bought me them sooner if they were in print.

Cover of Spillover by David Quamnem Cover of Feet in Chains by Kate Roberts Cover of River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey Cover of Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw Cover of Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers

How about you? Anything you wish you’d read when you were younger?

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