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Lakewood
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
74 posts | 49 read | 85 to read
A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentationpart The Handmaids Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. When Lena Johnsons beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan. On paper, her new job is too good to be true. High paying. No out of pocket medical expenses. A free place to live. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret programand lie to her friends and family about the research being done in Lakewood. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away. The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the worldbut the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much shes willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family. Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.
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allureofbeauty
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Books I read for November.

Gissy I loved MonsterCalls, beautiful but sad😢The illustrations are amazing. 7d
13 likes1 comment
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keepingupwiththepenguins
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

Giddings is very, very clever. The fact that she developed this complex premise right out the gate, for her debut novel, is very, very, impressive. There were a few unanswered questions (like, who was funding these studies?) and the prose didn‘t always shine, but on the whole, an amazing effort. I think Giddings is going to have a writing career to watch. Full review: https://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/lakewood-megan-giddings/

52 likes1 stack add
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Chelsea.Poole
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

Excellent audio narration! I picked this one up for #Booked2022 for #BlackOwnedPublisherOrImprint and I‘m glad I did. While I do agree wish some reviewers who mention the pacing issues, I liked the concept enough to overlook it. Our MC is hurting for cash so she enlists in a series of studies at Lakewood, where the benefits are great but come at a great price. A commentary on race and raises plenty of ethical issues which I appreciate in fiction.

84 likes2 stack adds
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rsteve388
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
Mehso-so

This book was interesting, but not great. Half the time I felt like I didn't know where the story was going. I liked it enough to finish it. It's a strong story about racism within The US regarding medical testing in Black and people of color and I appreciated that aspect of it.

3.5 stars

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rsteve388
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Just heard of this new app called Bookycall like booty call it's a Book Recommendation app that is similar in style to Tinder. It's super cute. You create an account, tell it what types of books you like. And then you swipe right or left for books you like.or don't like and then you get messages from the books who send you links for how to get the book and they include print, ebooks and audiobook options. So fun!

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rsteve388
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

Just got a new phone, maybe I should try reading an e book in this. The screen is really big and nicer to look at then my old phone.

Hmmm what book should I read as an ebook hmmm

Scochrane26 I tend to read Agatha Christie books on my phone. Not sure why I got into that habit, maybe because I get them from hoopla & they‘re easy reads. 14mo
rsteve388 Hmm that's an interesting idea. I really want to read and then there was none 14mo
Scochrane26 @rsteve388 That one is so good. Prob her best. 14mo
rsteve388 @Scochrane26 yeah, I read it during HS. Liked it then. 14mo
Trashcanman Anything but Dickens. 14mo
26 likes5 comments
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rsteve388
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Clwojick
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Would you accept a shit ton of money and some crazy good medical insurance in exchange for taking part of countless medical tests with no information given to you? I‘m about half way through this triller and I‘m loving it so far. #TeamSlaughter

samantharoberts As a pharmacist who works in clinical research, the plot of this sounds terrifying! 😳 1y
aroc @samanthagutt I was thinking the same thing!! 1y
MidnightBookGirl Hmmm... I'd be tempted! 1y
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Texreader Help! I cannot find what our team's buddy read is this year. I've got a slow start, but I have time for an audiobook. Thanks!

What else is going on with our team that I should know about?
14mo
Clwojick @Texreader you have two choices. Either any book in this series 14mo
rsteve388 This is on my bingo card so I hope you get to it soon! 14mo
Texreader YAY, THANKS! 14mo
Clwojick @rsteve388 Hopefully you like it! 14mo
65 likes2 stack adds9 comments
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ReadingEnvy
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 223: Cicada Season with Rachel Mans McKenny @rachelm

Jenny and Rachel discuss books that didn't get as much attention as they deserved during the early days of the pandemic, science in fiction, a new podcast, and more.

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy223

Christine This episode was wonderful (and not just bc it included a lot of Brandi Carlile fangirling, which is my sweet spot :). And I really enjoyed the first episode of the Blind Date with a Book podcast, too, @rachelm ! 1y
rachelm @Christine thanks for listening! I‘m so happy it‘s live! 1y
ReadingEnvy @Christine to be honest I edited some of the fangirling out 🥴 1y
Christine 😂❤️ 1y
Centique That was a very fun listen thanks Jenny! 😍 1y
45 likes5 comments
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ElleSkel
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

This one was between a pick and a so-so for me. This book had so much to say and I appreciate it for what it is, but I had a hard time getting submerged in it. I agree with some of the reviews that the overall content was excellent but there lacked balance. It dragged in areas and then the end was a bit rushed with not quite as much closure and answers as I personally would have liked. This was a solid ⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me.

Addison_Reads That's how I felt about this one too. I am interested to see any future writings by this author though. 2y
ElleSkel @Addison_Reads me too! I feel like there was so much potential here to really feel for these characters but that it was less about them and more about their situation. Maybe that was the intention and if so then well done but maybe could have dialed back some of the details a bits so we wouldn‘t feel like we were supposed to really get to know anyone. I am definitely curious about this author‘s future work! (edited) 2y
readordierachel I had similar feelings, though I ultimately enjoyed it. 2y
35 likes3 comments
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ElleSkel
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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This is my #libraryhaul for March, many of which are on my #BookSpinBingo board alongside some I own that have been on my TBR for far too long.
I am not sure if it is because I am coming off the high of The Cerulean Sea or if it is just the book itself but I can‘t seem to connect with this one even though the message is so strong. Almost done and with all that is happening I want to feel more than I do for the characters. We shall see.

SW-T It‘s good...but would be hard to get into after 2y
47 likes1 comment
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readordierachel
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

To pay off family debt, a college student joins a research program, agreeing to live in the mysterious town of Lakewood and take various experimental treatments in exchange for a healthy paycheck. An eerie novel that calls out the history of U.S. medical experimentation on Black people. I do think there is some unrealized potential here, and I didn't connect with the characters so much as the situation. But overall a solid, thought-provoking read.

Come-read-with-me This sounds great. Have you read The Immortal Life if Henrietta Lacks? It deals with the topic of medical exploration /exploitation of people of colour. It was a great book. 2y
Crazeedi @Come-read-with-me I read that one a couple years ago, very good 2y
candority Great review! 💕 2y
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readordierachel @Come-read-with-me I'm familiar with the story but haven't read the book yet. It's on my list! I did read this one, which is a broader overview of the topic though 2y
TNbookworm Great review! 2y
Reggie When that one woman lost her teeth, when the kid shoots their parents, when Lena and her mom look for Charlie but can‘t find evidence of him. Ughhh, very creepy. I liked this book. Glad you liked it too! 2y
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻sounds good. 2y
readordierachel @Reggie Omg yes, that shooting part 💔 2y
readordierachel @Cathythoughts Thanks 💕 It was! 2y
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MallenNC
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

This short book was an intense reading experience as you follow a young Black woman into a mysterious, secret series of experiments in a small town called Lakewood. She is driven to this by debt caused by medical bills for her mother and grandmother. There‘s a surreal quality to the story, and it‘s creepy though not written as horror. The ending is a bit loose, but I think it worked well. (Another book from @Amandajoy that I finished in January)

Amandajoy This is about as close to horror as I get. I found it very suspenseful. Glad you enjoyed it! 2y
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comics_librarian
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

Earnest and chilling, Lakewood is a cautionary and thought-provoking critique on race and class disguised as body horror but succeeds at both.

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rachelm
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Here‘s my #20best2020. What a fun game @Cinfhen !

Cinfhen Yay!!! Thanks for sharing!!! SO MANY titles I‘m hoping to read in 2021 ❣️❣️❣️ 2y
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Reggie
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

Thank you @Bookzombie for this book and the other that I‘ll get to soon. This books starts off overcast as Lena‘s grandmother dies and stays that way as she realizes with her sick mother it will fall on her to pay all the incoming bills and provide for her mother. She drops out of college and signs up for secret experimental testing for money. As we follow Lena further it becomes increasingly hazy, creepy and frightening. Pick!

Cinfhen I just bought this on #KindleDeal ♥️ 2y
Reggie @Cinfhen I hope you like it. It‘s kind of a downer to read but it had some things to say. 2y
vivastory I picked this one up in June. I keep eyeing it. Will def try to get to it soon. 2y
Cinfhen That‘s good to know ☺️i need to be in the right mood for a downer read 2y
Bookzombie Happy it was a pick! I will have to bump it up and get to it next year. 🙂 2y
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Reggie
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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vivastory Ooof. Where's the lie? 2y
Reggie @vivastory right? 2y
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Lindy
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

A Black college student in Michigan decides to participate in a lucrative research study in order to cover health costs for her ill mother. The NDA that Lena signs stops her from getting emotional support from her friends & family as the experiments get stranger, more invasive & downright frightening. The sense of dread mounts in this eerie novel about scientific experimentation on nonwhite citizens in the USA.

Reggie I‘m actually reading this today. 2y
Lindy @Reggie 👍 We‘ll be discussing it at my feminist book club on Saturday. 2y
Reggie Have you ever read the tagged book, Lindy? Because it‘s just like this one but instead of race it‘s based on age. It‘s pretty good, too. 2y
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Lindy
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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It brought Lena so much pleasure to call colors by specific names, both formal and made up. Klein Blue, Cerulean, Scarab-from-Cleopatra Blue. It made her feel like she was becoming an interesting adult to know things like that, to get pleasure out of the things her brain squeezed onto and refused to leave.

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Rehesina
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
Mehso-so

Was really slow and then super rushed

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Rehesina
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

The closest I can come to describing how I felt at that moment was I was sentient champagne. I loved the feeling of being exposed to the air, fizzing over my bottle‘s edge.

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Rehesina
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

Eyes liquid with emotion, having to attempt to communicate with gestures about how big you‘re feeling in that moment.

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Twainy
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

🎧 So this was on several spooktober TBR‘s as horror. Nope.

Lena‘s gramma dies. Her mom‘s medical bills are rising. She decides to join a government memory experiment because .. the money!

The Doctors directing the experiments are creepy & Lena finds herself losing touch with reality as the experiments go off the rail.

Lost a star as this isn‘t horror. It‘s an ok thriller. ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/4

Prairiegirl_reading Lol! I saw this on those horror lists and took it off my tbr because horror isn‘t what I‘m wanting to read right now. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 2y
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TheLibrarian
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Mehso-so


Lakewood is about race and class. The main character, Lena, finds herself in financial trouble and signs up to be part of a human experiment group.

For some reason I thought this would be more horror than it was which brought my rating down a bit. Plus it was a little slow at times.

If this were to be made into a movie, Jordan Peele would make an excellent director/producer.

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monalyisha
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Next is another book from @Amandajoy (as I‘m sure you can tell, I loved her list!):

“An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away”...& a possible way out of debt for Lena‘s family.

“A startling debut about class & race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation—part The Handmaid‘s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

MallenNC You are helping me figure out which of the books I want to read first! This is a great match for me. 😀 2y
monalyisha Haha. You‘re welcome, @MallenNC 😉! 2y
Amandajoy I‘m glad you liked my list! I‘ll put in a plug for Book Riot‘s My TBR subscription. Both this book & the other one you tagged were suggestions from my bibliologist. 🤗 2y
See All 15 Comments
monalyisha @AmandaJoy Hmmm...something to keep in mind for my January birthday. Thanks! 2y
Amandajoy This one reminded me of the Homecoming podcast. Very suspenseful and unsettling. Great if you‘re looking for a thriller @MallenNC 2y
MallenNC @Amandajoy @monalyisha I also use My TBR and it is great. I just get the reccs, not the print books. Two of the books on my list are My TBR picks. (I Should Have Honor and All the Bad Apples). 2y
MallenNC @Amandajoy That sounds awesome! I‘d never heard of it. 2y
monalyisha @MallenNC Being lazy here but...do you pay for the My TBR recs? If so, do you mind if I ask how much it is (sans print books)? 2y
MallenNC @monalyisha Yes, it‘s $15 each time, and I have a quarterly subscription. I don‘t know what the print version costs but this one works for me, so I can either get from my library or my local indie. You fill out a profile and tell them what kind of books you want, and they send you a letter by email explaining why they selected those books for you. I really like it. 2y
MallenNC Since I have your email, I will send you a screenshot of my last one so you can see it. 2y
monalyisha @MallenNC Hmm...intriguing! Thanks! 2y
monalyisha @MallenNC What I really want to know is...how do I get MyTBR to hire me? 😆 2y
MallenNC @monalyisha I know! It sounds fun. My bibliogist writes for Book Riot too, so I don‘t know if all of them do. 2y
monalyisha @MallenNC I might have to make my own “bibliologist profile” & post it here. Favorite snack? Desert Island Reads? So on top of that. 2y
MallenNC @monalyisha You should! I just sent you my last reccs letter. 2y
49 likes5 stack adds15 comments
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MsLeah8417
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟

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MsLeah8417
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Currently reading 👀

atla I adore this cover 💕 2y
daisyheadmaesie This has been on my list for so long! Are you enjoying it? 2y
MsLeah8417 @daisyheadmaesie Yes, I finished it last night. 2y
12 likes4 comments
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Amandajoy
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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August wrap up. Got through my June & August #bookspin and my August #doublespin, one #newyearwhodis selection, plus a few more. Not too shabby. 🤓

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Hilary427
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Mehso-so

Great premise...first third of the book really grabbed me. Then it went mostly downhill. Drawn out, with not much of a conclusion. I never say this but I think it would be better as a movie or show. The writing is a bit of a disaster as well.

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SW-T
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

Secret medical studies are my idea of true horror stories. Plus, the US legacy of medical experiments on African Americans added to the creepiness factor. Family debt, familial love, and feelings of obligation make Lena‘s actions understandable. Also, the transition in voice from third person in part one to first person in part two added to the overall dark atmosphere.

*saw the photo online & liked it better than my own.

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rachelsbrittain
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

A book dealing with the legacy of experiments on black Americans in the U.S. with a psychological thriller feel. Lena decides to join a memory study in Lakewood in order to pay the medical bills for her ailing mother, but the strange and deadly experiments are clearly about more than memory. The longer Lena remains, the less she understands about the experiments and the less likely it seems she will leave the study unscathed

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mdemanatee
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Mehso-so

After the death of her grandmother, Lena signs on to a study to make extra money. But what Lena thought was a memory experiment soon has her questioning reality.

While the prose could be a little blunt and staccato for me, it also expertly kept the reader in a sense of questioning reality and truth.

If you enjoyed the fever dream narrative style of Catherine House, this may be a good fit, though this tends to feel more frantic than lethargic.

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rachelsbrittain
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Saturday morning reading, fueled by iced coffee

Minimalgrl 🤓🥰☕️🥰📚 perfect!! 2y
49 likes1 comment
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rachelsbrittain
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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My local bookstore recommended this book for fans of Get Out as being "part Handmaid's Tale and part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" so obviously I had to download it from my library immediately

Cosmos_Moon My current audiobook discusses some history of actual medical experiments that were done on African descendants. Horrifying. 2y
58 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Godpants
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this one.

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Godpants
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Our system crashed at work and I find fiction helps me focus and stay calm, so even though the subject matter is still going to be heavy, I‘m hoping it will help me through this hard day.

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TheLibrarian
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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My 3 Tailored Book Recommendations for this quarter! Told them I was on a horror/thriller kick and they didn‘t disappoint with my selections!

#gettbr

rachelm Loved Lakewood 2y
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JoScho
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Sharing books by black authors during the month of July. I will add the synopsis from Goodreads below and in the comments.
A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation—part The Handmaid‘s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. ⬇️
#ReadBlackAuthors #BlackLivesMatter #BLM #BeTheChange

JoScho When Lena Johnson‘s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan. 2y
JoScho On paper, her new job is too good to be true. High paying. No out of pocket medical expenses. A free place to live. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret program—and lie to her friends and family about the research being done in Lakewood. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away. 2y
JoScho The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the world—but the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she‘s willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family.
2y
See All 10 Comments
JoScho Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science. 2y
Prairiegirl_reading I have this on my wish list! 2y
JoScho @Prairiegirl_reading me too! It sounds fantastic 🖤 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage This was a good book, but the ending seemed a little too predictable. Still, it‘s an important topic. 2y
EKonrad Loved this one! 2y
JoScho @EKonrad oh good to know 🖤 2y
72 likes4 stack adds10 comments
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Angitron
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Mehso-so

Interesting premise, but unfortunately I didn‘t find it to be very well written. It was repetitive, felt a bit pointless by the end, and was written in a way that was more confusing than enlightening. I‘d been looking forward to this for awhile, and am bummed that it didn‘t pay off.

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Bertha_Mason
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

"The hiss of tires on the road, rubber telling pavement gossip that shouldn't be repeated."

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Bertha_Mason
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
This post contains spoilers
show me

"She had opened the same article, about an abandoned amusement park taken over by feral cats, seven times. She had replied twice to Judy's email about the microwave, with a gif of a champagne tower. Dr. Lisa said it was boxes inside of boxes. And what if that meant that she, too, was in an experiment? But what did that mean for everyone? She clicked a link to an interesting article about an amusement park."

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Bertha_Mason
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

"A young man was pumping his gas with an unlit cigarette tucked between his lips. His dog was watching. Its eager expression, the way it wagged its tail, seemed as if he was encouraging the man to light it. The dog wanted to watch the gas station burn, film the carnage.

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Bertha_Mason
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

"Disgust was pressing its lips against her ears, her mouth, her neck."

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Bertha_Mason
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

"Dr. Lisa's white teeth looked freshly painted."

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Bertha_Mason
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

"Her shoes squeaked. Each step sounded like a surprised fart."

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Jbakesmcgee3
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

Whoa.

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Bertha_Mason
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

"Lena had kissed enough people to know that kisses rarely said anything more than please like me, or I like you, or let's have sex. But she hoped that somehow he could feel the thank you for helping me not to worry, to not grieve, for a few hours."

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Bertha_Mason
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings

"Kelly's eyes were dark and his eyelashes were so long it was rude."

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Amandajoy
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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My recommendations are in! I asked my bibliologist for recommendations from Black authors and she obliged. These look so good! It took all my willpower to not run straight to the bookstore. (The family would‘ve been irritated at the lack of dinner prepared.) This is by far my favorite subscription service! #gettbr #mytbr #integrateyourshelf

Laughterhp Stay With Me was really good! I have to avoid the same temptation as well when I get my recommendations 😂😂 2y
Chelsea.Poole I also read Stay With Me. So good. I wasn't expecting to cry as many times as I did 😭 2y
ChasingOm I keep seeing Lakewood in people‘s stacks and I need to put it on my wish list! 2y
Amandajoy @ChasingOm this was the first I heard of it, but it looks really good! 2y
Amandajoy @Laughterhp @Chelsea.Poole I love a good story that gets you in the feels. 2y
44 likes5 comments
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TheLibrarian
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Breakfast and reading outside. Couldn‘t ask for a more perfect start of the day. #SundayVibes

Yesterday was the first time that I left the house to visit people (other than my parents once). My husband and I took a road trip to visit his best friend and wife, who just had their first baby! On the way home, we stopped to visit my bff and her boyfriend for a few minutes and to drop off dishes. We didn‘t get too close to anyone to be safe.