Title: Hot Girl
Author: Dream Jordan
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
"It's summertime in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and Kate is feeling down in the dumps. Not only is she tired of her raggedy, tomboy image but she's also missing her best friend, Felicia, who's away for the summer. Lonely and not exactly getting along with her new foster mother, Lynn, Kate so badly wants to be out and about, twirling pretty, and partying - and maybe catching the attention of her longtime crush, Charles.
Opportunity knocks one hot summer day when fly-girl Naleejah struts her stuff straight up to Kate and takes a seat. Full of smiles, Naleejah tells Kate that she remembers her from school, but Kate can't remember ever having such a fabulous chick trying to befriend her. Kate's suspicion turns to trust once Naleejah gives her a much-needed makeover.
Now a brand-new Kate suddenly has the attention of her dream boy. But is Naleejah checking for him, too? Against Kate's better judgement, she ignores the warning signs and continues to let Naleejah lead her down a treacherous path. Soon, what seems like a fun and exciting summer ends up being a harsh reality check. Now Kate must decide how to get back on the right track.... or is it already too late?"
Honesly, urban lit isn't a genre I've ever read before. I picked up this book because of that 9/9/09 challenge thing - where I read nine different genres. But I'm glad I did, because this book totally reminds me of almost every teen I work with. I work in a very urban/innercity-type area and I should probably be reading more of this type of book.
Genre aside, I really did enjoy this book. It's a great story and the characters are absolutely believable. There was one thing that threw me off a little - the language. Yeah, it's written in street-speak... but that's not what caught my eye (that's what the teens in this area sound like anyway). It was the lack of cursing. When someone in the book does go off, the author uses things like "the F word" and so on. Which is definitely not true to reality - AT ALL. Most of our kids have seriously foul mouths. I do understand that this allows the book to appeal to a wider range of readers (and younger), it just threw me off that the girls were calling each other "broads" not "the B word."
The story is solid and the plot carries you straight through. I ended up rooting for the main character to do the right thing, for sure. I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to get started in reading urban/street lit. As for teens who already are street enough, this might seem a bit tame. Happy reading!
There aren't a whole lot of blog reviews, but here is what I've found: Here and here.