Friday, May 16, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons by Zandra Vranes & Tamu Smith

Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons: Finding the Lord's Lessons in Everyday Life, by Zandra Vranes & Tamu Smith
2014, 240p, LDS Non-fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received copy from publisher for an honest review

You’ve read the title, and now you’re scratching your head, wondering if this book is for real, right?

It is. Yes, the authors are bona fide Mormons. And hilarious, too! They call themselves Sistas in Zion.

Did we mention they’ve got enough faith to move mountains? Well, they haven’t moved any mountains just yet, but that’s not stopping them from keeping right on praying and believing and knowing that the gospel of Jesus Christ is worth it.

Their unique perspective on their own diary entries will have you laughing one minute and exclaiming “Amen!” the next. They talk about personal experiences and lessons they’ve learned about relationships, sisterhood, standing up for what you believe, embracing diversity, and dealing with adversity—what being a Christian is all about.

The Sistas’ humorous and poignant outlook on life will strengthen your faith and remind you of the joy to be found in living a Christ-centered life. You’ll soon realize that the authors aren’t mad-mad—they’re crazy-mad, funny, and inspiring!

I've heard the Sistas radio show before so when I saw they had a book out, I knew I wanted to read it. I wanted to see how their humor would translate into the written word. Let me tell you, they are just as funny in their book as they are when you listen to them!

They start by sharing their pseudonyms of Sista Beehive (Tamu) and Sista Laurel (Zandra) and I laughed at their explanation for neither of them going by Sista Mia Maid. ("Nobody was interested in being Sista Mia Maid 'cause with maid in their name, they might get mistaken for the help.") They realize that God has taught them a lot of lessons over the years and that he's been with them through their darkest hours. The chapters are broken down into small sections, and the diary entries are written by them individually and together. 

I got a kick out of all of their stories and their refreshing take on the gospel. The one that had me rolling on the floor, though, was in Chapter 6, "Friends and Family Discount." Zandra (Sista Laurel) was telling the story of her family moving from Atlanta to Utah. She was not happy about it. Her father decided that she should attend EFY (Especially For Youth), a week-long church summer camp. She had no idea what it was. On the way to Provo, they stopped at the bank and her dad had her withdraw money from her account to pay for it. It's not cheap, so she wasn't happy. He did tell her he'd pay for half, which she is apparently still waiting for, haha. ("If anybody wants to know what to get me for my birthday, half the cost of EFY, which I am still waiting for, is cool.") She had a bad attitude when she got there and wasn't looking forward to it at all. 

Then, her description of her roommate, Tiffani-with-an-i, had me laughing so hard, my son wanted in on the good joke (but he hasn't lived long enough for it to be funny to him yet). Tiffani-with-an-i's side of the room looked like a Sweet Valley High book had exploded all over it. Then, she talked nonstop about everything and nothing. The next day, they took off running to get to class and when Zandra saw all the excitement, she started to get excited that someone famous was going to speak to them. It turned out to be John Bytheway. She decided to give him a chance and found him to be funny and felt that his message was an answer to her prayers. By the end of the week she was feeling a little better about her moving challenge. When she got home, though, she was faced with a situation that took her right out of her EFY high and she does a great job explaining what she learned through that fiasco. My summary of this story in no way does it justice--you need to read this book to experience it for yourself.

There is guaranteed laughter to be found in each chapter. The Sistas put themselves out there and their goal is to encourage others to search for and recognize the lessons and blessings in life. I love their attitudes and would love to hang out with them! They do also show a more serious side, which still manages to come across as fun. Even their "Shout Outs" (aka Acknowledgements) made me laugh. I love the advice they give at the very end and I hope there are more diary reveals from them in the future!

Be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy of this book. This is a giveaway you definitely want to win so you can experience this book for yourself! And if you don't win it, you will want to purchase it, and then share it with everyone you know!

Zandra Vranes and Tamu Smith are popular multimedia personalities and the authors of the online blog Zandra (Sista Laurel) and Tamu (Sista Beehive) also host a weekly online radio program, Sistas in Zion Radio. Their media identities, which focus on humorous aspects of faith and Mormon culture, seek to uplift, inspire, bridge religious divides, and create healthy dialogue.

Zandra and Tamu are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter—day Saints. They enjoy the fact that their Christian values and their work coincide.

Their lives are blessed by amazing family and friends. Zandra is thankful for her boo, the love of her life. Tamu enjoys spending time with her husband of twenty years and their six wonderful kids.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Paij Slater said...

This book sound so fantastic! I love the title! :)

Post a Comment