Petra X's Reviews > Precious

Precious by Sapphire
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Jan 13, 16

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, reviewed, 10-star-books
Read in November, 2009

5 stars for creating a really unique heroine
5 stars for an enjoyable, engrossing story
7 stars for beautiful use of language (yeah mutherfuckers, sometimes that word is the only word that fits)

I didn't put much faith in an author named 'Sapphire'. More urban fiction: ghetto girl's acrylics scratch eyes out of baby father's new crack-addicted girlfriend, I thought. (Not that I don't quite enjoy urban fiction, Zane is quite good and very spicy). I couldn't have been more wrong. The writing in the book is a joy to read. It isn't, as most good writing is, just a vehicle to convey the material as much as a vibrant and necessary component of the story. The literary device of the writing changing, opening, blooming along with the story is remarkably well-executed.

The story is really of how the system has failed those at the very bottom of society. How no one cares about those who fall through the cracks so long as they do it quietly. It's very much a diatribe against an America that so many blacks feel they had no place in forming and no place within as a right. The racism and other prejudices are that of poverty. Lack of experience and gossip being the main vehicles for knowledge rather than books and education. In other words, the racism is not at all deep-seated, it's something that can easily be changed for the better.

It is a wonderful book on every level, not just the writing, or the story, or the tremendous creation of Precious - antithesis of a heroine, a 250lb girl who describes herself as too dark and ugly, and whose taste in clothes is appalling (but hopeful, fluorescent yellow leggings and a leather jacket) but also the ending. There isn't one, it's in your mind. And perhaps in how you might see your home town after reading it, and maybe also in who you vote for on your local council. It's really you that can make the ending.
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Comments (showing 1-13)




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message 13: by Debby (new) - added it

Debby Thanks for your intriguing and challenging review. I've reserved the book from the library and am looking forward to reading it.


message 12: by Gloria (new) - added it

Gloria Mundi Wow. That is quite a surprise. I thought along the same lines as you, blat blat ghetto slang, brothas, biatches and other sheet like that. Plus Mariah Carey was in the movie. This sounds like a hidden gem.


Petra X It was an amazing book, the writing is superlative. I was surprised that Mariah Carey could act (also that she could look so plain) but everyone was a star in that movie.


message 10: by Gloria (new) - added it

Gloria Mundi I haven't seen the movie either. It got a lot of praise from the critics but I was dubious so never bothered. I am intrigued now. Have added it to my ever expanding TBR list.


Dabra You have written an excellent review. I whole heartedly agree with what you say here.


Petra X Thanks Dabra, appreciated!


message 7: by Meg ♥ (new) - added it

Meg ♥ I want to read this sometime. I watched the movie, and found it pretty powerful. I have a feeling the book will be even better, though. I agree with your review about the characters and story.


Petra X Meg ♥ wrote: "I want to read this sometime. I watched the movie, and found it pretty powerful. I have a feeling the book will be even better, though. I agree with your review about the characters and story."

The book is worth reading, good as the film was, because the author's writing is quite extraordinarily good.


Carol Donohoe williams Petra X: Thanks for writing a great review. I first watched the movie and was quite disturbed. So, I bought the movie and watched it again. The second time I was able to see the upside. Then, I bought the book and read it in an afternoon. As usual the book was better! I bought several more copies and have them to my daughters and some friends. It's heartbreaking to realize children live in/with such horrible circumstances, however, the story shows the resilience that people are capable of! And, yes, it brings the short comings of the system and society to the forefront of our consciousness! !


Anna Perfect review, well done. Not sure how the movie could do,what the book does.


Petra X Anna wrote: "Perfect review, well done. Not sure how the movie could do,what the book does."

Thank you. I think the movie is wonderful too, Queen Latifah and Mariah Carey act their hearts out to bring a reality to the story. I do understand though that you thought the book was better. If the director's vision is not yours then it's always going to come off second best to you.


message 2: by Sharon (new) - added it

Sharon Ok. You've persuaded me to give it a go


Petra X Sharon wrote: "Ok. You've persuaded me to give it a go"

LOL. This is an old review, I'd forgotten all about it. I'm glad it's so persuasive though as it really is a fantastic book (and film).


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