From the Back of My Shelf is a bi-monthly event, that happens on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month where you pull a book from the back of your shelf (with a 2009 release or prior) and review it. It’s a way to read some of those books that have been gathering dust while new books came out. Feel free to join in and participate, and link your reviews up in the Mr Linky below. Check out more in my intro post here here.
Release Date: June 11, 2009
Rating: 2.75 stars
Meet Tamika Sykes – Mik to her friends (if she had any). She’s hearing impaired and way too smart for her West Bronx high school. She copes by reading lips and selling homework answers, and looks forward to the time each day when she can be alone in her room drawing. She’s a tough girl who never gets close to anyone, until she meets Fatima, a teenage refugee who sells newspapers on Mik’s block. Both Mik and Fatima unite in their efforts to befriend Jimmi, a homeless vet who is shunned by the rest of the community.
The events that follow when these three outcasts converge will break open their close-knit community and change the lives of those living in the Orange Houses in explosive and unexpected ways.
I was very excited for The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin after reading his novel Stay With Me. Sadly, this one did not live up to the expectations I had for it.
I was not crazy about The Orange Houses being told in third person. It made the story very hard to get into as it was so disjointed. The story was also told from 3 POVs, and that was too much for this book. I liked the idea of it, but considering the book was only 150 pages, it was too little for each character.
Most of the characters were great. I had a bit of an issue with Tamika, as to me, it felt like she didn’t have the strength and courage to keep going. There was nothing holding her back but her own attitude, and because of that I was not too keen of her. I really liked both Fatima and Jimmi. They were definitely my two favorite characters of the book. Fatima was such a good soul.
There was definitely a plot, but there wasn’t much to it in my mind. The characters all had a worthy story to be told, but there wasn’t a lot of continuity between the plot points.
The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin was a book that had a lot of good things about it, but was not executed the best. I had a hard time getting past the writing, as it was just so disjointed that I couldn’t get into the story.