I have no idea where to even start here. I'll save the editing drama for the end because there is more than enough to begin with. Was the blurb from the publisher on the front cover just a way to sell the book?
I saw nothing "chilling and brutal" and, from what I know about drugs and addicts, nothing "honest" either. The publisher claims the book is so much of these things that they "almost didn't publish it".
I keep finding myself staring at the book like it's an AIDS infected three headed monster. Yeah, it's that bad.
I'm not going to go in any sort of order here, just from my memory, so here goes:
1. Point me to the projects where I can find a crackhead drenched in designer duds. Because I venture to say that you can't do it.
2. Using "ting" instead of "thing" and screaming "bumbaclot" and "blood clot" do not a Jamaican accent make. Do any Jamaicans really use those words? The ones I've known don't.
4. From what I read of this book the absolute only thing thing that was "honest" was the how-to on cooking up crack. That's it. (Which, by the way, is an awesome thing to include in a book.)
Are we supposed to actually believe that Jarvis was smoking crack, day and night, for months on end and then one night Kaneesha, all of a sudden, notices the jaw grinding and the huge eyes? Really? That's honest?
On page 101 Baggs gives Kaneesha a "fifty-cent piece". From the context clues and street slang I know I can assume that "cent" was slang for "dollar". I don't know where you can find that an amount of crack fitting in a dollar bill is "generous" or worth asking "is that all mine".
Page 63 - "Stone was furious about something and every other word that fell from his mouth was a curse word either in Patios (foreign language) or English." Yeah, thanks for the clarification. I needed that.
I can spew forth many more instances of unrealisticness, amateur writing, etc. but I'll stop. Frankly, it's giving me a headache.
The lack of editing. I want to make it clear that I do not expect an author to write a perfected manuscript. I'm not an author but I do know that doesn't happen often. I do expect, however, the finished product to be perfected. The finished product, which the author and publisher want my money for, should be perfect in my opinion. I don't buy moldy bread or broken microwaves and I don't want to buy a sloppy books.
I've seen time and time again, with Cartel Publications in particular, that the editing is atrocious. How, and why, would a publisher continue to use an "editing service" when they know they get sloppy results? (Sloppy is me being nice by the way.) A few of the mistakes that glared out at me included incorrect punctuation, missing words, extra words, incorrectly phrased sentences, spelling errors, and many, many more examples.
I can say this with absolute certainty: I will not pay money for any Cartel Publication books. I may read some but I will not buy them and I will not recommend them or spread the word about them.
How could I possible spread the word about this book? I'd be laughed at. I have many friends who take recommendations seriously and will go out and buy a book on a recommendation. What do I look like telling them to read this?
I've said this before and I'll say it again, it is not hard to edit a book. Once you have someone or some service edit a book and it's not done right you no longer use them. I'll put an offer out there for you Cartel, pay me half and I'll edit your book. Then you can see what a real editing job looks like. (And I'm not even an editor.)
There is a solid reason why other publishing houses are moving beyond and this is it. I have more than a handful of non-urban-fiction reading friends trying the genre. They read one like this and they're finished. And who can blame them? The genre if full of books like this. Had this (or similar titles) been my first urban fiction read I'd have never continued.
Save your time and your money (and most likely your sanity) and pass on this one. To my friends, I know you and you will NOT like this.
If there was a story tucked in there somewhere it would have been weighed down by all of the negatives.
At the end of the description it states that this is a "brilliant debut novel" and that it "deals with the power of the human spirit to live against all odds." I'm speechless. I'd have to say it's exactly opposite of that sentence. The only thing this shows readers with any intelligence is that this publisher spews forth untruths. (And how to cook crack.)
**I should note that I'm suspicious of a few of the ratings below. I think they've been manufactured by the author and/or publisher. Look closely and decide for yourself.**