BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt by Jeanine CumminsThis is the story of Lydia and Luca. They are Mexicans trying to escape the wrath of the local cartel. The cartel took out their entire family and they survived the attack. They are on the run to the US and have to figure out the complicated ways of Central American migrants on the way to the US. Just like the book I read last year We Are Not From Here they travel on La Bestia to get to America. This book had a great deal of controversy surrounding it as Jeanine Cummins is white and wrote this book about Latino migrants and how she’s not qualified to tell that story because she is white. I tend to disagree with that sentiment, as I did learn something from this book regardless of the ethnic background of the author. Still a solid story.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed He Started it by Samantha Downing

He Started It by Samantha Downing This story was super weird, but I couldn’t put it down. It’s the story of three siblings who embark on a road trip cross country together with their grandfather’s ashes. The idea is that if they fulfill his wish of them retracing the exact trip that they took with him when they were children, they would inherit his sizable estate. The problem is they all carry huge resentments toward each other, they lie to each other, they steal from each other, they manipulate each other. They did it on the trip with they were kids and they are doing it on the trip as they are adults. Each member of this family was entirely unlikeable, but there are so many little mysteries about them that get uncovered along the way and that’s what kept me reading and that’s what made it a standout read for February.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.