When I was The Greatest Book Review

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In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean. This gritty, triumphant debut captures the heart and the hardship of life for an urban teen. – Goodreads blurb

Addictive. Thrilling. Amazing

This is one of those moments where I gush about how amazing a book is, and how representation matters in literature. How validating it feels as a New Yorker, and an African American male to read books that I can see myself in.

“WIWSTG” follows the main character Ali, as he functions in a part of New York tumblr_o0jpemTmrW1qbt8lko1_1280.jpgCity where drugs and violence are an everyday thing. However, Ail is focused on his family and his boxing performance. One of the great things about this book is the character Needles. How representation of mental health is important. (Her has tourette syndrome) and how the community really is here to protect him and look out for him.The relationship Ali has with needles, and Noodles, another character is realistic. It’s not perfect. They don’t always see eye to eye and its fine, because they’re not suppose too.

This novel is family oriented. It’s about hope and how sometimes, things can be blow out of proportion. The pacing of this novel is not fast-pace. It’s not an action novel in the scene there is crime after crime. We get a general feel for the neighborhood. The guns, the violence, the poverty. Everything that is Brooklyn and home to Ali. At times, the main plot line seems to take a seat back behind the character development and the relations Ali has built with everyone.

It’s an amazing realistic look at the every day life of Urban teenagers, and what they have to go through. I give this book four out of five stars. While I loved everything else, the main-plot line to me didn’t seem to actually pick up until halfway through the book. — Not that it was truly needed– and it seemed to be resolved a little to fast in my liking, also the book itself was shorter than I had expected. I wanted it to be longer so I could have more feels, not that I don’t have enough.

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