White Lines by Tracy Brown
Published 2007 by St. Martin’s Press
One of my reading goals for 2019 is to read and review at least one Urban Fiction book a month. Obviously, this is January’s Urban Fiction pick.
via back cover of novel:
Jada left home at the age of sixteen, running from her own demons and the horrors of physical abuse inflicted by her mother’s boyfriend. She parties hard, and life seems good when she is with Born, the neighborhood kingpin whose name is synonymous with money, power, and respect. But all his love couldn’t save her from a crack addiction. Jada goes from crack addict and prostitute to survivor and back again before she finds the strength to live for herself and come out on top. And her stormy romance with one of the fiercest hustlers on the streets makes White Lines one of the most unforgettable urban loves stories of the year.
This was actually a reread for me. I read this book back in 2007 when I was 16 and when it was first published. Whenever someone mentions that they want to read Urban Fiction I always recommend this book because of how much I loved it when I was a teenager. I figured that since I’m an ‘adult’ now I should give it a reread and make sure that its withstood the test of time. Thankfully it has.
Brown is one hell of a writer and it shows in how much time and thought she puts into the creation of her characters. I admire authors who take the time to explain the backstory of supporting characters and Brown does that excellently. Every one of her characters exists in the story for a reason, which (on my hippie chick vibe) mirrors my attitude toward the people who I encounter in my life so perfectly so it’s a bonus to me when I see that reflected in a story.
“White Lines” is a story about drugs (both from the addict and the pushers perspective), redemption, self-love, and perseverance. The majority of the story takes place in the ’90s, the emergence of the crack era, and goes through several New York boroughs primarily following the lives of Jada (addict) and Born (pusher). One of my favorite things about this story is how deeply it examines the causes behind why Jada and Born move through life the way they do. The situations that they both go through and the way how they handle those things was so realistic that occasionally I felt like I was reading someone’s reflection of their life. I also appreciated that Brown focused on the importance of change being effective and positive when one truly wants to change for themselves and how important self-love is in that process.
I Would Recommend This To…
- People who want to start reading urban fiction but have their reservationsPeople who want to transition from urban fiction to mainstream but, also, have their reservations
- Fans of urban fiction
- People who want to read a book featuring strong female characters
- People who have an interest in fiction that covers topics such as drug use and ‘hood’ life