Boles, Philiana Marie. Glitz.
Ann Michelle’s parents were killed in a car accident, but she was born prematurely and survived. She lives with her upright, music teacher grandmother, goes to a nice school, has nice friends and a nice life. She loves music, and want some excitement in her life for once. It arrives in the form of Raq, awild child who has been brought to Toledo from Cincinnati by her foster parents. Raq also loves music and takes Ann Michelle to a concert, where they catch the eye of Piper, a hip hop artist, and his friends. Thus begins their wild ride-- they are off to Detroit to hear a recording session and make their way to New York City. Dubbed “Glitter” by Piper, in whom she is interested romantically, Ann Michelle doesn’t exactly approve of Raq’s scheming and stealing ways, but is loving being in the hip hop crowd. Glitter knows her grandmother is worried, but is more concerned about staying in the glamorous and exciting world... no matter what the cost.
Strengths: All my nice suburban students will adore this insight into the hip hop world, and while this could have had a lot of drugs and sex, it didn’t. There is a brief mention of Glitter turning down the advances of one of the singers, and Raq does steal, but that’s what they will find interesting.
Weaknesses: I had a hard time following the slang, and I preferred Boles’ Little Divas, but as I said, my students will love this.
Keaton, Kelly. Darkness Becomes Her.
Ari has never fit in at school, with her white-blonde hair and her foster parents who are bounty hunters and let her work with them, so she goes in search of her mother. She finds out information at the mental hospital where her mother committed suicide when Ari was four, and she is given a letter and box of her mother’s possessions. The note apologizes, and tells Ari to run. She does... down to New 2, which is the name for New Orleans after it has been destroyed by several hurricanes and been declared off-limits by the US government. Once in New 2, Ari realizes that she is more like the people here, and that her mother is right-- someone is after her. How can she escape the fate of generations of women in herfamily, all of whom had daughters and died before they were 21?
Strengths: Like the post-apocalyptic New Orleans setting, and the book is fast paced with interesting characters.
Weaknesses: Multiple uses of the f-bomb caused me to lose interest quickly. This book (received at a book look) will head off to the high school.