Aesthetically Speaking

Book review: “Drama High: Keep It Movin” by L. Divine

Ever since you were old enough to know, it’s been your one dream: Wheels.
Four of ‘em, and freedom.

If you had your own car, there’d be no more taking the bus. No more sweating a walk across town, no more begging a ride or embarrassment of calling your parents. If you had your own wheels, life would be sweet.

Sixteen-year-old Jayd Jackson thought that, too, until her father handed her keys to a hoopty she didn’t want. But in the new book “Drama High: Keep It Movin’” by L. Divine, those old wheels may be the least of her worries.

It’s Christmas break and, as usual, Jayd Jackson is up to her braids in drama. Her man, Rah, is trippin’ because Jayd is spending time with her white ex-boyfriend, Jeremy. She and Jeremy are just friends now, but Jayd knows she has to guard against any feelings she still has for him.

Still, Rah has nowhere to talk. He spends way too much time with his baby-mama, Sandy. Jayd understands that Rah only wants to be with his daughter – Jayd loves Rahmina, too – but it seems like he always runs when Sandy hollers, and that just ain’t right.

And then there’s what’s going on at school: Jayd’s former best friend, Nettie has gone to the Dark Side to hang with the popular white girls, but not before turning Jayd in for forging absent slips for her girl, Mickey. But Mickey’s got more than school problems. She’s pregnant with Nigel’s baby… or at least she thinks it’s Nigel’s. The baby’s father could be Mickey’s other man, a gangster who promises revenge on Nigel.

Through this all, though, Jayd has her Mama, who is really her grandmother. For years now, Lynn Mae has been passing on her gifts to Jayd, as well as rites and ceremonies that their ancestors performed for generations. Even though Jayd’s mother watches over her and gives Jayd advice telepathically, Mama counsels Jayd to pay attention to her night dreams and to be careful who she hangs out with.

Lynn Mae knows danger can move into a girl’s life at any time.

And our Jayd has grown up. She’s not the girl she was in the first Drama High book, and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.

I’ll admit that “Drama High: Keep It Movin’” is probably realistic, in a big-city way. There are undoubtedly lots of girls who deal with the things that author L. Divine’s characters experience. But this Jayd is harder and pretty street savvy and – although it’s a big part of who Jayd is – there’s a big psychic-spells-potions thread running through this book that some parents might find uncomfortable. All this makes me miss the sweetness of the old Jayd, and her innocence.

If you’ve read all the other books in this series, you’ll want to keep following your girl, Jayd by reading “Drama High: Keep It Movin’”. But if this is your first time with this character, move to an earlier book instead.

“Drama High: Keep It Movin’” by L. Divine
c.2009, Dafina Kensington        $9.95 / $11.95 Canada   
208 pages, includes teaser for the next book in the series

July 2, 2009
ABOUT INSIGHT NEWS
The Journal For Community News, Business and The Arts serving the African American community in Minneapolis-St.Paul. Available on news stands and online at insightnews.com.
INSIGHT NEWS

1815 Bryant Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411
insightnews.com
(612) 588-1313

ADVERTISING

Download our Media Kit (PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Newspaper Deadlines
-Classified: Ad inquiries due one week prior to run date Wednesday
-Display: Space reservation due one week prior to run date and material due Wednesday the week prior to run date.
-Insight News print edition is published weekly on Mondays

For more information call: 612.588.1313

CONVERSATiONS W/ AL MCFARLANE