Genre: Realistic Fiction, YA Fiction
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️
Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.
But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.
Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.
My Thoughts 💭 (Slight Spoilers)
Why are books like this are not more talk about? This book deserves way more recognition because it was absolutely beautiful from beginning to end. It was great to have a Black MC who was not light/brown skin and that was not skinny. Jade was an amazing character. She was strong willed, determined and absolutely proud to be Black. As a fellow Black girl myself, I love to read books where the main character is not ashamed of their racial identity.
Jade is a teenager that would rather go to her school’s Study Abroad program than join a mentorship for at risk girls. During this mentorship, she meets her mentor Maxine and discovers certain things about herself, what it means to be a black girl during this era and navigating friendships with people of different races. I didn’t really like Maxine at first because she was kinda a bad mentor but towards the end she became better and was a great support system for Jade. Jade’s best friend Lee Lee was awesome and I’m glad Sam still was friends with Jade in the end despite their falling out.
It was refreshing to read a book with no romance in it. It was all about girl power and girl friendships and that’s something I’ll like to read more about. Renée Watson did a great job discussing police brutality and racism in this novel! These are topics that need to be discussed more often in YA books!
Renée Watson is an author to look out for and I’m excited to read her other works!