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Patches Of Grey

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Before I get into Patches of Grey, my novel Matters of Convenience has been entered in the Kindle Scout contest at Amazon. The link below will take you to an excerpt that's going live 9/14 and will be up for 30 days. Please check it out and hopefully you'll see fit to nominate MOC for a publishing deal from Kindle Press. Thank you very much in advance to those who show my ...more
Published January 8th 2010 by M.U.D. House Books (first published January 8th 2009)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  76 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex
Actual Rating 4.5

I enjoyed reading this book immensely.  I was engaged the entire time and looked forward to learning more about the characters lives. Tony Johnson is a relateable and memorable protagonist, who learns alot about who he is and who he wants to be. The Johnson family faces many hardships financially, mentally, emotionally and physically. They all have to live in our society where being black means you are constantly figuring out how to deal w/>Actual
Navidad Thélamour
“They all believed back then that love lasted forever. By now they surely knew…that forever was a treacherous myth, though probably a necessary one.”

This novel was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This review contains **SPOILERS**

Patches of Grey by Roy L. Pickering, Jr. is the emotional story of the Johnsons, a family from a Bronx tenement pre “rise of Obama.” If you love Sister Souljah, Sapphire and old-school Omar Tyree, this will be a great
"Pickering's style is fluid and crisp. There's a certain clarity to the prose that's considered and well judged - just enough to paint the picture and more than enough to drive along the narrative." - Khome (

Named a 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion™ Honoree

Synopsis: Tony Johnson is a studious young man planning to soon graduate from much more than high school. Although his zip code places him in a Bronx tenement pre "rise of Obama", his sights are set far beyond t
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, for-review, diverse
Patches of Grey by Roy L. Pickering Jr. is to me, on the border of being a young adult book, as it deals with an 18-year old boy and being an adult book, as there are several somewhat explicit sexual situations. Personally, I do not mind a bit of sex in the books I read, but I know other people do mind that.
Read the rest of my review here
Urenna Sander
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This novel focuses on the coming-of-age of 17 year old Tony Johnson. It reveals Tony’s journey and growth to a young man. Tony lives in a housing development, often called a shadow city within the city, a place controlled by drugs and gangs, vying for territorial rights. Tony is aware the prerequisite to leave is a solid education.
At 18, he’ll be freed from the bitterness, jealously and opposition manifested by his father, Lionel. Tony wants to flee from his dysfunctional family as soon as he g
Dianne Jones
May 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I finished reading the first chapter I knew this Author was more than just someone who wanted to write. Roy L. Pickering, Jr. is a Storyteller. “Patches of Grey” is a deeply complex tale with authentic characters whose personalities are strong and well developed. The story surrounds the Johnson family and each member’s life is examined from their own perspective. Their individual struggles are woven together to illustrate a compelling tale of how each of them chooses to deal with adversity. ...more
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
In the Bronx, an African-American family of five is struggling to make ends meet. Tony is a determined young man that tries not to give in to the negative elements of society. He wants a better way to live and a chance with Janet Mitchell, a white classmate. Despite what friends and family think, Tony really is his own man. Unlike his brother, C.J., who is a gang member and unlike his father, Lionel, who blames the "white man" for his being unemployed. The third child of the Johnson family is si ...more
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
What I really liked about this book was how true and honest it sounded. You can go to any inner city and find a kid who has the same feelings as the characters in this book. This could almost read like a true-story account of someone life.

Story Characters:

Tony Johnson was very well written on and about. You clearly get a feeling from him early on in the book and very quickly either love him or hate him. What is unique about this, is that even if you choose
A Book Vacation
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Pickering has created a phenomenal book concerning life and relationships. Focusing on a family in the Bronx, Pickering’s characters and relationships paint a vivid portrait of the struggles many young men and women currently face in the United States, be it racism, gang violence, family disagreements, or poverty. Tony, the main character, struggles throughout the entire novel trying to make a place for himself in the world, all the while his father berates him for attemptin
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very nice story about interracial love that's won and lost. It has a sad tone to it as it still presents a world that judges people by the color of their skin. Is it really to each his own kind, no matter that we are all human?

The narrative is also remarkable. It expounds on the feelings and thoughts of each of the characters in a very beautifully written prose. I've got only one comment. The characters, though the oldest was only 18, seem to be very mature for their age, b
Nicole Falls
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Compelling, poignant, & gripping. An amazing story told in a honest voice.
Read In Colour
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In a story that at times reminded me of Matty Rich's Straight Out of Brooklyn, Roy L. Pickering, Jr. deftly weaves a coming of age tale of Tony Johnson in Patches of Grey. And while Pickering could have taken the easy way out and strictly focused on one main character, he takes the time to tell not only Tony's story, but that of his siblings and parents as well, each as fascinating as Tony's.

Tony is every inner city youth that dreams of making it out, except he doesn't plan to do it
May 22, 2009 rated it liked it

Tony Johnson is a studious young man planning to soon graduate from much more than high school. Although his zip code places him in a Bronx tenement pre "rise of Obama", his sights are set far beyond the trappings of his humble upbringing. Collegiate dreams and falling in love with a white classmate put him strongly at odds with his father. Although his brother C.J.'s rebellious ways endanger his life on gang ruled streets, and the virginal innocence of their sister Tanya is clearly approaching
Elizabeth Blake
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Patches of Grey follows the difficulties of the Johnson family as they struggle to find answers in life. The mother Caren is an optimistic woman, "There are no struggles too difficult for God's love to guide us through." Her husband, Lionel, is embittered and can't find a job to support his family, "He chooses to complain about what hasn't been handed to him." Their 15 year old son CJ lives for his gang, then tries to escape. Their daughter is confused and feels pressure from her boyfriend.
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Roy Pickering takes a black family in the projects and makes them come alive. It is a family that struggles and one can identify with this family regardless of race. The family consists of three kids and the parents and how they fit in being black in America and their quest to be better than what America thinks they should be. They live in a very closed community and only see what is in front of them. But they have dreams, hopes and desires and even though they are beaten down ...more
Sarah Weathersby
Roy Pickering tells a good story of the Johnson family. Each member of the family has his/her own secrets and conflicts. He is at times overly philosophical, causing the story to drag, and the writing to become somewhat stilted. His frequent use of passive voice keeps me from giving the book a higher rating.

There were several instances that caused me to groan or *blank stare.*

"It was based on orders being followed, his presence being trembled before."

Lorian Jones
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
omfg this book is so amazing i fell in luv with it i told my friend about this book and she reading it nw this book is so sad, understanding, and faith i feel bad 4 cj's death i was shocked when i found out he died he did this 2 saved his gf the one who care with all his heart and died from it told her 2 remember that he will alwayz luv her which was so emotional as 4 tony i dnt mind him bein with a white girl is doesnt matter wat the color of the skin u in is who u r this book really open my ey ...more
Jun 23, 2012 added it
I clicked too fast. I want to read this book.
Taneisha Reid
May 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
this book was very good... I loved it!
Sandra McLeod
A well-told coming-of-age story from a different perspective!
gj indieBRAG
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this is a must read! This recently honored B.R.A.G.Medallion book is one you will be glad you picked!
Myrto Smyrilioy-Zerva
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This was a chilling read. It’s the tale of a family of 5 members during the 2000s when racism against people of different colored skins was still standing strong, written in a crisp yet, at times, beautiful manner. But because the subject matter is not a pretty one, this is not a pretty book. It’s ultimately about the connections formed between people and the various difficulties that arise in the human relationships through hardship. This is a book deserving to be better known.
PacaLipstick Gramma
Feb 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: goodreads-win
I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway.

I did not like this book. This is a finished copy that is so fraught with errors that it was to the point of distraction. How could these errors have been missed? I think the editor or whomever does the final editing must have had several off days or maybe needs to see an optician.

I would like to preface this review with the fact that I have for the most part lived in the Midwest and have probably lived a sheltered life in co
Dec 18, 2011 rated it liked it
The Truth Can Be Ignored, But Cannot Be Unlearned

“Patches of Grey” is a narrative that focuses on the lives of members of the Johnson family. Tony is the oldest son with dreams of college and a white picket fence life. He desires to escape from his current life of abuse and poverty. However, his younger brother, CJ, believes that Tony is also seeking to escape who he is....a black man in America. Lionel, Tony's father, knows firsthand what it feels like to have dreams denied. He want
Frances Brady
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
writing is a bit basic - spends energy telling us how to view characters, rather than just showing us. However, he makes very interesting points about racism in modern US - the systemic and individual racism, and how it holds blacks down at every level
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Meh... it never drew me in. Too much wording and explaining stuff. Really dragged at the last 35 pages or so. The storyline was ok, but I feel like it couldve been told better.
Youness Mribet
rated it it was amazing
May 17, 2011
Desiree Habermann Velez
rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2015
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Roy Pickering was born on the idyllic island of St. Thomas and currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and daughter. His debut novel Patches of Grey is published by M.U.D. House Books. It was named a 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. His second novel is Matters of Convenience.

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Patches of Grey:
“Was love ever easy for anyone? If less complicated, would this make it less appreciated? Perhaps love was difficult for good reason. Perhaps everything on God’s green earth was the result of a flawless plan, even that which seemed most muddled.” 2 likes
“It was his experience that life worked under the same guidelines as a capitalistic society. In order to get what you wanted, it was usually necessary to give up something in return. Sometimes gaining what you defined as everything meant losing what you most needed.” 2 likes
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