Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review #70: Sister Mischief by Lauren Goode

Hey everyone. Hope all is well on this day! Just finished this book last night, and I'm eager to review it, so lets go!

Sister Mischief is by debut author Laura Goode. I think the Goodreads description is better than anything I could come up with, so here it is:
     Listen up: You're about to get rocked by the fiercest, baddest all-girl hip-hop crew in the Twin Cities - or at least in the wealthy, white, Bible-thumping suburb of Holyhill, Minnesota. Our heroine, Esme Rockett (aka MC Ferocious) is a Jewish lesbian lyricist. In her crew, Esme's got her BFFs Marcy (aka DJ SheStorm, the butchest straight girl in town) and Tess (aka The ConTessa, the pretty, popular powerhouse of a vocalist). But Esme's feelings for her co-MC, Rowie (MC Rohini), a beautiful, brilliant, beguiling desi chick, are bound to get complicated. And before they know it, the queer hip-hop revolution Esme and her girls have exploded in Holyhill is on the line. Exciting new talent Laura Goode lays down a snappy, provocative, and heartfelt novel about discovering the rhythm of your own truth.

I have a sort of history with this book. Back in May (either May or June, my memory on this is a bit vague), I heard about this book through NetGalley, a site which lets book reviewers, libraries, etc obtain an eARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of yet to come out book. I thought the premise was good and the cover pretty, so I requested it. After a week I checked in and found that I was approved for a ARC! I squealed with delight, downloaded Adobe Digital Editions, and with help from friends, transferred it to my Nook. But then, as I tried to read it later that night, my Nook told me that the file didn't exist, or wasn't good (again, vague memory xD). I tried again the next day, no dice. After a few more lame attempts, I decided to delete it from my Nook and buy the Nook version when it came out, which I did. I've finally gotten around to reading this book, and I'm glad I did!

This book is fantastic. It's a well written LGBT/hip hop book, that questions things without anything or anyone turning into a caricature or stereotype (well except for Mary Ashley Baumgarten, but more on her later.). I loved the little footnotes, which enhanced the story and gave you a behind-the-scenes feel. You get sucked in from page one, and you feel like you live in Holy Hill with the girls of Sister Mischief. The story flowed well, and when you read the third act, you are angry, shocked, and extremely happy. 

Esme, the main heroine, is a great heroine. She is the perfect person to take us on this journey, and watching her own personal journey is fascinating. You feel what she feels, you want her to be happy, and successful in all of her endeavors. Also, I love her sense of humor. Her friends Marcy and Tess were also fantastic. Marcy was so sarcastic and hilarious, but also could be vulnerable and sweet. Tess was great as well, you see the conflict she goes through because of her love of hip hop and God, also her innate curiosity and willingness to stand up for what's right. Plus her curse substitutes were hilarious, as one of the characters sort of points out. Rowie is also the love interest, which is why she gets her own separate bit. Honestly, I sort of despised her, for reasons which I can't dispel because they're spoilers. I'll say this, being conflicted is fine, but the way Rowie went about things was just wrong. Now onto Mary Ashley Baumgarten. Like I said, she's the only stereotype/caricature in the book, along with her friends. While this normally is wrong, and would make me downgrade the book points, it worked out in the book's favor. Using the stereotypical MashBaum, as the main four called her, showed just how ignorant and mean some people can be, especially towards someone who's different. Everything Mary Ashley represented was a magnifying glass to the issues at hand. Just look at the recent events, with all the suicide victims of malicious bullying/gay bashing. That's why I'm fine with this character, because she shows why such ignorance and malice is wrong.

Laura Goode is a great writer. She completely got into Esme's head, and created well done characters who had good friendships, as well as wrote some good/funny lyrics. She also had the main four and their friends name drop a lot of artists, but that fine because their hip hop/rap/music connoisseurs. And like I said, the annotations/footnotes were a great addition to the book, giving you the feeling of being let in on great secrets. 

If you like well written LGBT literature, or just looking for a fun book, read this.

I won't be reviewing the last book on this current list because I didn't get past the first page and page flipping. I'll explain further in my next Currently Reading post.

Until next time, viva la literature!

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