Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Sister Mischief by Laura Goode
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.
Plot: I could see this as movie. It would be a great Disney type movie except for the cursing and lesbians. And, while you might be able to lose the cursing, the lesbian part is a big part of why this book works in a different way from the standard YA love story. Music is hard to read on paper and rarely comes through so while I could picture the girls rapping and singing I couldn't really "hear" it. But the message comes across pretty well despite the discrepancies of medium.
Writing: There is a lot of slang, but it was fairly easy to follow. My main obstacle was the grocery list of musical artist and songs that occur with some frequency in the story. I wanted to say "YAY! I'm glad that you know your artists and musical genre, but moving on." I was glad when that lessened as the story became more established. That is my main gripe. Other than that the prose flowed nicely and it had a bit of a poetic flavor to it.
Characters: I loved Esme. I just want to hug her and maybe mother her a little bit because she really needs a mother. Her father does his best and he is a very open and emotional father and I loved that about him. His willingness to give her freedom and not hold her back was so awesome in a parental figure. But her yearning for her wayward mother is deeply apparent. Esme is such a tough talking chick, but she is so vulnerable and willing to love. She and her friends are so amazing together and their dynamic alone made the book worth reading. They were each so distinct but all bought something to the table. They like to discuss deep and meaningful things like religion and sexual language and misogamy in rap music. They are a awesome group of heavy thinking, heaving rhyming girls and I thought they were great.
Love Story: Esme, who knows for sure that she is a lesbian, starts a little something with Rowie, who is unsure of her sexual orientation. This leads down an interesting road that is probably pretty obvious. I think that it is a huge growing part for Esme, even though I want nothing but everlasting love for her.
Overall: Worth reading. If you love hip-hop, then this is the story for you. If you love LGBT stories, then this is the story for you. If you like high school empowerment , then this is the story for you. If you don't like any of the above, well, then I don't know what to tell you.
Provided by NetGalley