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  • Writer's pictureZanele Mukhari

Restricted Level 3 Worthy Reads

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

A novel about an ambitious 17-year-old black girl who falls prey to an older man, Grown appears to be loosely based on the R.Kelly scandal and takes you on one hell of a heartbreak journey. This novel was slightly hard to read because of the subject matter; rape, coercion and victim blaming. And I think that as a black woman it was that much harder to read because said subject matter is so prevalent in my community, and more times than not the victims are never

believed, just like the characters in this book. Stories like these need to be told because not only will it spark conversations but it also gives a voice to the voiceless.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

This thought-provoking novel is not what I expected, especially after reading the reviews on the back, with comparisons to The Devil Wears Prada and Get Out, I’d strongly advise you to stay away from the back page! Set in a predominantly white working environment the main character Nella feels isolated and lonely being the only black girl in the office, but that changes when Hazel joins the team (well, kind of). This novel shines a light on micro-aggressions and code switching that many black people face in the workplace. It’s a little hard to keep up with

what is happening because there are so many POVs, but the it’s definitely worth the read.

Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

I don’t typically read romance novels but after a few pages and the back and forth between Chloe and Red (the main characters), I was hooked. I think one of my favorite things about this book is how it deals with relationships in a realistic manner. From past traumas and mental health, the main characters in this novel really make an effort to communicate their needs and wants with each other taking into account the baggage they both have. It’s extremely well-written and the banter and chemistry between Chloe and Red is intoxicating.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

After reading Homegoing, I promised myself I’d read anything and everything written by Yaa Gyasi and after reading this book I have zero regrets. This heart clenching novel tells a story of an immigrant family who moves from Ghana to America, to peruse the American dream. It’s such a well layered novel that tackles themes like racism, assimilation, depression and addiction without overwhelming the reader.

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