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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

In Akilah Hughes's world, family--and life--are often complicated, but always funny. Through intimate and hilarious essays, Akilah takes readers along on her journey from the small Kentucky town where she was born--and eventually became a spelling bee champ and 15-year-old high school graduate--to New York City, where she took careful steps to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer and performer. Like Tiffany Haddish's The Last Black Unicorn or Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? for the YA set, Akilah pens revealing and laugh-out-loud funny essays about her life, covering everything from her racist fifth grade teacher, her struggles with weight and acne, her failed attempts at joining the cheerleading team, how to literally get to New York (hint: for a girl on a budget, it may include multiple bus transfers) and exactly how to "make it" once you finally get there.…

Overall Book Review:

Obviously is not as obvious as the title may seem.  This book is definitely not fiction, but from there it gets a little harder to really put your finger on where to classify the book.  In one of the first chapters, the author states that maybe the book is a little bit self-help.  I can see that.  Each chapter seems to end with a sentence or two of take-away.  From there though, it gets a bit harder.

This book isn’t written in a sequential, biography-ish manner.  It’s more a series of essays in no particular order about the author’s life.  It reads a bit like a rant session about all the things she doesn’t like, things that have gone wrong in her life, people who have wronged her, etc.  In that respect, it wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it would be.  I was expecting a book more about her life, lessons she had learned, and a little less “I’m going to memorialize everyone else’s wrongs in literature”.

It was easy reading.  The language is pretty straightforward.  There were a few abbreviations that I wasn’t quite sure of, but those who are super familiar with YouTube, text language, etc. may have absolutely no issues.  The chapters are short, most less than ten pages.  The settings are relatable and cover the breadth of the country and readers should have a pretty decent frame of reference by the end.

Overall, it’s an okay read.  Maybe more fascinating for those familiar with the author’s YouTube fame and comedy, but better suited for older audiences due to language.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Razorbill

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  10 religious exclamations, 23 mild obscenities, 4 religious profanities, 8 derogatory names, 30 scatological words, 22 anatomical terms, 21 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Girl throws kickball at another’s stomach; verbal threat; recall of race riots; death of animals from natural causes.

Sex/Nudity:  Man touches woman’s clothed butt; two references to having sex; one reference to being naked in a hospital.

Mature Subject Matter:

Racial and socioeconomic conflict, death; divorce, mental disorder, abandonment, marriage infidelity, stealing.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Drinking of various alcohol by adults; reference to cocaine.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.