Book Reviews · Recommendations

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
By: Dawnie Walton

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Published: March 2021
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Format Read: eBook, Kindle, ARC, NetGalley
Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5

NOTE: I was sent a copy of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton, from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.


A poignant fictional oral history of the beloved rock ‘n’ roll duo who shot to fame in the 1970s New York, and the dark, fraught secret that lies at the peak of their stardom.

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.

Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.

My Thoughts

Like many other readers, I was intrigued to read The Final Revival of Opal and Nev, after seeing it being compared to Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Like that book, Dawnie Walton tells this story in an interview format. However where Daisy Jones and the Six focuses on emotional lyrics, Opal and Nev explores more of a social justice point of view.

While I don’t think that the music this unlikely pair would have released would have been my cup of tea, I could definitely appreciate how they would have made an impression with their originality. Opal especially was a strong character, although she wasn’t perfect. I liked how she became a leader for those who were seen as different and not accepted by society.

Author Dawnie Walton did not shy away from tackling difficult topics including; feminism and racial injustices. I would recommend it to readers who are looking for an impactful book that explores those topics.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Quick Thoughts on Recent Short Listens

Today I am going to share some quick thoughts on two of my most recent short stories that I listened to in audiobook format.

Tinaca Jones
By: Matt Boren
Narrated by: Retta

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Published: January 2020
Published by: Audible Audio
Format Read: Audio book, Audible
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Audio Book, Humor

Rating: 2/5

Quick Thoughts: Told in interview format, cashier and entrepreneur-to-be Tinaca Jones discovers that her identity has been stolen by a women seeking fame. This short Audible Original chronicles Tinaca’s humorous testimony. Although it had some laugh out loud moments, and I enjoyed the pop culture references, I did find it to be quite long winded. Still, I think that there is an audience for this audiobook, and I would recommend listening to it.

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself
By: Steve Chandler

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Published: January 2006
Published by: HighBridge Company
Format Read: Audiobook, Libby App
Genre: Self-help, Non-fiction

Rating: 3/5

Quick Thoughts: We can all use some extra motivation from time to time. This is especially true for me as I can be quite the procrastinator. Steve Chandler, offers 100 ways to motivate yourself .Several tips I found to be of interest and I enjoyed the quotes that were included, especially the story about Arnold Schwarzenegger and the importance of creating a vision of yourself and then living your life accordingly. One specific tip that has helped me to be more productive was, aside from writing a to-do list, also make a list of your accomplishments. Although I found this book to be helpful, I found the narration to be less than captivating and would therefore recommend reading a physical copy.

Challenges · Currently Reading · TBR

TBR: Backlist Catch-up

Note: I have been trying to use my Instagram more for book posts, so the following is one I shared a couple of weeks ago. If you aren’t following me on Instagram, you can find me at this link: Melissa Lee Spurrell (@melissaleesredhousereviews) • Instagram photos and videos

Additional Note: I can never tell if I’m correctly inserting IG photos onto my blog posts. If you are seeing this, could you comment below if you are able to see the image. Thank you! Happy reading.

Books Hauls · TBR

Spring 2021 Audiobook Haul Pt. 1

Wow I really need to keep up with sharing my audio book hauls. I love having an audible account and definitely think that it is worth the cost for a subscription. Here is part 1 of the full length audio books I have recently added to my library.

Currently Reading · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: May 2021

Total Books Read in May: 7
Total Books Read in 2021: 23

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Tinaca Jones
By: Matt Boren
Narrated by: Retta

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Humor, Audiobook, Short Story
Rating: 2/5

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The New Elizabeth
(Sweet Valley High, 63)
By: Francine Pascal & Kate William

Genre: YA Lit, Middle Grade, Series
Rating: 3/5

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100 Ways to Motivate Yourself
By: Steve Chandler
Narrated by: Steve Chandler

Genre: Self Help, Non-fiction
Rating: 3/5

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Anna’s Crossing
(Amish Beginnings, 1)
By: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

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Secrets of the Lighthouse
By: Santa Montefiore

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Rating: 3.5/5

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American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt
By: Karen Harper
Narrated by: Ann Marie Gideon

Genre: Historical Fiction, Audiobook
Rating: 4/5

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 7
Total Number of Fiction: 6
Total Number of Non-Fiction: 1
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 5
Total Library Books Read: 2

Formats Read

Physical Books: 3
Audio Books: 

Currently Reading

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