Rating: unrated | 334 pages | Harlequin Teen Inknyard Press ? | Contemporary | 05/01/2018
I was really excited to read this book after hearing about it on the Hey, YA podcast. I firmly remember actress Dana L. Davis in the 2000s for being “that black lady” who showed up on TV shows in the early 2000s. I was also interested in a book that deals with respectability politics and all the shades of the black experience.
Tiffany Sly has had it rough. After losing her mother to cancer this music-loving rocker girl is headed from Chicago to the mansions and private school of Simi Valley, California; to live with the wealthy and successful father she’s never met. Anthony Stone (get it ? Sly…Stone ? Get it ?)
What Tiffany didn’t expect was to meet her father’s four biracial daughters and white wife. She struggles under her father’s strict rules and religious pressure. In addition to coping with anxiety, she faces bullying in her new school and begins to make friends with the Mckinney family and their son Marcus, –the only other black family in their neighborhood.
As a character, Tiffany Sly tries her best to be resilient. Marcus is like a character who should have his own book/fell out of a John Green book. He has a fatal heart condition that means he could die at any second, he has a book deal for a book about death plus he can harness and read energies around him.
Tiffany’s father is outstandingly strict with his daughters. They have to wear their hair a certain way, dress a certain way, play sports, and have their phones heavily monitored. With four daughters ranging from ages 2 to 16 her dad is already pressuring his non-confrontational wife for more. He was the Jerk!Dad to end all Jerk!Dads
I think at the last minute Davis tried to humanize and create empathy for him because he is a man who left a rough inner city neighborhood to begin again, but I felt his slow turnaround came a little too easy.
An emotional and hard look at what it means to be a family; and how to start over without losing who you are.
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