Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Released: 8th of February 2018
Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls.
Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She's tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.
What I Have to Say
This book was beautiful and had so much to say. In one way it was about a Black girl trying to get through life with a mother who works so hard and can barely afford to keep the family fed. On the other hand, it was also a book about a private school girl who finds it hard to assert herself and ask for what she wants out of life. And about how to make people listen to her when she does. It's about racism. It's about opportunities. It's about Spanish and poverty and being Black. It's about so much more than anyone could put into a small synopsis.
I loved the bits of Spanish at the start of each chapter and how much that Jade was into languages. They made such an interesting point about how giving a girl a trip to the opera when she's passionate about the Spanish language and making collages, isn't much of an opportunity when they could send her on a trip to a Spanish speaking country or help furthering her art. Giving her opportunities for an actual career and life rather than just viewing her as an underprivileged Black girl who needs charity.
At it's heart though, it's about Jade learning to speak up for herself. Learning what opportunities are worth pursuing and when she has to speak up and say "this isn't useful for me, this is what I want" and getting the people around her to listen.
This book really has something for everyone. It's an incite into what it's like to be a Black girl, what it's like to be a teenager and what it's like to live in poverty while also giving out advice and life lessons that is useful for everyone to know. Definitely one of the best books I've read this year.
My thanks go to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for providing me with this copy for review.