Book Reviews: Transcendent Kingdom, Book 4 of Bridgeton & The Bromance Book Club

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Goodreads blurb: Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut.

My take: 4.5 out of 5. Such a beautifully written book. Its an insightful and philosophical book without being preachy or boring. It’s quite easy to read and flowed through which i didn’t expect. Its a beautiful mix of medicine, psychology, family drama and personal awareness. But most of all a great commentary on religion vs science and the source of addiction. Two powerful topics beautifully dealt with here. so many good passages in the book some of my favorites:

  • But to be alive in the world, every day, as we are given more and more and more, as the nature of “what we can handle” changes and our methods for how we handle it change, too, that’s something of a miracle
  • I understood that the same thing that makes humans great – our recklessness, creativity  and curiosity – was also the thing that hampered the lives of everything around us
  • This tension, this idea that one must necessarily choose between science and religion , is false
  • How do you finish the experiment? What do you do when, years into your life, you figure out that the yellow brick road you’ve been easing down leads you directly into the eye of the tornado
  • We read the bible how we want to read it. It doesn’t change but we do.
  • Instead of trying to pray all day, live your life as a prayer.

Romancing Mr Bridgerton – Bridgerton Book no. 4 by Julia Quinn

Goodreads blurb: Everyone knows that Colin Bridgerton is the most charming man in London. Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for…well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret…and fears she doesn’t know him at all.Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone’s preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph. But when Colin returns to London from a trip abroad he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same – especially Penelope Featherington! The girl haunting his dreams. But when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide…is she his biggest threat – or his promise of a happy ending?

My take: 3.5 out of 5. The main issue with this book is that reading it after watching the series made it very anticlimactic. SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVENT WATCHED THE SERIES: A lot of the tension in the book revolves around the fact that you are not supposed to know that Penelope is Lady Whistledown. However, as per the last scene of the series, we already know that, so this book, although a super cute telling of the Penelope and Colin story, looses some of that intrigue. You are just kind of waiting to happen and pulling the pieces together, but without so much tension. It is cool that we get a love story when we already know both characters from previous books and its a cute story its just not the best of the ones I’ve read.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Goodreads blurb: The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club. Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. Welcome to the Bromance Book Club. Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

My take: 3 out of 5. I was about to let this book go when on one of the first pages the most grammatically incorrect phrase in Spanish came up. (como es el is not how is he doing, just FYI. I’m appalled that no editor chose to check this). However the premise of the book seemed fun and i had heard so much about it that I decided to keep reading. On the positive: The concept of a Men’s romance book club is quite cool, and a different setting. On the negative however, i think Gavin is not a fully developed character. Thea has so much more depth and although they try with Gavin he just seems a bit one dimensional to me. Also i will probably not be reading the second book in the series , because I found Liv, the sister, insufferable and she is the main character in the second book so it presents a conundrum.

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