by Coe Booth
ages: 15+
First sentence: “There’s nothing really different about today.”
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Fourteen-year-old Kendra wants two things: for her Nana to get off her back about every. little. thing. And for her mother, Renee, to finish school, get a job and let Kendra live with her.

Unfortunately, neither of these things are going to happen. See, Renee was just 14 when she had Kendra, and ever since has been running from any sort of mother-daughter relationship with her. Nana is old, tired, and wants to have a live of her own. Not to mention save her grandbaby from the same fate as her daughter.

I’m sure there’s more to this gritty story, but honestly? I didn’t get to it. I wanted to. I wanted to like this one, I wanted to see what this story of an inner-city black girl would be. But I bailed after the boy Kendra likes pressures her into having anal sex (is there a better term for that?). I can take many things, but the idea of an older boy taking advantage of a younger girl because she wants to be liked and accepted is too much for me. It wasn’t that it was graphic (it wasn’t). It’s just the idea.

I didn’t give Kendra’s story much of a chance, I admit. Because the writing was intense, and I could tell that Booth knew her stuff. It’s just not me. I’m sure there will be less particular people out there, ones who will connect with this book. It’s just not for me.

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