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Who Am I Without Him?: A Short Story Collection about Girls and Boys in Their Lives

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There is "The Ugly One," whose only solace comes when she is locked inside her own head. In "Wanted: A Thug," a teenager seeks advice on how to steal her best friend's bad-guy boyfriend. And then there's Erika, who only likes white boys. Sharon Flake takes readers through the minds of girls trying to define themselves while struggling to remain relevant to the boys in thei There is "The Ugly One," whose only solace comes when she is locked inside her own head. In "Wanted: A Thug," a teenager seeks advice on how to steal her best friend's bad-guy boyfriend. And then there's Erika, who only likes white boys. Sharon Flake takes readers through the minds of girls trying to define themselves while struggling to remain relevant to the boys in their lives. This is a complex, often humorous, always on-point exposition of black youth resolving to find self-worth . . . any way they know how.


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There is "The Ugly One," whose only solace comes when she is locked inside her own head. In "Wanted: A Thug," a teenager seeks advice on how to steal her best friend's bad-guy boyfriend. And then there's Erika, who only likes white boys. Sharon Flake takes readers through the minds of girls trying to define themselves while struggling to remain relevant to the boys in thei There is "The Ugly One," whose only solace comes when she is locked inside her own head. In "Wanted: A Thug," a teenager seeks advice on how to steal her best friend's bad-guy boyfriend. And then there's Erika, who only likes white boys. Sharon Flake takes readers through the minds of girls trying to define themselves while struggling to remain relevant to the boys in their lives. This is a complex, often humorous, always on-point exposition of black youth resolving to find self-worth . . . any way they know how.

30 review for Who Am I Without Him?: A Short Story Collection about Girls and Boys in Their Lives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This talks about girl's relationships with guys. In the first chapter, it talks about a boy Raheem. The narrator describes how she wanted to fit in and not be like the other girls, who are to referred to as, "girls with no boyfriends". Raheem treated her like junk, and yet the girl still pretend she doesnt see anything. Even when he flirts with other girls, she sees it, but she asks herself, "What am i without him"? I think that in that situation, the narrator feels like she needs a man's love t This talks about girl's relationships with guys. In the first chapter, it talks about a boy Raheem. The narrator describes how she wanted to fit in and not be like the other girls, who are to referred to as, "girls with no boyfriends". Raheem treated her like junk, and yet the girl still pretend she doesnt see anything. Even when he flirts with other girls, she sees it, but she asks herself, "What am i without him"? I think that in that situation, the narrator feels like she needs a man's love to fill in the empty spot of love that she lacks. Because it also said that, the narrator's mother tells her that "You aint no beauty prize". From this phrase, I could interpret that the narrator's mother probably makes he feel unworthy or valuable in this world. From the way it's described, i think that girls are always peer-pressured to fit in, because there is a majority of girls more than guys. And a girl always wants to feel loved, because the man is the one that is suppose to take care of the woman. And in many television reality shows, we always see this misconception that girls always have to obey a man to be worthy. In some cases, it is true, but in other cases, some woman like to be independent. I think this is a wonderful book for teenagers that suffer with the consequences of hurt, and betrayal over a guy that they love>

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rockk ON Dudeee*. =]

    I think this book is very interesting because its about short love stories. One of the short stories was about this girl and a boy who have to write letters to each other because its a classwork assignment. The girl likes the boy but the boy doesn't like the girl because he has a girlfriend that lives in Chicago. At the end of the short story the boy brakes up with the Chicago girl. Him and his writing partner end up being very close friends and I think they end up being boyfriend and girlfriend I think this book is very interesting because its about short love stories. One of the short stories was about this girl and a boy who have to write letters to each other because its a classwork assignment. The girl likes the boy but the boy doesn't like the girl because he has a girlfriend that lives in Chicago. At the end of the short story the boy brakes up with the Chicago girl. Him and his writing partner end up being very close friends and I think they end up being boyfriend and girlfriend.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ms_Harris

    Who Am I Without Him? is a Coretta Scott King Award winning book, that examines the complexities of teenage male-female relationships. Knowing the importance of seeing oneself in literature, I specifically sought out stories featuring African-American youth in a contemporary setting. Who Am I…? is told as a series of twelve short stories with different protagonists in each. Children’s Books in Children’s Hands authors Temple, Martinez, and Yakota had warned of predictable books with “scant liter Who Am I Without Him? is a Coretta Scott King Award winning book, that examines the complexities of teenage male-female relationships. Knowing the importance of seeing oneself in literature, I specifically sought out stories featuring African-American youth in a contemporary setting. Who Am I…? is told as a series of twelve short stories with different protagonists in each. Children’s Books in Children’s Hands authors Temple, Martinez, and Yakota had warned of predictable books with “scant literary quality” marketed to new generations (p. 296). I held my breath, hoping for the best, but fearing the worst. As I read the first few pages of the short story, “So I Ain’t No Good Girl,” I thought that I had stumbled upon the Tyler Perry of teenage literature. But by page 5, when the story’s protagonist makes the twisted declaration: “…my mother says, I won’t never win no beauty contest. But my body, well that’s something else,” I was hooked. This was a turning point that moved the story away from surface moralizing to a more complex selection of literature that is capable of engaging and enlightening teen readers. Author Sharon Flake, did not specify this girl’s name or age; this omission allows her to be any reader identifying with the situation. The emotional tone and voice throughout the stories are both real and raw. Nine of the ten stories are told from the young ladies’ point of view; two from the young men’s. In the final story, an absentee father pens a letter to his teenage daughter offering her advice for a better life. The text of this letter is italicized for dramatic purposes. One of the other stories exposes the reader to the content of two diaries. Devita Mae has her personal diary and one for school that she shares with her writing partner, a boy named Jaquel. Readers are able to keep track of the flow of information by the author’s use of different fonts; Devita’s personal diary has one font, which is different than the font she writes with to Jaquel. All twelve stories have elements of urban conversational speech rather than formal speech. If this book were a movie, I think it’d be rated PG-13, therefore, I would probably have it in my library if I taught high school. With themes ranging from teen dating abuse, negligent parents, abject poverty, and low self-esteem, I wouldn’t recommend use of this text for middle school without adult supervision. This book could definitely be used as a discussion tool within a book club setting for teenage girls. Although some of the short stories have better developed plots and characters than others, they provide food for deep discussion. The author was inclusive in her representation of the young women in the story for both physical and psychological character traits. These characters’ stories when combined create a multifaceted view of issues to which many urban teenage girls can relate.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Deliah

    thisis my favorite book!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    I think it's a good book because it tells real life stories about teens and I can relate to some of these stories in the book. I think it's a good book because it tells real life stories about teens and I can relate to some of these stories in the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shawntae Thompson

    I really enjoyed this book because it was very interesting and entertaining it kept my attention from beginning to end i feel like I was right their in the midst of the madness i believe that 8th and 9th graders should read this book because it is very informative on situations they might face i feel like these scenarios are very relevant but i wish she would've gave some solutions to the problems but over all it was a great book and i really enjoyed it I really enjoyed this book because it was very interesting and entertaining it kept my attention from beginning to end i feel like I was right their in the midst of the madness i believe that 8th and 9th graders should read this book because it is very informative on situations they might face i feel like these scenarios are very relevant but i wish she would've gave some solutions to the problems but over all it was a great book and i really enjoyed it

  7. 5 out of 5

    Deja Ramos

    This book is about teenage relationships . I Learned relationships arent always easy but you have to make the best of it in order to actually have a relationship . Also, in this book it describes how every relationship starts .First you flirt to get the persons attention. Then ,you introduce each other and become friends. Finally, you ask the person out on a date and you get into a relationship .Its all going great until the fighting starts or someone cheats . The relationship ends and you reali This book is about teenage relationships . I Learned relationships arent always easy but you have to make the best of it in order to actually have a relationship . Also, in this book it describes how every relationship starts .First you flirt to get the persons attention. Then ,you introduce each other and become friends. Finally, you ask the person out on a date and you get into a relationship .Its all going great until the fighting starts or someone cheats . The relationship ends and you realize it wasnt worth it .

  8. 4 out of 5

    Debby

    I enjoyed the stories as they were told from a girl and boy point of view. The stories detailed the troubles, ridicule and the pains of growing up that we all may have experienced.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Robison

    A collection of short stories focused on the way teens get caught up in the need to be a part of a couple for identity in today’s world. Most of the stories are told from the female perspective, but not all. In fact, the last entry is really a letter from a father who has not been a part of his daughter’s life. Daddy tells his daughter what boys are really like, and what he wishes her mother had known years ago when they were together. Each story has a strength and point of view different from t A collection of short stories focused on the way teens get caught up in the need to be a part of a couple for identity in today’s world. Most of the stories are told from the female perspective, but not all. In fact, the last entry is really a letter from a father who has not been a part of his daughter’s life. Daddy tells his daughter what boys are really like, and what he wishes her mother had known years ago when they were together. Each story has a strength and point of view different from the others. The result of all the stories together is more than the sum of their parts, but a call to both sexes to think and respect each other more. Fortunately, Flake’s handling of her theme is not didactic and paternalistic, but shines with an awareness of the real-life social, emotional, and physical pressures that teens feel about dating. Characters are vividly present, as each story seems to jump into life exploring not just the sexual tension, but race and class as well. Honest and valuable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cheyenne Chavez (Bailey)

    I love the ending passage the best. The father's letter to his daughter, about boys and self respect and not to accept less than. Over all it was a good book. I felt some of the passages could have gone longer, had more neatly tied endings, more information. But life isn't always neat, and the book was real. I love the ending passage the best. The father's letter to his daughter, about boys and self respect and not to accept less than. Over all it was a good book. I felt some of the passages could have gone longer, had more neatly tied endings, more information. But life isn't always neat, and the book was real.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Kelly Garwood Flake, S. G. (2004). Who am I without him? Short stories about girls and the boys in their lives. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children. Genre: Short Stories Award(s): Coretta Scott King Honor Award, YALSA Best Books for Young Adult Readers, YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, CCBC Choices, Booklist Editor’s Choice Award, Booklist Top 10 Romance Novels for Youth Format: book Selection process: Nilsen, A. P. (Ed.). (2013). Literature for today’s young adults. (p. 109). Boston, M Kelly Garwood Flake, S. G. (2004). Who am I without him? Short stories about girls and the boys in their lives. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children. Genre: Short Stories Award(s): Coretta Scott King Honor Award, YALSA Best Books for Young Adult Readers, YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, CCBC Choices, Booklist Editor’s Choice Award, Booklist Top 10 Romance Novels for Youth Format: book Selection process: Nilsen, A. P. (Ed.). (2013). Literature for today’s young adults. (p. 109). Boston, MA: Pearson. Review: The first short story in Who Am I Without Him? is entitled “So I Ain’t No Good Girl”. In it a young woman waits at a bus stop on her way to high school with her boyfriend, or “Boo”, Raheem. From the start it is apparent this is a toxic relationship. He checks out and makes eyes with the “good girls” standing across the street, he slaps the girlfriend for talking back and getting mad at this and, as the bus pulls away with the girlfriend on it, he is kissing one of the good girls he had been flirting with. The unnamed narrator goes through a roller coaster of emotions. All her anger at Raheem dissipate because, like her momma always tells her, she “ain’t no beauty prize” (p. 9). Her lack of respect for herself is keeping her trapped in an unhealthy relationship. As the bus leaves, the girl cries and whispers to herself, “Who I’m gonna be without him?” (p. 10). Her reasoning for staying with him is his looks and she tells herself that “when you got a man like that, you can’t be expecting to keep him all to yourself, not all the time anyhow” (p. 10). Sharon Flake writes 12 short stories all dealing with young women, their relationships with men and their struggles to find self-worth. These stories are from several different points-of-view and many different situations. In one story a girl disgusted by her own face longs to be invisible and “curl up like a dot at the end of a sentence and disappear”. The abuse she suffers at every school she has been to has led her to create an imaginary “Ramon”, whom she dances with alone in her room while he tells her how beautiful she is. Not all the stories are from the girls’ point-of-view. In “Jacob’s Rules”, a young man is enrolled in a class called Boy Stuff, where they discuss things like “sex, gangs, money, drugs, living, dying, and yeah, girls” (p. 55). The teacher Mr. Jacobs has put together a class to help young men better understand life and, for the next few weeks, relationships. Girls from another class have joined and Mr. Jacobs pairs up couples to be “married”. They are assigned a person to record their relationship and base points off how well they communicate, handle finances and respect one another. The last story is “A Letter to My Daughter” in which an absent father writes a letter to his 15 year old daughter Alicia. He admits all the things he has done wrong in his life but still gives her ten words of wisdom he has learned, particularly about how a boy should treat her. He signs it “Daddy (the first man who ever loved you)”. Flake does an excellent job of showing both the good and bad side of relationships. Who Am I Without Him? is a great read for anyone, girl or boy, trying to better understand love and life. Highly Recommend

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Kristen Sava Flake, S. (2004). Who am I without him?: Short stories about girls and the boys in their lives. New York: Jump at the Sun. Genre: Short Stories (Contemporary Realistic Fiction) Awards: Coretta Scott King Honor Award, 2005 Chicago Best of the Best Books, 2005 Booklist Editor’s Choice Award YALSA Best Books for Young Adult Readers Booklist Top 10 Romance Novels for Youth YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Nominated for several state book awards, 2007 Format: Print-paperback Selection Pro Kristen Sava Flake, S. (2004). Who am I without him?: Short stories about girls and the boys in their lives. New York: Jump at the Sun. Genre: Short Stories (Contemporary Realistic Fiction) Awards: Coretta Scott King Honor Award, 2005 Chicago Best of the Best Books, 2005 Booklist Editor’s Choice Award YALSA Best Books for Young Adult Readers Booklist Top 10 Romance Novels for Youth YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Nominated for several state book awards, 2007 Format: Print-paperback Selection Process: Bowker Books in Print, Follett, Cape May County Library, Sharon Flake Website Review: Sharon G. Flake presents convincing stories of teenage girls and their boyfriends, want to be boyfriends or got to have boyfriends, in her award winning short story collection, Who Am I Without Him? Short Stories About Girls and the Boys in Their Lives. Twelve stories, all unique with characters that you don’t want to let go. All stories relate to relationships with realistic, emotional and sometimes scary situations that teenagers deal with in their efforts to “find their man.” The only unfortunate thing about this book is that each story ends so quickly. Each story’s characters are memorable and their brief entrance into our lives leave us wanting much more. The boys are just as interesting and girls will be entranced as they navigate the teenage world of dating and relationships. Hopefully Flake will bring these characters to life in full-fledged novels, but even if she doesn’t these characters come alive in their briefness. Flake educates us on the inner city life of teens and how the need for relationships can impact decision-making. These stories are not for the naïve at heart as there is real pain felt in each story, whether it ends happily or not. Highly Recommended

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mariah

    Heyy Wow what A Book I Finsihed The Book .. "Who Am I Without Him " That Book Was Such A Good Experience ! Withh Boys When Yu grow up And how to handle them .. Well Let Me Tell You about Thiis Book What Can i say This book Was About Different Girls &ndd Boys in Their Lives .. for example There was this giirl who she would see her bf Cheat On Her Right infront oof her &ndd she wouldnt say anythinq ! Well No thatss not how it went she would get mad and he will tell her or pull her by her hair or s Heyy Wow what A Book I Finsihed The Book .. "Who Am I Without Him " That Book Was Such A Good Experience ! Withh Boys When Yu grow up And how to handle them .. Well Let Me Tell You about Thiis Book What Can i say This book Was About Different Girls &ndd Boys in Their Lives .. for example There was this giirl who she would see her bf Cheat On Her Right infront oof her &ndd she wouldnt say anythinq ! Well No thatss not how it went she would get mad and he will tell her or pull her by her hair or something and tell her that no matter how much he looks at other girls She still comes first.. But my opinion is That Even if i come first the boy shouldnt be eyein no other girls while im with him i understand when im not with him i mean come on what guy doesnt look at other chicks when there not with their own .. Well i Really enjoyed this book alot ... This is the kind of books i like to read so i could know in advace for when i grow up !! Okayyss Well iim Off Thiss ... Gonna Write a Letter To Mr.Fachler :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rayan Deeb

    Hurt? Broken-hearted? Single? Feeling invisible? This book would be really useful for you! Anyway, I don't need such books; I am a strong girl ;). 'Who Am I Without Him?: A Short Story Collection about Girls and Boys in Their Lives' written by Sharon G. Flake talks about teenagers who are having hard relationships. These are touching short stories that mostly talk about love relationships. I gave this book a two because there was absolutely no grammar! no spelling! no nothing! While I was readin Hurt? Broken-hearted? Single? Feeling invisible? This book would be really useful for you! Anyway, I don't need such books; I am a strong girl ;). 'Who Am I Without Him?: A Short Story Collection about Girls and Boys in Their Lives' written by Sharon G. Flake talks about teenagers who are having hard relationships. These are touching short stories that mostly talk about love relationships. I gave this book a two because there was absolutely no grammar! no spelling! no nothing! While I was reading this book, I noticed how much my English changed in these two years. These days, I can instantly find these mistakes, and there was plenty of them in this book. I could barely know what the writer meant in this story. Moreover, there were no verbs. Anyway, it had a lot of good lessons that we should learn in our lives.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    A fantastic collection of stories, each with a distinctive and authentic voice, about the life, times, and loves of inner city teens. The stories are about the big issues of urban life, but the joys in the stories reside in the small details. There's hope here, but there's also heartbreak as Flake shows young men and women coming of age. The three best stories ("So I Ain't No Good Girl", "I Like White Boy" and "Hunting for Boys") focus on girls trying to figure out love on their own, while the w A fantastic collection of stories, each with a distinctive and authentic voice, about the life, times, and loves of inner city teens. The stories are about the big issues of urban life, but the joys in the stories reside in the small details. There's hope here, but there's also heartbreak as Flake shows young men and women coming of age. The three best stories ("So I Ain't No Good Girl", "I Like White Boy" and "Hunting for Boys") focus on girls trying to figure out love on their own, while the weakest link ("A Letter to My Daughter") could have been called "Papa Don't Preach." As she did in The Skin I’m In and her Raspberry Hill novels (Money Hungry and Begging for Change), Flake writes characters that are unique, yet also representative of the urban experience.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dionne

    Honestly, every time I see someone who says they loved this book I get a little pissed off. This is not a a great work of literature, this is not something that accurately portrays African-American teens to the world, this isn't even a book you can enjoy for the authors great style of writing. This book has done so well because so many black girls have read it and said, "Oh yeah I can relate to this!" when they don't know that there are better things to read and relate to then a drama filled boo Honestly, every time I see someone who says they loved this book I get a little pissed off. This is not a a great work of literature, this is not something that accurately portrays African-American teens to the world, this isn't even a book you can enjoy for the authors great style of writing. This book has done so well because so many black girls have read it and said, "Oh yeah I can relate to this!" when they don't know that there are better things to read and relate to then a drama filled book where all we really want to do is get our best friend's boyfriend or date a white guy. This book was an insult to my intelligence and I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shayla

    Who Am I Without Him is about teens and their relationships and how they go wrong. This book has alot of diffrent stories that deal with teen girls and the boy in their lives. I think these stories are very humorous,"Dramaish",some sad and also some down-to-earth stories .This book is a reallyyyy good book for young teens and also ones that are dating.Who Am i Without Him shows that relationships go either right or wrong, and teens fall in and out of love with surprising, often funny, always on- Who Am I Without Him is about teens and their relationships and how they go wrong. This book has alot of diffrent stories that deal with teen girls and the boy in their lives. I think these stories are very humorous,"Dramaish",some sad and also some down-to-earth stories .This book is a reallyyyy good book for young teens and also ones that are dating.Who Am i Without Him shows that relationships go either right or wrong, and teens fall in and out of love with surprising, often funny, always on-point results.It takes a long time for them to outcome their problem but they do it.This is a good book , i reccomend you read it !

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jesus G.

    a girl seeks advice on how to steal her best friend's thug. a girl seeks advice on how to steal her best friend's thug.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lilmislovely345

    well i cant really talk about this story because i8t was alot of little stories about girls and their relationships,i liked this book because i feel like it helped me to be a smarter person. i say this because in one of the stories a girl's boyfriend treats her like crap and hits her then to top that off when she goes on the bus she sees him kissing on another girl and she does not do anything about it but i know better and if u read it u will too. well i cant really talk about this story because i8t was alot of little stories about girls and their relationships,i liked this book because i feel like it helped me to be a smarter person. i say this because in one of the stories a girl's boyfriend treats her like crap and hits her then to top that off when she goes on the bus she sees him kissing on another girl and she does not do anything about it but i know better and if u read it u will too.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I saw this at the high school library where I work and the title caught my eye. It was an interesting collection of stories to read because I am not exactly in the target demographic, so it was a little cultural education. Great characters and storylines. I appreciated the letter from an absent father to his daughter that ended the collection.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Moore

    Read: Don't be Disrespecting Me - I love this author. This story completely wasn't what I expected. It was much sadder, and I wished I could've stepped in to stop the characters. So I Ain't No Good Girl - Sharon Flake is a great writer. I got all tense because I could feel this character's desperation. Read: Don't be Disrespecting Me - I love this author. This story completely wasn't what I expected. It was much sadder, and I wished I could've stepped in to stop the characters. So I Ain't No Good Girl - Sharon Flake is a great writer. I got all tense because I could feel this character's desperation.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nunu Paye

    This book is amazing for teens who can relate to this similar stories. When I read this I could relate to some stories not all. But Sharon G. Flake has done it again in another teen relateable novel!!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aries Djangmah-Yeboah

    This book... Was just different. I have never read something so relatable to my life. This book was mind blowing. It might have been fiction but there were some lessons and themes and advice that I'm going to take from it. This book... Was just different. I have never read something so relatable to my life. This book was mind blowing. It might have been fiction but there were some lessons and themes and advice that I'm going to take from it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kashai Galloway

    TH1S 1S TH3 B3ST B00K 1'V3 [email protected] 1N @ L0NG T1M3 1 P1CK3D TH1S B00K 2 K33P 4 MYS3LF 4 [email protected]!!! 1T'S [email protected]!!!!!! TH1S 1S TH3 B3ST B00K 1'V3 [email protected] 1N @ L0NG T1M3 1 P1CK3D TH1S B00K 2 K33P 4 MYS3LF 4 [email protected]!!! 1T'S [email protected]!!!!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    this look like a good book

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anaya

    IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII SSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOO LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE TTTTHHHHHHIIIIISSSS BBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lucia

    Fun, light read about not so light and fun topics.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shaniah Thornton

    This book is a book of short stories. The favorite story that I chose was the second story called ¨Girl, didn't I say I don't write letters?" It is basically about this girl and boy writing back and forth everyday. As they write back and forth they start to catch feelings. They both had a boyfriend or girlfriend. There for it made it more complicated for them. They would always bump heads though. But each time they would bump heads they would become closer. But the book never said if they brok This book is a book of short stories. The favorite story that I chose was the second story called ¨Girl, didn't I say I don't write letters?" It is basically about this girl and boy writing back and forth everyday. As they write back and forth they start to catch feelings. They both had a boyfriend or girlfriend. There for it made it more complicated for them. They would always bump heads though. But each time they would bump heads they would become closer. But the book never said if they broke wit their bf/gf i'm guessing they did brake up with them. My favorite part was at the end. Jaquel said he does not write love letters but he thinks differently about that towards Devita Mae. Jaquel hurt her feelings pretty bad one day. So to show her how much he cares he wrote her a love letter but he calls it a "love note". But that is not the only interesting story in that book for example chapter four "Mookie in love". That one is basically about this boy Mookie falling in love and his family tries to break them up. The stories are kind of the same but in different ways because they all have drama about boys. So if you like drama or you can relate to the drama with boys I recommend this book to you.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    Black girls and boys of all sorts pepper these pages and few of them are what you would call higher educated or in the upper tax brackets. Awkward silences, improper grammar and ghetto colloquialism pepper the pages as we look through the notes, diary entries and inner thoughts of teenagers of color while they struggle with mixing with the opposite sex. Obstacles, hilarious and harrowing, loom before them and you cringe as you watch them navigating them. I’m sure many of these tales will be eith Black girls and boys of all sorts pepper these pages and few of them are what you would call higher educated or in the upper tax brackets. Awkward silences, improper grammar and ghetto colloquialism pepper the pages as we look through the notes, diary entries and inner thoughts of teenagers of color while they struggle with mixing with the opposite sex. Obstacles, hilarious and harrowing, loom before them and you cringe as you watch them navigating them. I’m sure many of these tales will be either uncomfortably familiar to readers of a certain age and demographic. Others may see this book as either primer or warning. There was one aspect that I found difficult to read. It was disheartening to see how females will turn on each other with complete viciousness because of a boy; it was a recurring theme in this book. I had to wonder if all female relationships are this toxic or whether the author had experienced them as such in her life. If you want sharp slices of life about “real” black teenagers, this book delivers it with a healthy side serving of piquant sauce.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chelsie drew

    “When I seen you, you was walking tall, like your back was made out of 100 year old pine. Stay that way. Men like to know that a tree don’t bend easy as a piece of paper.” I had high hopes for this book given it deals with topics such as self worth, self respect and realizing a man/a relationship does not define who you are. I was disappointed because each story was cut short and didn’t have a real ending. A lot of the stories could have taught a lesson but the lack of ending made it so it didn’t “When I seen you, you was walking tall, like your back was made out of 100 year old pine. Stay that way. Men like to know that a tree don’t bend easy as a piece of paper.” I had high hopes for this book given it deals with topics such as self worth, self respect and realizing a man/a relationship does not define who you are. I was disappointed because each story was cut short and didn’t have a real ending. A lot of the stories could have taught a lesson but the lack of ending made it so it didn’t teach anything. The last story was the best and most powerful. It is a fathers letter to his daughter. He talks about what a woman deserves and how they deserve to be treated by a man. This story was great, but the others were not so great. I feel truly that if you want to read books about self worth there are plenty more out there that are so much better. All in all I would give this book a 2 or even 2.5 stars.

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