Saturday, April 10, 2010

Urban Fiction Authors April - Various

Spring signifies a new beginning, so we want to give you a taste of some new “blooming” authors that you may not be aware. These authors may have been around, but their works are just now being showcased in libraries. For the month of April, we are going to spotlight four new writers in the urban fiction genre. We are hoping that these new authors will make their way into your hearts and minds through their books. Enjoy!

Title: Damaged
Author: Kia Dupree
Genre: Urban Fiction

How much can one person endure and still survive? Will you be able to survive if you have lived a life of abuse, neglect, murder, prostitution and violence? Well, 15 Camille has shown that she is a survivor.

Her life began as normally as any other teenager, but circumstances beyond her control have left her trying to make it on her own. After her mom became addicted to drugs, she left Camille with her grandmother. Her grandmother showed her as much love as she could, but when she died; Camille was forced to live in a foster home.

All seems normal on the surface, but things are not always as they appear. Camille has three brothers and a foster sister, who she becomes extremely close with. They share everything except the one secret that Danica is hiding. Soon, Camille realizes that she too is part of the secret and must remain quiet if she is to receive the many gifts that come at a price. Trouble begins to escalate when Danica becomes pregnant and the child looks exactly like the foster dad. It is then that Camille realizes that her step mom is not as clueless as she had once thought. Danica is forced to leave, which leaves Camille as the only target for the foster dad, so the foster mom decides Camille will have to get on birth control.

To spend her days, Camille joins a dance group to give her an outlet away from the misery at home. After practice, she and her friend KiKi meet a couple of boys who are somewhat older than they are, but Camille is afraid because she knows her stepfather will have a “fit’ if he finds out she is talking to boys. Chu is a small time drug dealer, whose brother is incarcerated for the same reason and who is also estranged from his mother. Eventually she and Chu fall in love and he is her everything. During their time together, Camille eventually leaves home after a heated argument with her foster mom over the sexual abuse that she has endured. Chu is enraged, but does not show his rage to Camille. Events that happen as a result of this rage are revealed later in the story. Makes you wonder just how strong love is.

After a deal goes bad, Chu is murdered and Camille is left once again to do what she needs to do in order to survive. After a distant friendship, she runs into KiKi her old dance friend. KiKi offers Camille a place to stay, but Camille does not find out until later that there are many strings attached. KiKi drugs Camille so that Nut, Chu old roommate can take advantage of her sexually. He then makes her believe that prostitution is the only way she can survive. Of course she becomes a prostitute and realizes that her dreams are once again beyond her reach. She meets a handsome guy and they become friends and she think she may have a way out until she realizes the guy was feeding her a bunch of lies. During her time in prostitution lots of other truths will be revealed when she comes in contact with Chu’s best friend Rob. Does he help her or does he take advantage of her like most people in her life have.

There was really no ending to the story, which leads me to think that there may be a second book in the works. This was a believable story, which kept my interest. It is not a fast read, so you will not be inclined to read faster to see what happens next. I think Camille could have made some choices that would have made a huge difference in her life, but I had to remember that she was only 15-17 during this book. This book only gives a glimpse into each character, which is ok, but I would have liked more depth. Overall, this was a good read that will keep you hoping for the best for each character.

Let us what you think of this new author. She has other books, but this is the only one that we carry in hardback at our library. If you read any of her other books, we would also like to hear about those and the effect they had on you after reading them.

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