For What It's Worth

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Review: Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it's up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean. ~ Goodreads

Source: Review copy provided via the publisher at ALA

Review: Marvin’s twin brother, Tyler, goes missing after a party that is raided by the police. At first, Marvin is reluctant to say anything, hoping his brother is just laying low. After a video showing a cop - who has previously harassed Marvin and his friends & other black teens - killing a black teenage boy goes viral online, Marvin fears the worst and knows he has to come clean to his mother and the police.

Tyler Johnson Was Here has a ripped from the headlines quality to it. It immerses you into the #hashtag, viral video culture that consumes us during tragedies and racial tensions. By centering the story from Marvin's POV, instead of Tyler's, Coles keeps the story intensely personal and focused on the emotional fallout to family, friends and the black community, while still providing a fully formed characterization of Tyler.

Marvin’s grief, anger and guilt for not being able to save Tyler are a living thing. The friendships, a budding romance (Faith is fantastic! and not just the throw away girlfriend character) and wonderful interactions with his mom and imprisoned father elevate this story.

I will note that the pacing is a little uneven at times, but is still a strong coming of age story set against the backdrop of unbearable tragedy and the Black Lives Matter movement. Probing questions (from all pov's) and uneasy answers challenge the reader to acknowledge the humanity of those beyond the headlines.

I listened to this on audio with JaQwan J. Kelly doing the narration and I highly recommend that format. He imbued so much emotion into the story.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Blog All About It: Sky

Blog All About It is hosted by Anna from Herding Cats & Burning Soup and the August promt was Sky. I’m obviously late but still wanted to post the pics that I had.

They are all views from the townhome that we’re renting. We have beautiful sunsets with gorgeous colors that are always changing!

Monday, September 9, 2019

My Monday Musings…

I'm having a bumpy start to the month for some reason. My brain is just a puddle of goo right now. I'm kind of mopey, can't do words and just general blah-ness. Is this a seasonal thing? Is it because of fall? This is my first real fall in a few decades so maybe this is what happens during the swap from summer to fall??

I don't like it! lol

But...there's Starbuck's Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. AKA: my new favorite drink.

So slow reading so far but here's what's happening on that front!


Work for It by Talia Hibbert

I loved A Girl Like Her by Hibbert – it was hilarious but this one was ALL THE FEELS. Two men with troubled pasts and a mountain of issues (suicide, mental health/depression, sexual trauma/PTSD) (with a bit of a Beauty and the Beast vibe) learn to love each other and, more importantly, themselves in this steamy, awkward, sweet romance.


I already read Angelfall and hope to finish the series this week.


Alex + Ada, Vol.1

“From JONATHAN LUNA (GIRLS, THE SWORD, ULTRA, Spider-Woman: Origin) and SARAH VAUGHN (Sparkshooter) comes ALEX + ADA, a sci-fi drama set in the near future. The last thing in the world Alex wanted was an X5, the latest in realistic androids. But after Ada is dropped into his life, he discovers she is more than just a robot.”

Several people have rec’d this graphic novel to me and several volumes are on Hoopla so I hope to dive in soon!

How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery, Rebecca Green (Illustrator)

"National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animals--her friends--who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green."

The cover is so stunning and something about the blurb spoke to me so I snagged this after an Amazon promo email.

That’s it for this week!  I found that the beginning of the month is tough for me to get rolling but then I’ve been closing strong so we’ll see what happens in September.


I just had to share this picture of Figgy – he looks so damn sweet (lies – all lies) & I think he would be horrified f he could read and knew he was cuddling with so many dog related things lol

What's up people??? What are we reading, watching, doing this week?

Are you suffering from seasonal brain drain disorder too?