Friday, January 20, 2017

Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns by J. California Cooper

Hello, Stars! Let's talk about the very first book on My BookshelfWild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns by J. California Cooper. Although I randomly chose to this book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I was about to read reviews but I read one and decided I didn't want my original opinions and review to altered by anything I read. I will try not to spoil anything for those who may not have read it yet. If you have read and want to discuss, be sure to comment below.

This novel is a collection of short stories. Each short story has at least one "Wild Star," a character who is living life boldly, wildly, and not thinking of the consequences. On the other hand, each Wild Star is balance by a character seeking midnight suns. These characters were trying to find their bright light in a their world of darkness. Thankfully, they always found it. Unfortunately, all the Wild Stars lost their lights after they swiftly began to dim.

There were a few common themes in each story.

SEX. This book really pushed the limits of sexual freedom and sexual consent. I don't feel the stories were graphic. Cooper gave you enough detail to understand how the characters felt and it was tastefully written. I loved that it was openly discussed because the sexual relationships and situations these characters had are very similar to the real, non-fairy tale stories that many women have. Sexual suppression was also shown. Sex, sex, sex. Before reading this book, I didn't really want to discuss it at all, let alone say the word. Now, I feel like in order to have a healthy thinking around what sex means to me, I have to talk about it. I'm not going to suddenly become Carrie Bradshaw, but I will no longer run away from the topic.

GOD. As a Christian woman, I am glad she put God in the stories. In real life, when I have life changing events, I turn to God for solace or answers just as the characters did. The way Cooper included this into a woman's healing process was very accurate especially, for Black women. Now if you don't believe in God, this is not a Christian book and you can look at it from a historical or statistical point-of-view of the Black Church. She adds enough God for you to relate or to just simple understand where the characters are coming from.

FREEDOM. I found it most interesting that freedom was shown mostly as the aftermath of being bound. I don't believe any or the characters really started off free. There was so much false freedom. Characters acting freely in their choices only to feel bound during or after dealing with consequences. many characters struggled with not being free mentally as well. If only they could've freed their mind, they could freed themselves from what was keeping them bound.

FINDING LOVE. Each character was seeking their own midnight suns. A common sun for each character was real love. Whether it was love of self, love from someone else, or both, it was evident that love was the characters' underlying end goal. Some found their love and others did not.

FINDING ONESELF. What I loved most were the characters who sought out to find what their true purpose in life was. The journey of finding yourself  and what you want to do with your life is a real process. There's just something inspiring about a woman who learns all that she can by working tirelessly and it eventually pays off. But I also loved how Cooper showed the real drawbacks of working to find oneself first. In some cases, you find love later, you find "success" later in life, and you are badgered  for not having the same priorities of most people around you.

I believe that all women could find themselves in these characters. However, if you are twenty-something Black woman, I think this book will inspire you to go get it. It will inspire you to reach your goals and to aspire to greater. It will inspire you to leave your past in the past and to focus on living now. Because I saw realism in the characters, I was giving the characters advice as I read along. Not realizing the realism I saw in the characters is my own life. Reading these short stories made me realize I need to take my own advice, since I can now see my decisions clearly. Millennial Black women, people think we have it so easy. But the way life is hitting me (so I know it is hitting you), I know that not enough has changed in society for us to truly walk in who we know we are without any limitations. Yet, we do have more opportunities, more education, and more money. We now have the opportunity to focus on self-care, self-love, and self-purpose. While we often feel obligated, you are not required to hold it all in and to carry it all on your back. Let the things you can't change go and make a bright future for yourself.

I personally loved this book because it came right on time for me. My life right now is weird because I just want to live my life to the fullest. However, for years I have felt bound and not very free at all. This book helped me to define what freedom is for myself. Freedom is simply doing whatever you want to do and attaining whatever you wish to attain however you choose to do so. The world will make you think that the only freedoms are partying, having plenty of sex, being carefree, not working very hard, having money, and/or stumbling across the love of your life. If that's what you aspire to do, then doing so is your freedom. But if you desire to work hard, make an honest living, save sex for marriage, help others, and give yourself boundaries, you are not bound, if that is your choice. You are being free. This book made me realize every life choice has good and bad consequences. You have to empower yourself to choose the life choices that are best for you. You can be a star shining brightly. You can live in the darkness of your mind. It is your decision to make.

Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts and opinions by commenting below. Thank you J. California Cooper! SMOOCHES XOXO


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