by Katina King
Overall: 0 out of 5 stars
Category: Multicultural – Urban Emphasis (Chicago)
Personal Evaluation: Oh my. I’m pretty sure the librarian who recommended this to me was playing a trick on me! This book is just a step above self-published, and you can tell in the horrible editing job, both grammar-wise and content-wise. It is essentially an urban Romeo and Juliet tale, but with a much happier ending. However, I think the author actually had a more interesting story in the dual identities of the main characters as rich African American kids. There were several times their privileged upbringing was in stark contrast to their urban Chicago lives and they did seem to struggle under the surface between whether they belonged to either world. I think it would have made a more interesting novel, and one I might have recommended to a kid.
What might interest children: This is a story about first love, and it is told in simple black and white terms. Even when shades of gray started to creep in, as it does in real life, they were shoved aside and ignored. So, while lots of teens may identify with Mercedes, the book does not offer any constructive, adult ways to deal with it, which I guess could be appealing (ie the book is not lecturing about how to get over puppy love). Kids who are not rich but wish they were may also really enjoy the descriptions of Mercedes’ house and belongings. (I had to put that part in my review for class, but really I would never recommend this book to anyone. It is terrible.)