July 23rd, 2015
The Legacy by Necole Ryse
Im going to be honest. I don't read Mystery.
Very few Suspense/Thriller too. It's not that those genres aren't interesting, I've just found they're not as diverse for my taste. In fact, the only Thriller type book I genuinely enjoyed was the "I Hunt Killers" trilogy, and for those of you who've read it know why ^_^
A week ago this would've been a book I didn't take a second glance at.
Today? I think I've found a book that joins my shelf of books I totally wrote off, but ended up loving.
The Legacy is a part of a planned trilogy, about a girl named Raevyn Jones who through difficult circumstances, is whisked away to a Historical Black College/University where she soon finds she is way out of her element.
Benjamin Wallace Fitzgerald, a fictional Black Ivy League university is filled to the rim with Black women and men, the future of tomorrows, and Black Excellence at it's finest.
Those born to wealth are known as Legacies, those who come from strong or prestigious backgrounds, who constantly feel the need to introduce themselves by full name and the Legacy of that wealth.
Raevyn doesn't even know how she got to this point. Even though her father graduated from Fitz, she doesn't exactly fit in.
In a plot against her, she must use everything she's learned to save her hide, maybe even her own life.
To poetic for y'all? I'll break it down in my own language.
I really liked that Raevyn was her own person. I don't think she always made the right decision, but I don't think I know many 19-year olds that would XD She was introduced as a girl with natural hair(though Im not 100% sureof her curl pattern) with TIMBS, a big sell for me.
But even if you don't relate to Raevyn, you still feel for her. I used to be big on relatability, but now that I see the issue in that, I find that even if you don't relate to a character, a good story has the power to make you feel for the characters.
Let's not forget all the twists and turns in the story XD Felt like I was in a friggin labyrinth of drama. I loved Raevyn's "squad" because they were so good at pretending, but what I loved the most about them is something I'll mention much later in the review.
Seriously, is this self published or traditionally published, because I can't freaking tell. The formatting, the prose, everything about the editing was so strong, that even if I wanted to, I can't say anything bad about that.
I usually only use this section to talk about why the editing didn't work, if it didn't, and have much more to say on books that need work than those that don't. But the editing was so damn good, I just wanted to make note that it was a really strong point for this novel.
The diversity. The diversity...the diversity...the diversity.
Many know how hard I tend to be on books when it comes to diversity. I could love a book but still suggest books that didn't grab my attention as much, when the diversity is handled better.
I try to point of problematic tropes, so people know why they're problematic.
I've always discussed on both here and Rebellious Cupid, how colorism comes to play with a lot of books depicting women of color, and their worth and desirability.
Since I usually read Interracially themed books, Im not always comfortable suggesting books I loved to friends who may not prefer the same demographic. I love IR but I still wholeheartedly support Black Love(No matter where we come from!) so Im glad I finally have a book to shove in their faces XD
The Legacy featured all Black characters, but the range of the characters was what really drew me in. Dark skinned women, light skinned women, in between complexion, this is what Im referring to when I say there needs to be a range of skin tone in fiction. We tend to default Black women as fair skinned, because it's our history to only see fair skinned Black women as pretty.
We all deserve representation. This book not only provided diversity in skin tone, but also body type, HAIR....
Let me not even get started on hair. We desperately need hair diversity amongst Black women. Im a naturalista, and I spent most my life as a girl with relaxed hair, and that's fine. But Black hair is so political, that we need to show the diversity of it.
One of the first time her roommate was onscreen, she was wearing "flexi-rods." OMG, that was awesome. Whether it be relaxed, natural, protectives style or weave, just as long as we're not defaulting one type of hair to be ideal, Im happy.
The cover and title are popping, but I think I still stand by preferring people on covers as my thing.
My only real complaint, is that I think the book is more appropriately New Adult. There are tons of grey areas between YA and NA, so it's understandable to categorize it as YA, because Raevyn's still a teenager. But with the need and call for diversity amongst NA, I think it'd better suit NA.
With as many awesome points there were in this book, I can't believe it's not more popular than it is.
Hmmm....hot Black guys? Im pretty sure I was tweeting about this the other day, with the lack thereof.
I wasn't 100% of what Raevyn looked like, but I defaulted Serayah McNeill from Empire
Jeffrey seemed really classy so I pictured my boo John Boyega
And while I don't think he looked like this, I pictured Breezy XD aka Chris Brown as Antoine