Mini Book Reviews: How To Be An AntiRacist |The Search Party | The Mothers | How To Disappear

How To Be An AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while and I’m so glad I finally picked it up. It’s a non-fiction book that is about how it’s not enough to just be not racist, we have to actively be anti-racist. The author examines his own thoughts and emotions on the subject and provokes the reader to think about their own ideas. Each chapter is on a different subject and opens with a brief description of the main terms used. I really liked how the book is set out and it meant I could read a chapter and then put the book down and take time to digest what I’d read before moving on to the next chapter. This is a US book but I still found it really enlightening as a British person living in the UK. It made me feel so much more empowered to be more pro-active as an anti-racist, and to speak out more when I see racist behaviour. I recommend this one and now I’m keen to start reading the author’s previous book Stamped From The Beginning.

The Search Party by Simon Lelic

I’ve read most of the author’s previous novels and enjoyed them but this one is his best yet! It follows a group of friends who decide to form a search party to go looking for their friend Sadie. The police are involved but this group feels that the police are not doing enough and are looking in the wrong place. We meet this group after the search and we hear their stories via the police interviews, which takes us back in time to before and during the search. I love how the picture of what happened is slowly built up and there are moments in this novel that are so tense I was holding my breath. There are red herrings along the way, which were also great as it threw me completely off the scent but it does all make sense at the end. We also find out that this group of friends don’t all like each other very much and they all have their reasons for wanting to find Sadie! We also get the perspective of the detective and he has his own past ties to this small town and this adds even more intrigue to the novel. I recommend this one!

The Mothers by Sarah J. Naughton

This book was the oldest one on my NetGalley shelf and I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner because it was such a gripping read. It follows a police officer investigating a missing man. We then follow a group of five mothers and we learn about how they became friends and how they are with each other. The missing man is the husband of one of these women and it seems there is more to the story than we initially find out. I really enjoyed how it went back and forth in time as we get to know the women and their back stories. At first it seems like they’re frenemies but there is a bond between them. I love stories about female friendship and this was another good one, and it went in a different direction than I was expecting so I loved that aspect. There are moments in the novel where I had to suspend my disbelief but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment at all as I was fully invested in the wider story. I recommend this one!

How To Disappear by Gillian McAllister

I love this author’s novels so have been eagerly anticipating this new one and it didn’t disappoint. This book follows teenager Zara who witnesses a crime and the repercussions mean her and her mum Lauren have to go into witness protection for their own safety. Lauren’s husband Aidan doesn’t go with them as he needs to stay near his own daughter Poppy. The first part of this book is so fast-paced and I couldn’t read it quick enough. Then the tension starts to build and I had to keep putting the book down, I was so anxious about the rules that kept being broken and what the consequences might be. And yet the book kept pulling me back because I just needed to know! This is a rollercoaster ride of a book and it definitely keeps you on your toes. I really enjoyed this one and I recommend it!

22 thoughts on “Mini Book Reviews: How To Be An AntiRacist |The Search Party | The Mothers | How To Disappear

  1. Some great books here. I was interested in your thoughts on How To Be An AntiRacist as I’ve felt it looked a bit too US-centric for me, I’ve been searching out UK-based narratives to read first. But it is an essential text so I’m sure I’ll get hold of it and read it soon. Well done on reading your oldest NetGalley (and great it was a good one), it’s a nice feeling to pick off those lingering ones, isn’t it!

    • How To Be An AntiRacist is US focused but it still felt universal enough that I got something out of it. I’m trying to read about both UK and US as my cousin is mixed race and living in America so I want to understand more about what he’s facing there as well as the background to racism in this country.
      It’s such a good feeling to be getting to some of the older books on my NetGalley Shelf, I’ve nearly read all the books that I got before this year now.

      • Ah, that does make it more useful for you to read the US ones. I’m glad you felt it was quite universal, too. And well done on your NetGalley. I’m about to take the last 2018 book off my print TBR and think I’m up to that point on NG as well.

        • Thank you. I’d really like to get my NetGalley down to just 2020 books soon so that I can then focus on reading more recent books and properly catch up. I keep getting approved for books that I requested ages ago though so every time I leave a review I seem to get approved for another one. At least it means it’s staying even rather than my NG TBR getting bigger. Well done on getting all your 2018 TBR books read.

  2. I must read that Simon Lelic, Hayley. He’s a skilled writer, and I think he builds psychological suspense quite well. I’m glad of the reminder of his work!

  3. Wonderful mini reviews! I’ve heard good things on Gillian McAllister and it sounds like the author nailed it for you too. I might have to get serious about looking into her books. And How To Be an Anti-Racist sounds like an excellent must-read. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much! πŸ™‚ I really like Gillian McAllister’s novels – her writing is going from strength to strength. I recommend them all. How To Be An AntiRacist was an excellent read, I’m glad I got to it and definitely recommend it. πŸ™‚

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