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Underprivileged Overachiever: A Crenshaw Story

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Written with the ♥HEART♥ of a fighter!

Readers unfamiliar with memoirs will be spoiled rotten by this book. These are quick short chapters with powerful impacts laced in every turn of the page.

"At age 14, I ran away, but not from home - because I never had one to begin with. At school I participated in every sport, club, and after-school activity, so that when

Kindle Edition
Published August 31st 2020
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was excellent. It's a memoir that shows what it was like for Yohance to grow up in poverty, living in a homeless shelter and working harder than anyone else to ensure that he has the opportunity to change the path that would only be too easy to follow.

It is honest and raw and shows how when teachers are supportive and students want to overcome adversity then they can succeed.

I don't really have the words to explain just how much I enjoyed reading this. I think every teacher s
¡Hola, mi gente! Today I will be reviewing my first audiobook arc so a HUGE thank you to the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for this opportunity. So where should I start?
Underprivileged Overachiever is a memoir about Y.A. Salimu's life but specifically his life as a teenager making this a perfect YA read. He had a hard life as an Afro-Latinx teenager who was also homeless, he had to work 1k times harder than everyone else to achieve his dream and that he did. This is his story as he grows
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook version of this memoir thanks to NetGalley. The audio is wonderfully narrated by the author, Yohance Salimu. I loved listening to his voice as he told his story. Yohance grew up in poverty and slept in homeless shelters throughout high school. In spite of constant battles with hunger, trying to provide for his mentally ill mother and his younger brothers, struggling to complete homework on a phone because he didn't have a computer, and other challenges, he not only pr ...more
Alexandra Lucia Brînaru
(Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

First things first, I have to mention that I listened to the audiobook of it, which was a totally unique experience. Being a memoir narrated by the author himself, he really put a lot of emotion into telling the story of his life. His narration really made the book come to life.
Nonetheless, I still found that the book dragged quite a bit for me (which might as well have been my own fault).
I did come into this book expecting it to
Candelaria Rial
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley and the author for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I do not even know where to begin with this book. Underprivileged overachiever is an unapologetic memoir of Yohance (rhymes with Beyoncé, starts with a Y, like he says), where he tells us how his life was before becoming who he is now. He grew up being poor, but that did not stop him to fight against all odds and achieve what he wanted. It is narrated by Y. A. Salimu, the author, which made things 100 tim
Y.A. Salimu
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: pass-to-a-mentee
I’m still on such a high from winning an award for my first book Underprivileged Overachiever.

You got no idea how much competition is out there for writing a book. Imagine every high school classroom in the world has 5 people who are really good at reading and writing.

Well… the whole darn class will still end up writing a book 1 day. A couple of those books will actually be good.

I want to share with you what the judges of this competition: The Eric Hoffer Award, had to say about my book:

Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Salimu’s memoir is a well-written, timely, and important addition to this genre. The book describes the day to day challenges of life as a homeless teen in Los Angeles. Readers expecting a sad Oliver Twist tale will instead find a confident, talented protagonist who continually defies low expectations and inspires those around him. Salimu’s warm sense of humor makes the book a joy to read, but is best experienced via a very professionally produced audiobook. I’m a bit of an audiobook narrator sn ...more
Bekah B
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Underprivileged Overachiever is the classic underdog victory tale. And what a tale it is! Yohance describes his childhood and teenage years, living with his Mother who had mental health problems, growing up in extreme poverty, not knowing when he would get his next meal, becoming homeless, dealing with gangs, drug use, rape, and racism. All of that on top of growing up, being a teenager in a harsh society, trying to get an education, and trying to build a path for his future! What he went throug ...more
Jarvis Brown
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great read and a story that needs to be heard. How he fought through the lowest depths of life and scaring adversities definitely tugged at my emotions.

Prepare yourself because this book is raw! He seems to hold nothing back. Which in my opinion, makes the book better. There is good humor from multiple characters that kept me balanced and engaged. What I loved most about this book was the life wisdom provided in nearly every chapter.

This story will inspire others to preserver th
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Yohance Salimu narrates this, his autobiography, and shares some of the challenges he overcame growing up in poverty with his mentally unstable mother in L.A.
Simultaneously a talented storyteller and a young man coming of age, his story occasionally shifts from gripping novel to raw ego, putting the reader right there in the city with him. Throughout the story, I found myself hoping and cheering and pushing for him to persevere, to get a break, to feel recognized. I couldn’t put it down, finish
I received both , an excerpt of the audio book and Ebook formats from Netgally in exchange for an honest review.

If you like Dear Martin, or Dear Justyce by Nic Stone you might like this one. Is similar but not as well written, a lot more football, hunger, toxic masculinity, but less violence.

Read both audio book and Ebook, and in summary audio is way better. It flows nicely and the right inflections in the voice make it better, as when you read it in a printed format the writing exposes it's fl
Jaishree  Jaishankar
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Underprivileged Overachiever is very special to me. It is the first book under the autobiography/memoir/biography genre I have completed in my life for, no other book under this section I had started moved me enough to finish it. But this was different. It was like listening to my friend sharing his life with me(listened to the audiobook). To top the experience, the book was narrated by the person who had been in every inch of the situation narrated in the book.

Every time Yohance was mentioned i
Rebekka Steg
Powerful, thought-provoking, important and at times difficult memoir by Yohance (pronounced like Beyonce, but with a Y) Salimu. (CN for sexual assault, violence)
Growing up black and homeless in LA, the book primarily deals with the authors teenage years and his ability to overcome and excel in spite of everything he's been through. I applaud Salimu's honesty in sharing his experiences, especially being the victim of sexual assault. Men are actually more likely to be sexually assaulted, than to b
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
Another reviewer of this book tells readers everything they need to know: "This story is shocking for its honesty. It might need a warning label before parents allow their teenagers to read. But it's a compelling read and one that provides insights into today's daily struggles for families seeking a path to a better life."
"Underprivileged Overachiever" is indeed a shocking book that contains profanity, sexual content and a full-blown rape scene. Salimu also has quite a bit of ego that comes thr
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC.
I'm thrilled that I listened to everyone else's advice and decided to listen to the audiobook. I can't picture just reading this story. Yohance reads his own story, which provides an element of closeness that you would miss while reading. The emotions you hear in his words help propel his story.

While there is language, sexual themes, and a CW of rape, all these are necessary and never feels done for shock factor. Yohance's story is a powerful one, and one that ne
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is filled with emotion and pain so have a box of tissues handy as you read this. However, the author didn’t write this so that people would despair because there is also success and humor for the reader to grasp on to. This is a truly inspiring book about one man’s journey from childhood to manhood. Although no-one, no child should have to live through abuse and poverty this author not only survived but he decided to use it to help educate others about the horrors that are occurring in ...more
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quick and excellent read, stories like this, need to be told for the sake of the young readers that will see themselves in Yohancè. Yohancè does an incredible job retelling his pain, failures, fears, successes and happy moments about growing up homeless in South Central LA. He's inspiring, charasmatic and funny in his retelling but also makes sure to give difficult topics their proper time of day. I 100% recommend this book.

P.S. I can't wait for the next installment about his adventures at the
Ashley Fuhr
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was able to listen to this audiobook, read by the author, and I must recommend that you listen to it over reading it. The only thing I think I missed out on by listening was viewing the pictures at the beginning of each chapter. Having Yohance (Rhymes with Beyonce!) read his story to you in his own words makes it much more dynamic. I think him relaying his story made it for me, even when the flow or details in the story were lacking.
This book is raw and real, which means it discusses some hea
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this memoir by Mr. Salimu. I had the privilege of hearing him speak at a leadership symposium a few years ago and he literally brought me to tears. This book was no different. I listened to it on audible and hearing it in his voice made it that much better. What a beautiful story of overcoming adversity when all signs points to a continued life of poverty. I cant help but wonder where his intrinsic motivation to succeed came from. Overall fantastic book highly recommend!
Shannan Harper
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A powerful memoir about one young man's journey. From frequently being homeless as a teen, to trying to navigate life, Mr. Salimu, along with some special people that decided to be a better influence in his life, helped this young teenager to become the man he is today. It was an amazing, and hard read, but it's also a powerful and encouraging read. This read will take you on an emotional roller coaster and you will need to have tissue available.

I received a copy of the book via Netgalley and a
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the audio version of this gritty memoir. Narrators voice is nice if a little fast! Not suitable for anyone with triggers.
Cassandra Bland
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of memoirs as I love reading about the success that one can achieve after going through so many obstacles in life. This story had me hooked as I wanted to see what Yohance was going to do with every step of his life. What an inspiring man he is for his family, friends, and community. I hope this book gets into the hands of all those who need to read his story and strive for success like he did. ...more
Tim Wright
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Quick and important read

Underprivileged Overachiever is an important read, although it may be difficult for some to face. Salimu is raw and unflinching in his descriptions of homelessness, violence, and sexual assault while growing up in LA. This book will challenge you, making you face your own privilege. But there is beauty, humor, and happiness too, and you will find yourself rooting for this young man and his younger brother to succeed. The story is quick, rarely giving you a chance to catch
Cindy Murphy
I received an audio advance copy of this memoir in exchange for an honest review. The story was read by the author and had a very pleasant voice to listen to. Yohance is one of 18 children, although only one of them is discussed in the memoir. Yohance was homeless through all of his high school years. His mother suffered from mental illness (although this was hardly mentioned) and he had an absentee father. Yohance joined every club he could and participated in sports, just to have somewhere to ...more
Nov 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Got the audiobook from Netgalley. I thought this was a good story of working hard and overcoming disadvantage. The authors voice felt genuine if a little bit too much sometimes. Its a good listen. I like when an author reads their work, particularly since this was a memoir, you get a better feeling for their lived experience.
Ashley Lynn
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This autobiography is the epitome of raw. Salimu doesn't spare us the fine details which makes it feel as though we are experiencing these incredible, devastating, life-changing events. The perseverance that persisted through the story is a testament to Salimu and his credibility as a man worthy of a story. The local color realism is beautifully captured in dialects, topography, customs, and even embodied by Yohance himself. This is an autobiography I am excited to add to my bookshelf and one th ...more
Faith Hurst-Bilinski
This book was made for me by the narration. The voice of the author comes through because the author is narrating. You are taken out of a book and into a man telling the stories of his life. We know but don't often get to see the lives of our students. We try to make a difference but we know that many of them live in two different worlds. Here we get to see those different worlds from someone very aware of his own duality (I think he has more than two selves he goes between). There are some hard ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about overcoming the trouble life throws at you to become successful in spite of it. The author is the narrator which makes the telling more emotional and real. Also, this is a book I would recommend to any inner-city high school student. I would recommend it to you get students however there are some language/adult situations that would not be appropriate for this age level. Looking forward to seeing what else this author has to say!
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this audiobook from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The audiobook is performed by the author, which is always my favorite thing- to hear them speak their own words.
Perseverance, determination, and confidence. These are the words that come to mind as I finish listening to this insightful memoir about growing up homeless in south Los Angeles. The author shares significant moments in his youth that could have ended differently, and most were based on the choices he made to c
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