The Autobiography of Gucci Mane

The Autobiography of Gucci Mane. Gucci Mane & Neil Martinez-Belkin. 2017. Simon & Schuster. 270 pages. [Source: Public library]. Trap God. Guwop. Gucci Mane. Radric Davis. All names for the same man whose career — and rap sheet — has read like a serious of unfortunate events. Admittedly, I am not a Gucci Mane fan. There are a handful of songs of his that I like, but otherwise, I’ve only been as familiar with him as Twitter’s trending topics demanded.  Nonetheless, I was intrigued by the fact that a rapper who has spent at least a third of his “fame” behind bars still maintained a near cult-like fan base. I picked up this book mostly because I didn’t understand quite why the man with an ice-cream cone tat on his cheek actually got a book deal. I heard he had a “glow up” after his most recent prison stint, and figured this was part of it.  I put myself on the hold list with my local library and came into this book with low expectations. I was hating a little bit, but I was genuinely interested in what he had to share. When I started reading, though?

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Issa Rae. 2015. Atria. 225 pages. [Source: Public library]. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I’ve been a stan of Issa Rae since her co-worker caught her rapping along aggressively at a stop sign on Youtube.  That fandom exploded when her show, Insecure, hit HBO in 2016.  I’ve always related quite a bit to her experiences on her web-series, and (not surprisingly) the trials and tribulations of adulthood chronicled on the small screen spoke to my own experiences in dating, working, and trying to look like I had my sh*t together while I fumbled through the process. I’m honestly a bit disappointed it took me so long to get my hands on her autobiography, but it was worth the wait.  It’s an easy read and felt like I was kicking back on the couch with my girl from way back, reminiscing about the good, bad, and ugly.  (Sidenote – Issa Rae is my friend in my head. She completes my sentences and we do that thing where you can give someone a look and they know exactly what you’re thinking).  I appreciated from the start her ability to inject wit (albeit often…

Unforgettable

Unforgettable. Delaney Diamond. 2014. Garden Avenue Press. 174 pages. [Source: Public library]. “This isn’t a forever thing. It’s just a for now thing. I have plans.” These are the words that Lucas Baylor shared with socialite Ivy Johnson in the midst of a short-lived, but hot-as-fire affair nearly a decade earlier.  In that time, he has skyrocketed to fame as a self-professed permanent bachelor who makes a living giving relationship advice to misguided women through his books.  While he enjoys the company of women, he knows better than to settle down with one. Ivy Johnson is the one woman who gets under Lucas’ skin. They had a summer fling nine years earlier that stuck with him for all the wrong reasons.  When a chance re-meeting brings them into each other’s worlds for a short period, he’s ready to pick up where they physically left off, but his early words to her come back to haunt him. Ivy is guarded and unwilling to allow Lucas to get too close to her or her nine-year-old daughter.

Anonymous Acts

  Anonymous Acts. Christina C. Jones. 2017. 364 pages. [Source:Kindle Unlimited.] ​As always, I devoured a great new book from CCJ. I had been reading samples leading up to its release, but was still pleasantly surprised with the plot twists and turns of Anonymous Acts. The book focuses in Monica Stuart’s legal woes, both for her once-thriving cosmetics company and for herself, as she faces murder charges in the death of her estranged husband. As much control as she exerts over the quality of her nail polishes, she can’t figure out why she’s getting nothing but bad reviews for her upcoming “Wicked Widow” line. This is followed, coincidentally, by the vicious murder of her philandering husband, leaving people to guess whether she took her new product line a little too literally. To make matters worse, her virtual friend with benefits, whom she’s never met, is arrested on suspicion of the murder.

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give. Angie Thomas. 2017. Balzer + Bray. 469 pages. [Source: public library.] Ever so often, a book’s hype will precede itself in a way that makes it impossible to ignore, no matter how oblivious I am. The first I’d heard about The Hate U Give was when news of its film adaptation came out.  That Amandla Stendberg would play the protagonist piqued my interest. But it wasn’t until everyone around me – book lover or not — started buzzing about it that I picked it up. My bad. I’ve since learned my lesson. The Hate U Give is centered on Starr, a 16-year-old black teen who straddles the line between two worlds: Garden Heights Starr is the daughter of a former gang member who struggles to find her place in her urban neighborhood and Williamson Starr is a popular scholar-athlete at a prestigious private school across town where nobody knows her family backstory or home zip code.  She has to constantly balance being black enough to navigate her neighborhood in the shadow of her dad’s past while being palatable enough for her suburban peers to accept her as one of the “good ones.” It’s a precarious balance, but…