Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: Sins of the Father by Thelonious Legend

This was going to be a special year for the Parker sisters. Eve was going to dominate in the classroom and on the basketball court. Gwen was going to make the starting five and go down in history as the greatest prankster ever. Ana was going to do as little as possible. But without warning, all three sisters gain extraordinary abilities that defy science... powers that come with a cost. Now all they want to do is make it through the school year without drawing any undue attention, while racing to find a cure before the side effects of their new abilities kill them. Eve's temperament, Gwen's fondness for pranks, and Ana's predilection for money, however, are challenges they must overcome to achieve their goals. Because if they can't, they're dead... (Goodreads)
received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was excited for this book because I'm in constant search for a book with African-American protagonist where we don't see any of the African-American stereo types. I can't stress the importance of books featuring African-American characters where the protagonist must over come to temptation of drugs and gangs, or where the character is affected by absentee parents, teen pregnancy, or abuse. There are children who grew up in those environment who need to be encouraged to fight for something better, what they deserve... a better life than the one they were dealt. However, it's also important for those of us (because I am African-American for those of you who didn't notice) who grew up in suburban environments to read about characters like us. I didn't grow up in a city. I have two parents and two younger sibling who love me. I got average grades in school and played the flute in band. I want to read books about characters who look like me. I want to read books like those written by Sarah Dessen, Veronica Roth, Tahereh Mafi, Holly Black, and Colleen Hoover that feature characters with dark skin and braids. Don't get me wrong, I understand why there aren't more books like this, I'd done the research, I understand why there aren't more books like that out there, which is why the heart jumps a little bit when I find books like Sins of the Father. 

I love that this book features an African-American family who are upper class, as opposed to something you might read in a Walter Dean Myers book, or something a part of the Bluford High Series. It's a book that someone who grew up like I did can relate to. I like that Gwen, Eve, and Ana all have such defined solid characters with their own personalities that contribute to the story. I have to say, however, that I had a hard time reading the dialogue of the book. I specialize in working with teenagers, I have siblings who are 14 and 17, I was in high school myself  only 10 years ago (wow that's actually a lot). The teen characters read to me as if they were teens written by adults, they don't quite flow for me. I found myself reading passages thinking "that's not how teenagers speak".

The concept for the book was amazing. I loved the characters, I just wish that some of the character speech didn't take me out the of the story.


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