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Reviews 4--2003
2001-2004 Reading List
BOOK REVIEWS 1--2001-2002
Book Reviews 3--2003
Reviews 4--2003
Reviews 5-- 2004
Reviews 7 --2005
Reviews 6--2004

These reviews are the opinions of certain members of The Sophisticated Souls of Learning Book Club.. 2003


Rap Superstar by Debra Clayton

Rap Superstar, Anthony Talbert, a.k.a. Animalistic has everything he wants from all the fame he can stand, the money and any woman that he wants. Until he meets Randi, an aspiring writer/filmmaker who has had her heartbroken one to many times.

Anthony thinks he can just use Randi for sex, but Randi isn't having it. She lets him know up front that she is a big fan, but she isn't one of his regular "hoochie" groupies. Anthony realizes that he can't let her get away because she is one of the good ones. So he goes out of his way to try and impress her. Eventually ,everything turns out for the best.

For a first time novelist, Ms. Clayton did a wonderful job with the story.I enjoyed reading this book. I found it to be very interesting. I am expecting big things out of Ms. Clayton. On a scale of 1 - 5, I will give it a 4.0

Review given by Sherita Nunn

Savvy Sisters by Brenda Jackson

Savvy Sistahs is the Waiting to Exhale type book of the new millennium.  It's about three intelligent business women who have formed a sisterhood because they have lots in common (they are business women who have all had past relationship problems).  They get together often to talk about each other's problems.  Although I normally like this type of book (successful black women who are there for each other), this book did not keep my attention.  I found myself only reading it when I was bored and didn't have a lot to do.  One of the problems with the book is when the author starts on a character or incident in the book, she spends too much time on that one subject.  It took entirely too long to get to the end of an incident or subject.  Also, the ending was a bit too perfect if you asked me.  I think the ending should have been a bit more on the reality side.  I won't spoil the ending by telling you how it ended, but if you read the book you'll see what I mean.

Although I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, I would still read other books by Brenda Jackson.  On a scale of 1-5, I give Savvy Sistahs a 3.

Review given by Collean

Bad Girlz by Shannon Holmes
Is a quick interesting read. I could not get past the past chapter I was hooked. This is the behind the scenes story of the seemingly glamourous lives of strippers and the things they deal with. I was able to read this book in one day, I was off work sick and able to finish it. I would suggest if you have young girls I would encourage them to read this book once they are of age. The grass is not always greener...

If you have read Push bySapphire, then you know there is a scene in that book that you will never forget, I got the same feeling from this book.

Review given by Ashanti

What Doesn't Kill Us, Only Makes Us Stronger by Nicole C. Cooper

This is a book of 7 short stories.

"Breaking Free" When 26 year old Rachelle met and fell in love with Cedric, she thought she was the happiest woman on earth. They spent all their free time together and Cedric treated her like a queen. Two months into the relationship, Cedric turned into a complete monster. He didnt allow her to have any friends or communicated with her family. He started beating her till the point were he almost killed her. She knew then that it was time for her to get out of the relationship. Cedric was finally arrested for abuse. She didnt wait around for his sentencing. She moved out of state and decided she had to regain her confidence, self-esteem, and self-trust.---I personally felt that all of the signs of him being an abuser were there.

"Matriarchal Musings" - Tonya is a 27 year old woman who is pregnant. She takes her friend girlfriend with her to a family gathering. There she plans to tell her family about her pregnancy. The matriarchal groups swarms in on her. They berate her boyfriend saying it is his fault that she is pregnant. Tonya friend and sister-in-law steps in saying that Tonya wasnt taken advantage of and it takes two to tango. The women in Tonya family start talking about the first time they had sex and all the heartaches. Though their logic was somewhat dated, the womens reaction was influenced by her sexual experience whether it was good or bad.

"Grandmother" This story is about a grandmother who showed favoritism between her grandkids. Her daughter had two kids. A son named Kevin and a daughter named Tisha. The grandmother had always wanted a son and she showed it everyday in her actions toward Kevin. Whenever her daughter went to work, the grandmother would baby-sit for her and would never hold or play with Tisha. She would leave Tisha lying around with dirty diapers on. As the kids got older they noticed it. Tisha always wondered why her grandmother didn't love her. So one day after a family gathering, Tisha was going to confront her grandmother. It was to late; her grandmother had passed away. Deep down inside Tisha really loved her grandmother.

"Honoring The Difficult" Renee had been diagnosed over 20 years ago with fibrocystic breast. A disease that causes benign lumps to grow in our breast. She had a biopsy done. The doctor called her and told her that she needed to make another appt. She ended up having breast cancer. She had to undergo surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But at the end she came out a very strong woman. She decided losing a breast was whole lot better than losing her life.

"Choices" This is the story about Alesha who is 25 years old and had three babies by three different men. Alesha is pregnant for the fourth time and once again by a different man. She has to decide whether or not she wants to keep the baby or have an adoption. Her boyfriend Derek wants the baby so they can have a family.

"Metamorphosis" Simone is a young girl who has a mother for a prostitute and a father who is pimp turned drug user. Simone is a very smart girl. She has book sense and street sense. She won a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school. Her parents wanted her to leave her old life behind. She took a job at the local arcade making $ 300.00 a week so she can save money to take to school with her. Then she is promoted to manager and starts making $ 600.00 a week. She finds out that Tyrone, the owner, is a pimp. He has little girls running in and out of the arcade. So one day he asks her if she would like a job collecting money and setting up schedule for the girls which pays $ 1,000.00 a week. She accepts and is very good at it. She wants to stay home and continue working for Tyrone, but her parents wont let her. She now understands why people get caught up in the game. The family and friends gave her a going away party to celebrate her leaving for boarding school. She ended up saving $ 9,000.00 and she gave $ 4,000.00 to her parents to help them out. 

"Passing Lives" For 25 years Kendra never knew her real father. As she got older she decided to try and contact him. She visited his mother and sister. She left her number with her grandmother. Several weeks later Michael called Kendra. They talked about the relationship between her mother and Michael, his drug usage and the six children that he has. Over the next three years, Michael would call Kendra once a month to see how she was doing. For two months she didnt hear from him and when she decided to call him she got sidetracked. By the time she thought about it, her aunt called to tell her that Michael had died from a drug overdose.

Each of these stories were different and very unique. I found satisfaction in reading these stories. Nichole Kearney is truly an amazing writer.

The reviews below are given by Ashanti.

More Than Enough by Naleighna Kai
I bought this book from off of the reader reviews alone. The storyline seemed interesting enough two sexually indepedent women searching for a man to "share". They wanted one man to meet their needs though not at the same time. I was curious as to how this would go because we are not good at sharing our men. The storyline was interesting but I did not get much out of the book. It was not very realistic at all. The book was a very slow calm read.  I give this a 2.

Tryin to Sleep in the Bed You Made by Virgina DeBerry & Donna Grant
This is my favorite book. It starts off with a bang literally.It is about two sisters who grow up together and then later find one out sister is adopted and she meets her mother and her life is never the same. The sisters experience heartache, happiness and the pains of love. This book deals with class issues and I feel this is an issue that should be discussed more. I have read this book over 5 times and each time I take away something different. And to top it all off, the book is written by two different authors but their writing styles are so similar that you can not tell the difference. There are twists a plenty in this book but it is very realistic, you will find yourself getting to love, and hate, some of these characters. 5 star

The Maintenace Man by Michael Basiden
shucky,shucky now.
I am not sure who has not read this "classic". I was need of a Maintenance Man when I read this book. I found myself talking to the characters in the book as I read. I got very involved. Here is the blurb from I will give too much away I can not hold water:

Malcolm Tremell lives the life that most men can only fantasize about: exotic cars, designer clothes, and a steady stream of sexually available women. For the past twelve years, for a very generous fee, Malcolm has willingly played the role of temporary companion and lover. But the endless nights of meaningless sex and secret rendezvous with married women have begun to weigh on his conscience. Malcolm is suffering from job burnout. He soon discovers, however, that a life-style change won't come so easily, not with the allure of so many beautiful women and thousands of tax-free dollars. 

This gets a 5 a true classic.







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