Book club,  Reviews

You got anything stronger? {Book review}

Hello friends! This year is the year of the book worm, so each month expect a review sometimes two. It’s no secret that I enjoyed reading we’re going to need more wine. So when the highly anticipated you got anything stronger ? finally came out, I knew I had to have it. The day I got this, as a gift, seemed sweeter and I couldn’t wait to devour this anthology of stories.

 “For me success is about change. I need to be able to look around at others so I can be sure everyone has something to eat on their plate. It’s no longer enough just to stare down at my own tray, so overflowing with “abundance” that I’m never going to even have a chance to eat. It used to be, but that sh*t don’t taste good anymore. I lost my appetite”.

Synopsis

This collection of stories picks up where we left off in 2017, a continuation of her book we’re going to need more wine. A book where she detailed her infertility and experience with IVF, her sexual assualt and her relationships. This book is no different she speaks on her journey with surrogacy, aging and racism and has a couple of humorous stories.

“I thought of something he would sometimes say to himself and to others: “My belief is stronger than your doubt.” He usually said this when he was counted out after an injury, or walking away from a deal everyone thought he was crazy to turn away.”

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Some chapters that stood out for me were

Loved even as a thought

This is her journey with surrogacy, she takes us behind the veil. She details how she came to this decision, the self doubt and explaining to her family the process. After so many miscarriages and so much heart ache you can’t help but be overjoyed with her and her family at the birth of their adorable shady baby.

Zaya

This chapter chronicles Zayas’ journey and how she came out to friends and family and then the world. I long for a day no one has to come out. I love how she and Dwayne have done their best to understand, love and support their daughter. Gabrielle takes the initiative, with each move, to go to the school ahead of Zaya and make sure they are aware of her pronouns and it is a safe space.

Escape from Kings landing

This is one story I kept waiting to laugh, kept waiting to hear it is a really bad joke or there’s a rainbow at the end of it. There was not, instead the cold reminder that racism still exists, lacks originality and that ignorance and hate are not sold separately. This one line from the book summarized it for me: “Now we’d crossed an ocean and a sea, and we were met with mammy and Jim Crow caricatures we thought we’d left. Home grown racism sold back to us like McDonald’s”.

Black bodies on auto play

I grappled with this chapter and still do. As for a long time I believed the recordings and sharing of police brutality on black bodies was a step in the right direction. Not only for awareness but for evidence and maybe change. However she reckons that this is just one extended view of the lynching’s and how no real punishment for these officers ever materializes.  The entire standards and practices chapter was definitely one where we needed something stronger.

“We are great because we feel and we tell the truth, and in so doing we create community. We got this”.

Final thoughts

I savored this read, however there were some stories where there was a disconnect. It still felt like old friends catching up, her draw card is her willingness to be vulnerable regardless of how messy it is. She was able to walk the tight rope and balance the book. As it was both fun ( the dance off with Bruno Mars), thought provoking and relatable. Have you read the book ? please let me know in the comments section.

One Comment

  • Siyabonga Buthelezi

    I enjoy the commentary, I want to read this book sounds like there’s a lot to it than what the cover leads it on to be.

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