My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Content warnings: Childhood sexual assault, rape, incest, paedophilia, murder, violence, drug use, alcohol use, mentions of blood and gore
I think this was the most depressing books of K’wan’s I’ve ever read. Just…damn. The ending was some Romeo & Juliet type shit…I had a feeling well before the ending (somewhere around 70% of the book) that it would be like that but crap on a cracker. The last two chapters were the most depressing (though the ending of the book/last chapter was pretty happily satisfying) and the bloodiest.
To be honest, I don’t blame Rio for what he did or what happened. Were I in his position in regards to being in love and having what happened happen I would have done the exact same thing.
I both liked and hated Officer Brown. Like I know that for some of it he was literally just following orders and couldn’t change any of that (though were I him, I would of at least TRIED to go above his head for that) but something about some of his actions was just off to me. Yeah he tried to do the right thing but I’m conflicted (as I’m sure he was).
As for the other white cops, they’re the exact kind that I don’t trust and comparatively, I have little to no reason not to trust cops (other than getting pulled over at least 3 times a year because some asshole has almost my exact same plate just a number off and won’t pay for their damn registration and has my car apparently too and the incident from high school where I almost got run over in front of the cop and the cop didn’t care) because I was born into a position of privilege (in which I am very white and am read as female despite my dislike of it) in which the cops are more likely to care about me than most of the people in k’wan’s books. By virtue of my skin colour.
I was kind of happy that for this book there wasn’t a lot of talk about the crips and bloods gangs. Because while I know their history and their necessity for protecting their areas, I’m still not a big fan of them (part of that has to do with being raised in a city in which LAPD drops all their people getting out of their jail system and winding up with a LOT of crips and going to a high school that was blood colours–red and black were our school colours and we were heavily encouraged to wear them every friday–and very luckily I didn’t live in the middle of town where all the really huge fights and shootouts happened–where the high school there had blue and gold as their colours–though we did have a lot of young white boys pretending to be gangbangers–and there was no way they could have been they just talked the game–anyway though) in general speaking. I’ve seen violence first hand and been pepper sprayed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (well technically right place wrong time because I was going to class and there was a riot in front of my classroom so because I was trying to get through the crowd I was assumed to be part of it and needless to say half my class got either directly pepper sprayed or indirectly because enclosed area). It’s not pretty and personally I’m not a fan of people in general who advocate for violence (I saw one of my friends get the shit kicked out of him and instead of fighting back he put his arms around his skull to protect it and suspended for fighting while the asshole –two white dudes btw– who instigated it got nothing). I don’t mind reading about it. I just don’t like seeing it or hearing it happen.
Anyway I’ve gotten a lot of sidetracks here.
I like that it was started with Rio actually TRYING. His own screw up was lying on the one job application. Because I truly believe they would have been more likely to give him the job had he been up front in the first place (because some places honestly will try to work with you even if you’re a convicted felon).
And Prince was kind of ……(trying to find non AAVE to use)…….really fucked up is the best way I can put it without appropriating slang that I have no right using. Especially with the continually trying to recruit Rio even with him turning him down each time. That’s just not right.
Oh and her daddy…….If I could have put that bullet in his head I would have. Of course I would have also marched myself down to the police station and turned myself in (or called 911 and turned myself in) but that comes from me having a serious guilt complex that no matter how much he deserved it I couldn’t have pretended I didn’t do it. Basically I have no qualms about shooting to kill people who do the shit he did. And it wasn’t the excessive alcohol drinking that bothered me either. It was everything else. But my feelings on that are complicated when you bring up people who have the thoughts and attraction but keep themselves in check and don’t act on the urges because I can’t condemn people who haven’t done anything and it’s really complicated. But no parent should do that to their child especially.
Oh and I wanted Truck to die so badly from the second he entered the book essentially. He just reeked of sleeze.
Anyway, this was a good book. Despite the depressing bit at the end.
Buy it here: