Exciting week! I finished an audio book I’ve been working on for a while AND got through a second audio book! Sam and I have reached an agreement on the nap front. IE: I no longer expect that he’ll nap as a matter of course. We’ve compromised on his having “quiet time” in his room while I get a stretch of uninterrupted work done (and, by extension, a stretch of one eared listening). OK fine, I’ll admit it: “quiet time” is iPad time. But quiet iPad time, chilling in his bed. I mourn the loss of naps, but he’s 3 and a half and our 30 min “recess” in Pandemic work-from-home land is insufficient to wear him out. I’m hoping that we get him back into daycare this spring- the current arrangement has never been great but with vaccines rolling out, I’m cautiously optimistic that things are safer now. Anywho, we should celebrate because I got to listen to TWO tasty audio books! Let’s talk about them!
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas– Oh my gosh, I loved this book SO MUCH. I was a little concerned it wouldn’t live up to the hype, but it DID and I LOVE IT and WHEW. So good. Let’s start at the beginning. So. Yadriel lives in a brujx community (pronounced like “brew-hex” which is delightfully witchy in English, isn’t it?) in Los Angeles. The community hails from a number of Latin American, South American, and Caribbean cultures, but their magic and devotion to Lady Death brings them all together. Yadriel is desperate to be accepted by his community, but because their traditions fall along a rigid gender binary and Yadriel is transgender, he’s not been allowed to participate in the traditional coming-of-age ceremonies that would enable him to use his innate magical gifts. Taking matters into their own hands, Yadriel and his renegade cousin Maritza (also an outcast because she’s vegan and refuses to use the prescribed animal blood in rituals) decide to perform Yadriel’s Quinces themselves. Just as Yadriel appears to have been accepted as a true brujo by Lady Death, their community is rocked by the certainty that one of their number has suffered a violent end. In an attempt to find his murdered cousin, Yadriel accidentally summons the spirit of Julian Diaz. Julian is a classmate of Yadriel’s, and it’s news to all involved that he is no longer among the living. Yadriel and Maritza now have to not only attempt to solve the mystery of their missing cousin, but also guide Julian so that he can pass on peacefully. And Julian… He’s anything but peaceful. Goodness I can’t explain how much I loved this, and I HIGHLY recommend you listen to it if you get the chance because I don’t think Julian’s frenetic energy would have translated quite as well for me simply reading it on the page. It’s lovely and heartfelt and funny and adventurous. Read it, read it, read it!
First Comes Like by Alisha Rai– I’ve been reading this series since The Right Swipe, and, though it remains my favorite, I have a soft spot for all the stories in the Modern Love set. We first met Jia at the end of The Right Swipe: she’s from a traditional Mulslim Desi family- firmly cast as the black sheep since she abandoned medical school to pursue a career as a social media beauty influencer. While Jia’s family is loving and has learned from some mistakes with her older sisters, they still have a tendency to be a bit overbearing and critical of Jia’s decisions. Jia isn’t in the market for romance, until an intriguing actor slides into her DMs. Dev was born into a powerful Bollywood family and turned his acting talents to sensational Desi soaps. He’s handsome, charming, and different from how he comes across in his public persona. Surprisingly different, actually, because it appears that someone has Catfished Jia when she finally meets Dev and he has NO IDEA who she is. But Dev is an old-fashioned, honorable type of dude. He figures out that someone in his inner circle must have been responsible for deceiving Jia, and he wants to make amends. Because he’s HONORABLE, not because he’s smitten with Jia. Definitely not. And he DEFINITELY doesn’t spend hours watching Jia’s YouTube tutorials and trying out the skin care products she recommends. This book was very sweet and surprisingly wholesome. If you’re in the market for a rom-com, it’s worth the read.
I actually finished reading a couple more books this week, but I do not have the mental bandwidth to tell you about them right now. Besides, this blog post is already long enough. Let’s chat next week, yeah?
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