The Black History Month Blog Hop, hosted by Alexis of Reflections of a Bookaholic and Alysia of Mocha Girls Read, is here! It’s purpose is to give black authors, books, and those who support them a month in the spotlight. This hop is open to any blogger who wants to participate at any time of the month.
This Week focuses on books from all genres. Read, review, and talk about any and as many black books as you can. Any genre, any author, anything related to black books.
With that said I wanted to share my top five Street Lit or Urban Fiction Books. It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a street lit book because I felt like the industry got overly saturated with them. They weren’t a novelty anymore and became a dime a dozen with many of the same stories being regurgitated. But when the genre was first revived it was an awesome, awesome genre to be into. I found myself devouring these books and ran across some real gems. Just remembering them makes me want to get back to this genre and see if anything will catch my interest. Anyways, without further ado, check out my top five street lit novels.
Five: True to the Game by Teri Woods
It’s the late 1980s, and Gena, a young girl from the projects, meets Quadir, a millionaire drug dealer, and falls madly in love. Quadir builds a massive empire while fighting his rivals and enemies. Gena faces the challenges of holding onto her man, her house, her car, and the cash. Both of them find themselves caught up in a vicious yet seductive world, and learn that success in this game is no easy win. Gena and Quadir also learn that once you’re in, there’s no way out, ’cause everyone stays in forever….True.
This is the first Street Lit or Urban Fiction book I can remember picking up and thus sparked my interest in the genre. I will say that this particular book wasn’t out of this world good, but it good enough to keep me turning the pages, and definitely good enough to make me want to try another.
Four: Push by Relentless Aaron
Reginald “Push” Jackson was a good kid from Harlem. He never meant to do anyone any harm. His parents raised him better than that…But then they were murdered and he was left on his own. And that’s when the real trouble began…
Street fights. Guns. Drugs. Push fought his way through the back alleys to become one of Harlem’s most powerful players. He made a name for himself for being tough. But he was loyal, too. Push would do anything to keep his loving sister, and his baby nephew, out of harm’s way–until the law caught up with him, and he landed himself in a federal penitentiary.
Fifteen years later, Push has paid his dues. Though he planned to leave the thug life behind once he got out prison, he suddenly finds himself back in the game. But this time there are new players, and the rules are more dangerous–and deadly–than ever…
Loved this book and Relentless Aaron had a unique way of telling a story. This book definitely had me up late flipping pages and desperate to know how it would all play out. These street themes can be such a rush, almost like reading a thriller. This story was great and a definite must read in this genre.
Three: B-More Careful
Growing up on the cold, mean, inner-city streets of Baltimore is Netta, leader of an all girl clique called the Pussy Pound. With no father and a dope fiend for a mother, Netta learns at an early age to use her beauty and her body to get the things she wants, money, cars, and jewelry. Chasing the almighty dollar, Netta meets Black, a local drug dealer with a deep seeded hatred for New Yorkers, who falls head over heals in love with her. With a broken heart, Black discovers that Netta is only after his money and he seeks the ultimate revenge against her life.
OMG OMG OMG, words cannot describe the awesomosity of this book here. This was gritty, and grimy, and totally disturbing. I stayed on the edge of my seat, completely shocked and engrossed in this book from start to finish.
Two: Dutch by Kwame Teague
James Bernard Jr., a.k.a. Dutch, has become the most dangerous criminal in New Jersey. From his early skill as a car thief, Dutch recognized the opportunity to rule the streets and he seized it. Feared by all, and completely fearless, Dutch and his dangerous clique take over the lucrative heroin business of a local African drug lord. With both the protection and respect of the Mafia, Dutch becomes the most terrifying force on the streets. District Attorney Anthony Jacobs is determined to take down Dutch and his crew, and he’s confident that his witnesses will testify against them. But a sudden turn of events will soon make the DA’s job harder than he imagined.
This book will go down in Urban Fiction history for me. When you talk about falling in love with a book and character, this is exactly what happened with me reading Dutch. You couldn’t help but love Dutch. Though he was a criminal and a thug, he was super intelligent and uber charismatic. He inspired such loyalty and trust among his people, and he knew how to care for and love a woman. And the ending of this one….woooooooo! Probably the most epic of epic endings I’ve ever read. My mind is blown every time I think about it. This is actually a trilogy, and it only gets better.
One: The Coldest Winter Ever by Sistah Souljah
Ghetto-born, Winter is the young, wealthy daughter of a prominent Brooklyn drug-dealing family. Quick-witted, sexy, business minded, and fashionable, Winter knows no restrictions. No one can control her. She’s nobody’s victim. And her Pops lets her know she deserves the best.
Winter knows the Brooklyn streets like she knows the curves of her own body. She maneuvers skillfully, applying all she has learned to come out on top, no matter how dramatically the scenes change. But a cold Winter wind is about to blow her life in a direction she could never have expected.
Unwilling to give up her ghetto celebrity status, her friends and her lovers, Winter sets off on a series of wild adventures to reclaim her role as princess of the alleyways. But when her schemes begin to unravel, Winter is on her own, figuring out a whole new way to survive.
This is the best Street Lit book I’ve ever read. It is brilliant, and poignant, and had long-lasting effects on me. Winter was a beautifully written character and masterfully crafted. She was the girl you loved to hate, and the girl you hated to love. Despite the things she did you wanted her to come out on top. And Midnight was beyond swoon-worthy. I remember re-reading this while I was doing a stint in the hospital. While I was asleep my Dad picked it up and started reading it and got sucked into the story as I did. Captivating, and compelling, The Coldest Winter Ever was everything an Urban Fiction novel should be and so much more.
Filed in: Lists, Street Lit, Top Five Tags: Lists, Street Lit, Top Five, Urban Fiction