‘When Life Gives You Mangos’ by Kereen Getten | Book Review

Book Review: When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten

When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Length: 208 pages
Genre: Children’s Fiction (Middle Grade)
Release Date: September 15, 2020

Synopsis

For fans of deeply poignant middle grade about friendship and loss like The Thing About Jellyfish, comes the story about a young girl who can’t remember anything from her previous summer after a hurricane.

Twelve-year-old Clara lives on an island that visitors call exotic. But there’s nothing exotic about it to Clara. She loves eating ripe mangos off the ground, running outside in the rain with her Papa during rainy season, and going to her secret hideout with Gaynah–even though lately she’s not acting like a best friend.

The only thing out of the ordinary for Clara is that something happened to her memory that made her forget everything that happened last summer after a hurricane hit. Sometimes things come back to her in drips like a tap that hasn’t been turned off properly. Other times her Mama fills in the blanks…only she knows those aren’t her memories and it is hard feeling like she is not like everybody else.

But this summer is going to be different for Clara. Everyone is buzzing with excitement over a new girl in the village who is not like other visitors. She is about to make big waves on the island–and give Clara a summer she won’t forget.

My Thoughts

*I received a copy of ‘When Life Gives You Mangos’ through NetGalley and Delacorte Press, in exchange for an honest review*

My heart went out to Clara in ‘When Life Gives You Mangos’! All Clara wants is to repair her complicated friendship with Gaynah. The face that Gaynah isn’t supportive of her memory lapses doesn’t make things easier! Clara has an exciting cast of characters in her island community: a nagging matriarch with a heart of gold, an uncle known for his ‘eccentric past’, and a new girl with fashionable clothes with an eye for Clara’s well being.

The road to Clara’s memory recovery is indeed a struggle, as she comes to grips to the events that led her to that predicament. Her community is very supportive and protective, going to great lengths to keep secrets for the sake of security. It isn’t until a adventurous playdate in the neighborhood that Clara begins to discover there is more to her friendships than what she’s aware of.

I love Clara’s island community, for it has two identities. For many, it’s an exotic place, where tourists visit to admire for days at a time. However, Clara’s island is home. Her island brims with her community’s rich identity. Neighborhoods flow with beautiful trees and vibrant homes, their history dating back centuries. It’s where Clara feels the safety of her family, holding her close when times grow difficult.

This is a middle grade novel, and it does an exceptional job handling the topic of traumatic events to a young audience. The story begins with a storm impacting the community, yet it doesn’t go overboard with graphic details. The takeaway is always a community uniting together in order to support each other. Clara goes through rough patches with her memory loss, yet her community is there to support on of their own.

I would recommend When Life Gives You Mangos for those wanting stories about friendship and recovering from trauma. Such a heartfelt story!


Would you want to put When Life Gives You Mangos in your TBR? Feel free to share in the comments!



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August 2020 OwlCrate Unboxing

August…the final days of summer! A slow year, yet the days flew by!

Today I realized that I almost forgot to post my August OwlCrate unboxing. I’m very excited to show everyone what I received!

Theme: Written In the Stars

Spoilers Ahead!

August OwlCrate: Star shaped bottle with push pins.
File name: wp-1598922283822883245575041315013.jpg

Star shaped bottle with push pins. A Team OwlCrate exclusive!


Strange the Dreamer bandana, designed by Fern and Ink. File name: wp-15989222842625028983889271609700.jpg

Strange the Dreamer inspired bandana, designed by Fern and Ink


The Starless Sea inspired booksleeve, designed by Quirky Cup Collective. File name: wp-15989222846777413968056097040950.jpg

The Starless Sea inspired book sleeve, designed by Quirky Cup Collective


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Aurora Rising inspired clipboard, designed by Daphna Sebbane
Team OwlCrate metal star pen


August OwlCrate Enamel Pin, designed by Band of Weirdos. File name: wp-15989223739229207472439778715875.jpg

Monthly enamel pin, designed by Band of Weirdos



Star Daughter by Sheveta Thakrar, with sprayed purple edges!

(Synopsis from Goodreads) The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest to save her father takes her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows. She must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.

Entire August OwlCrate box. File name: wp-15989224433306838297573311093070.jpg

OwlCrate offers wonderful items!

Feel free to Contact Me!

Blogger Recommendations | Book Blogger Hop

Blogger recommendations are truly a gift! They’re equally insightful and heartfelt!

Blogger Recommendations
Sailor Moon walks with a stack of books.
Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/v2GeZdeDm5RZe/giphy.gif

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer, in which you answer a prompt each week. It also helps you discover fellow contributors to check out and follow! You can view Coffee Addicted Writer’s post here.

Have you ever read a book that was suggested by another blogger? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

Of course! I began book blogging regularly two years ago. I immediately saw firsthand the hospitality of the community! For instance, bloggers are there with helpful suggestions on expanding your TBR. They’re also great in exposing me to new and exciting titles!

Books Read from Blogger Recommendations:

There are many more, yet this group stands out as worthwhile reads!

Blogger Recommendations
Belle celebrating a stack of books. 
Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/7aPevwPAgsBkQ/giphy.gif

Let’s Chat!

Have you read a book based on blogger recs? If so, how many?

Feel free to Contact Me!

Book Blogger Hop | August 16

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer, in which you answer a prompt each week. It also helps you discover fellow contributors to check out and follow! You can view Coffee Addicted Writer’s post here.

This Week’s Book Blogger Hop Question Is:

How often do you visit your local library? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

Well, before the pandemic changed everything, I visited my library about once a week. My library is always my go-to place for curriculum materials. I can’t wait for everything to be safe enough so I could visit frequently once again!

Levar Burton & friend exploring a Library

How often do you visit your local library? Do you miss it even more during these chaotic times?

Love and Light, Cathleen

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For more musings about Library Love, check out my post ‘Library Memories’!

This week’s Sunday Sentence was made possible by my library!

Saturday Reading Blog | August 15

This Saturday Reading Blog is coming to you from an overcast morning in Central NJ. It wasn’t supposed to be so cloudy! Hopefully your weekend has better weather, wherever you’re living!

I spent this week editing and submitting a piece for BOOKRIOT. I’m a contributor, and this is the first of two pieces I’m working on that’s poetry based. I love writing for this diverse publication!

Saturday Reading Blog
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas.
Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1572631416l/51080074._SX318_SY475_.jpg

I’m still reading The Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. I’m at the halfway point, and things seem like they’re reaching a turning point between Yadriel and Julian. I’m really liking this book! I’ll share my full thoughts next week, on my Hear Our Voices BT tour stop.

I’m also going to begin The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine. I still have a few days to read it before my book club meeting!

What are you reading this weekend?

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First Lines Friday | August 14

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? You can view Wandering Words’ post here.

If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

‘Amber Patterson was tired of being invisible. She’d been coming to this gym every day for three months–three long months of watching these women of leisure working at the only thing they cared about ‘.

Any guesses?

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine


Synopsis

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.

To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent.

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First Lines Friday | August 7

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? You can view Wandering Words’ post here.

If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

‘My sister Kwan believes she has yin eyes. She sees those who have died and now dwell in the World of Yin, ghosts who leave the mists just to visit her kitchen on Balboa Street in San Francisco.’

Any guesses?





First Lines Fridays

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
Link: https://i2.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1356505999l/761903.jpg?resize=304%2C475&ssl=1

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

Synopsis

The Hundred Secret Senses is an exultant novel about China and America, love and loyalty, the identities we invent and the true selves we discover along the way. Olivia Laguni is half-Chinese, but typically American in her uneasiness with her patchwork family. And no one in Olivia’s family is more embarrassing to her than her half-sister, Kwan Li. For Kwan speaks mangled English, is cheerfully deaf to Olivia’s sarcasm, and sees the dead with her “yin eyes.”

Even as Olivia details the particulars of her decades-long grudge against her sister (who, among other things, is a source of infuriatingly good advice), Kwan Li is telling her own story, one that sweeps us into the splendor, squalor, and violence of Manchu China. And out of the friction between her narrators, Amy Tan creates a work that illuminates both the present and the past sweetly, sadly, hilariously, with searing and vivid prose.

I can’t wait to read this wonderful book! What are your thoughts on The Hundred Secret Senses?

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Book Blogger Hop | July 12

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer, in which you answer a book related prompt. The Book Blogger Hop, helps you discover fellow contributors to check out and follow! You can view Coffee Addicted Writer’s post here.

This Week’s Question

Do you bring along books when you go on a vacation? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

I always bring books when I go on vacation! They’re great to relax with on the beach or poolside. My husband also brings his Kindle when we go on vacation. We read anywhere!


Do you bring books when you’re on vacation? Feel free to share in the comments!


Love and Light, Cathleen

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Goodreads Monday | July 13

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme started by Lauren’s Page Turners. You select a book listed on your Goodreads TBR and talk about it. Whether it’s a book photo or description (or both!), share why you love them! You can find Lauren’s Page Turners’ link here.


This Week’s Post

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

I ordered ‘The Vanishing Half’ through Book of the Month in June. I’ve heard many wonderful things about this story of sisters with divided lives. I can’t wait to get to this book!


Synopsis

From The New York Times -bestselling author of The Mothers , a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.


Are you excited to read The Vanishing Half? I know that I can’t wait to read this!


Love and Light, Cathleen

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Sunday Sentence | July 12

What is the ‘Sunday Sentence‘ project?

Sunday Sentence‘ is hosted by David Abrams. We share the best sentences read during the past week, ‘out of context and without commentary’. You can view the original link here.


‘Alone, all alone.
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.’

Source: ‘Alone’ by Maya Angelou


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