Katie's Reviews > Push

Push by Sapphire
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Sep 15, 10

bookshelves: women, human-behavior, new-york
Read in April, 2010

In the best way possible, Push wasn't what I expected. Since I knew the book had been turned into a movie, I suppose I thought I was picking up the written version of Freedom Writers, Dangerous Minds, etc. -- the cliched list goes on -- meaning I was waiting to enter the Disney-fied world of an inner-city high school where all it takes is a passionate, underpaid teacher to reach through the students' tough shells to uncover the talented jewels within.

As family-friendly and white-guilt-appeasing as those tales may be, Push doesn't go anywhere near them. Sapphire -- whose name I can't say helped convince me I was about to read something worthwhile -- penned an urban tragedy that doesn't fall victim to tired "Persevere! Choose your own destiny!" messaging; rather, Push slaps you in the face with the reality of our protagonist's life.

Born into the worst moral and physical destitution imaginable, Precious is almost Job-like in her misfortune. We see her endure and endure and endure again, but how many terrible things can happen to one person? Push is an extreme and fortunately fictive example, but what a way to show that the world is not an equal-opportunity employer.


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