Still Dirty

From Dawn Moore
Title:  Still Dirty
Author:  Vickie Stringer
Raven Gomez (Red) in this 2nd installment of the ‘Urban’ series is back to her old tricks. Lying to men and and her friends to get what she wants. Fresh after almost being murdered by her boyfriend that she double crossed while he was in prison, she thinks all is forgiven until he tracks her down with her new romantic interest and it doesn’t end well. She still has tricks up her sleeve as there is a part three! Great quick read I knocked out waiting on a delayed flight.

Midnight and the Meaning of Love

From Andrea Payne
author: Souljah, Sistah
Midnight and the Meaning of Love
I am a fan of “The Coldest Winter Ever,” but was deeply disappointed by this book.  This is not a sequel to that book and has nothing to do with “Coldest Winter Ever.”  I’m not intimidated by 500+ page books, but was really annoyed that the story didn?t even BEGIN until about page 200.  It was very slow in the beginning and many of the characters that she describes in the first 200 pages are never mentioned again in this story.  She overdid it with explaining all the nuances of Muslim faith and Japanese culture.  It was so bogged down in Religion, Anthropology &  Sociology that it subtracts from the story. 
Some of the story is all over the place and doesn’t make much sense; it also seems a little farfetched at times. At lot of events are just long and  drawn out.  Certain things that happen in this story where you would expect an explanation of why it happened- never appear.  I’m glad I borrowed this from the library because I would have been annoyed if I wasted money on this long book that was boring at times to the point where I fell asleep reading it.  The ending was also too vague and open and I seriously hope she is not planning another follow-up book to this  one.   This was an extremely substandard and horrible read.

Blackout : a Cal Leandros novel

From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Thurman, Rob
Blackout : a Cal Leandros novel
What would you do if you woke up on a beach littered with slaughtered giant spiders?  Usually, this is a typical day for Cal Leandros but he doesn’t know who he is or where he is, he just knows that he is a killer.  He begins to discover little things about himself and starts to create a new life until one day someone arrives in town who claims to be his brother and wants to take him home.  This brother, Niko, is a stranger and home is a place where monsters live. Blackout is the sixth book in the series.

The Skin I’m In

From Rhea, Teen Book Reviewer
author:  Flake, Sharon G.
The Skin I’m In
As the title and cover suggest the book is about an African American girl struggling with her racial identity, and more. Maleeka Madison attends an inner city school and is relentlessly teased by her classmates for her homemade clothes, her very dark skin and even her good grades. She is especially bullied by a girl named Charlese who makes her do all her homework and copies from her during tests. Despite all the work Maleeka does for Charlese she is often insulted and abused by her. Although, she knows she should not put up with any of the teasing and bullying, Maleeka does not have the courage to stand up for herself.

All of this changes when a new English teacher Miss Saunders arrives at McClenton Middle School. Miss Saunders takes an interest in Maleeka realizing her talent in writing. She tries to distance Maleeka and Charlese as she is very bad company for Maleeka. It is, however, hard for Maleeka to completely break free of Charlese. In the end, Charlese forces Maleeka to vandalize school property and deserts her when Maleeka is caught in the act. Finally, Maleeka gets the courage to stand up for herself and clear her name. She acquires a feeling of self worth and understands that it is important to like yourself for who you are and not what others may tell you.

In my opinion, the novel is very realistic and describes well how life is for kids in inner city schools. In the beginning, it was weird to read the kind of language and the way the characters spoke but as you go along the story it seems real and you don’t mind. Even though, we don’t live in those circumstances, one can empathize and you do feel good that Maleeka and Ms. Saunders win in the end. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends