Up at the College
In Michele Andrea Bowen’s newest novel “Up at the College,” Bowen detracts from her usual church-centered novels and sets this one in a small HBCU in North Carolina.
However, while the setting and plot are different, Bowen holds true to her Christian roots in the message conveyed within the book, providing a multi-faceted, truly rewarding read.
The story follows a young, newly divorced woman, Yvonne Fountain, as she settles into her new position at Evangeline T. Marshall University in Durham, N.C.
While Yvonne puts the pieces of her life back together and attempts to obtain some security in her job position as an Interior Design Consultant and professor, she unexpectedly meets and begins to pursue a relationship with the university’s head basketball coach, Curtis Parker.
Meanwhile, head coach Curtis Parker is struggling with a team that has lost every game and a job that is hanging in the balance.
With the help of his assistant coach, Maurice Fountain, and Yvonne, Parker works to bring down the corruption and despotism that has practically destroyed not only his team, but the athletic department as well.
Not only is this book a light-hearted, humorous read, but it is uplifting in its message of determination and persistence.
While it falls under the genre of religious fiction, “Up at the College” is not preachy, and gives a message of hope and faith without browbeating the reader with a Bible.
This book is recommended for a great, relaxing read to anyone.
Before the making of the movie ‘Precious’, the novel Push by Sapphire inspired it all. Push
tells the life story of Claireece Precious Jones.
The novel is told from Precious’ point of view with graphic language describing her experience of being raped by her father and giving birth to his two kids, overcoming illiteracy and self-esteem issues among other problems.
The book is mainly about Precious’ journey to liberation as she breaks free from the enslavement of her mother and learns to read and write by attending an alternative school.
Precious’ broken English language in the book makes it even more groundbreaking.
In the beginning, her speech is barely comprehendible, but as the book progresses and she attends school to learn to read and write there is a difference in her language skills.
The book’s setting is in Harlem in the 1980s.
Precious lives with her mother, who abuses her in every way possible, in an apartment building.
Her mother is quite a character.
She is welfare-dependant and encourages Precious to live off the system as well.
She verbally abuses her by telling her she is never going to be nothing without welfare and basically that school won’t get her as far as she thinks.
The thrilling account of Precious’ adventure is quite interesting.
She gives birth to her first child at 12, but is unable to keep it because it has Down syndrome.
She gives the child to her grandmother who claims it to get more money from the welfare system.
At 16, she gives birth to her second child, who she lives for and strives to get ahead so she can be the best mother to him she can be.
There are some elements in the movie, ‘Precious’ that differ from the book ‘Push.’ The novel deals with common issues in the black community such as absent fathers, obesity, teen pregnancy, parental abuse, and the light skin/dark skin color complex.
I read the novel and even though I cannot relate to anything that Precious went through I empathized with her and rejoiced when she finally met her goal of learning to read and write.
The book is an easy read with only 192 pages. It does not provide a fairytale ending, but it concludes realistically and we can only hope what happens to Precious in the future.
Twilight: New Moon
Stephanie Meyer does it again in New Moon, her remarkably well-written sequel in the Twilight series.
With a little less action then its prequel and written at a slower pace, New Moon offers more romance, and anxiety to keep its readers intrigued.
Bella Swan (main character) is hurting when her vampire-boyfriend Edward and his family decide to abandon the town of Forks with no explanation.
The story focuses mainly on her emotional troubles and difficulty as she tries to cope with her loss.
Fans of the original book Twilight may slightly be disappointed because of the absence of Edward and the Cullen family.
Nevertheless, readers that enjoy fantasy will be pleased with the introduction of werewolves in this sequel.
This offers an interesting plot because while Bella is in love with a vampire, her friendship with Jacob will be tested because of his werewolf heritage.
All in All, New Moon offers less of a love-story and more of a first-hand narrated account of events, told from the main character, Bella.