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The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton and Laura Love Hardin Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book:

One of my favorite book Instagram accounts to follow and take recommendations from is @halpreads. Emily Halp runs this amazing account. Whenever I am looking for a new book to read I turn to her account for recommendations. While on her account I came across her 5 star review of The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin. I read the description of the book and knew I had to read it. I picked up a copy of it from the library the first week of April and finished it in 7 days. 

Content of This Book:

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. At only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. As a poor black man in the South, the judicial system was not on his side and he was sentenced to death by electrocution. His first three years on Death Row were at Holman State Prison where he choice to stay silent. He spent the next twenty-seven years of his incarceration being the beacon of positivity and guidance for his fellow inmates even though fifty-four men and women were execute feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015. The Sun Does Shine is a transformative, educational, emotional, and true story of making the best of what you are given. Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

What I Liked About This Book:

I am someone who enjoys non-fiction and crime related content, so I knew that this book would be a winner for me. My first praise for this book is that Mr. Hinton was extremely vulnerable and honest about everything. He truly gave his all to tell his story. I never once felt like he was hiding or downplaying anything. Now I have to applaud Lara Love Hardin for her talent. Her writing perfectly portrayed every emotion felt by Mr. Hinton. The story effortlessly flowed from flashback to present tense to legal reports to letters to his imaginary thoughts. The inclusion of the newspaper reports, legal correspondence, and phone conversations added to the portrayal of Mr. Hinton’s experience and to the telling of the story. The inclusion of all of these was perfectly balanced. There was always an equal combination of legal talk mixed with personal talk in each character. Another praise that has to be given is that this book never dulled. The story actively progressed from start to finish. The reader know the end result but it is the anticipation and intrigue to find out how Mr. Hinton gets released that keeps the momentum going. The inclusion of the personal stories from his life before incarceration provides the reader with a full picture of who Mr. Hinton is. From the minute I started reading this book I was sucked in and could not stop thinking or talking about it. I pitched it to everyone who would listen.


What I Disliked About This Book:

As someone who is not educated in law, I found that I needed more of an explanation for the judicial process of getting Mr. Hinton off of death row. I was able to follow the legal process in the sense that I understood what was happening, but feel like I did miss some of the significance of it because I have limited knowledge on the legal process.


Would I Recommend This Book:

I have to give a huge shout-out to @halpreads for reviewing and promoting this book because without her I would never have picked up this book. It has been one of my top reads of 2023, I know it’s only April when I read this.

Check out my book reviews for 2023!!

Horse by Geraldine Brooks  
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Hester by Laurie Pico Albanese
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Environmental and Sustainability Book Reviews 2022
Self-Improvement Book Reviews 2022
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 
Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman
Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
The Summer Series by Jenny Han
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan
Verity by Colleen Hoover
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart 
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Majesty: American Royals 2 by Kathrine McGree
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

2021 Book Rankings

Beach Read By Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Educated by Tara Westover
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 
The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Klara and the Sun 
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
American Duchess by Karen Harper 
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry
Down the Habit Hole by Holly Madison Book Review
My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Layla by Colleen Hoover

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!

Check out my book reviews from 2018!!

Don't forget to stay up to date on my blog by following my social media accounts!
Instagram: @whenishouldbestudying


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