Age: 24

Pages: 76 / 207; 37%
ISBN: 9780399184536

The Reason for the Reaping: Shout-out to Jacey for recommending this one! Plus, this novel got quite a bit of buzz at its debut. I’m excited to dig in!

As I Lay Summarizing: The Mothers of Upper Room church are the Greek chorus to the story of Nadia Turner and her woes as a 17-year-old Black girl on the verge of, well, everything.

The Line That Killed Me: “Bones, like anything else, strong until they weren’t” (13). Death by the profoundest of fragments.

Best Character: The Mothers

Why [As] You Like It: The structure is v cool. The Mothers = chorus vibe works for me. The commentary from the wise old ladies gives a little reality check and a little spicy commentary that we all need. Bennett’s writing makes a statement, as well. It’s clear why this, her debut, has drawn a lot of attention. All the emotions.

Why I’m Gone, Girl: Once again, I find the main character to be almost more annoying than it’s worth. Nadia’s hormones and other spoilerific circumstances are making her fatalistic and a bit…whiny. I get that she is 17 and her life is more tragic than you would understand, but this is where the evocative prose does not work in Bennett’s favor. We are walking the knife’s edge of melodrama, and at some points, we’re barely holding on. The first cut is the deepest….

 Last Line, Last Chance: “Aubrey scoffed. ‘So? That doesn’t mean I want to hook up….’”

Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?

Main characters have an arc, right? Hear’s to hoping Nadia changes—and the writing doesn’t. I’m turning the page.

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