Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review Wednesday: After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

After Tupac & D FosterAfter Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, let me start this review with a disclaimer: I am not impartial in this review. Also, this review is just as much about me as about this book, so if you have no interest in my life, hit the snooze and go to the next review.

That said, let's get on with it. This book was amazing. I realize it's not exactly heavy stuff, and that it seemed a little...I don't know, simple. But it took place in what is basically my time of greatest character development, my most impressionable of times, that young adult age where tragedy of all sorts fascinated me and I secretly wished I had been a black man instead of a mousy little white girl. Naturally, I was obsessed with Tupac.

So when I saw this book I knew I had to get it, and when I saw it was written by Woodson, an author I greatly admire, it just made it better. During the parts of this book about Tupac, I cried...yes, every time. Every mention of him brought tears to my eyes like I was still a pre-teen trying to figure out if I wanted to wear a black trench coat and a Marilyn Manson t-shirt, or Vans and a flannel shirt, or baggy pants and a bandana. Or something like that.

The rest of the story in this book is about three little girls, D Foster being one of them. Some of the parts about the three girls were great (the friend going to visit her gay brother in prison--swoon). Some parts didn't hold my interest and bordered on purple prose (going to some sort of outdoor theater and making snow angels? I can't remember, I seem to have zoned out during that part). But the friendship between the girls was touching and tender and wonderful. Their interactions with each other and the way their eyes are opened by D and her experience in foster care was genuine and engaging.

Overall, a sweet, sad book, and bonus points for making me cry a lot of times and taking me back to my own formative years with my own messed up friends and love of music and the tragedy of the rappers of that time. A bit of a nostalgic guilty pleasure book, so it's hard for me to be objective. I don't pretend this review is aiming for that.

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