A timely and powerful story about a teen girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it's trying to break her.
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 she has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Except really, it's for black girls. From "bad" neighborhoods. And just because Maxine, her college-graduate mentor, is black doesn't mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.
This book lent such an interesting perspective to the idea of opportunities for select groups of people.
I came away feeling like I had really grown from reading Jade's perspective. Her voice was well articulated and convincing, so that though, in general I agreed with her ultimate thoughts, her reasoning led to me completely following her trains of thought in the early stages of the book. She definitely showed the adults a new way to think.
While I didn't particularly love Jade at first, I grew more affectionate of her as I watched her grow. There were certain moments where she vexed me to no end, but she grew from those moments and I felt proud to see her maturing and learning to stand up for herself. Especially when she actually caused change, I respected Jade immensely.
As a white, middle class female reading this, I was intrigued by the challenges of blackness that Jade brought up that I quite frankly had not encountered. The ideas she raised will influence my future interactions and thoughts; for that alone, Watson deserves praise.
This was short and I felt like the author could have taken more time and covered more topics; however, as is, it was focused and a quick and easy read.
I definitely recommend this for anyone interested in education or looking for a unique YA book. I'll certainly be looking for more of Watson's books.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.