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My Top Five Street Lit Novels
Tuesday February 21, 2012 at 12:55 am |

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.

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Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. SortofBeautiful.com was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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18 Responses to “My Top Five Street Lit Novels”

  1. Awesome post! I love how you included a bit about what you liked about each book. Dutch is the first one to go on my TBR list – the most epic of epic endings? How can I resist that?

    • Jade says:

      OMG the ending was such a mindf*ck for me, but in an AMAZING way. I just wasn’t expecting it and it was an awesome way to end the book. Hope you love it!

  2. These are all new to me. I’ll have to check some of them out. Great post!

    I would recommend these two classics:

    Daddy was a Numbers Runner by Louise Merriwether
    Passing by Nella Larsen

  3. Awh sukie, sukie, I love my urban reads.
    True to the Game. GOOOODD!!.
    Be More Careful, goood also.
    The other two I have not read. I’m going to try to get mine up soon. blogger have not fixed my issue and it has place a damper on my blogging spirit.

    • Jade says:

      Sorry to hear that blogger is still giving you trouble. Hope thay get that worked out soon! The other two are great books too. Especially Dutch, that would be the one I recommend first.

  4. Missie says:

    The Pussy Pound? Why did that leap out at me? LOL

    I’m not sure I really knew what Street Lit was so this post is very helpful. I’m not sure I’d normally pick up a book like The Coldest Winter Ever because I don’t much like the cover, but you’ve once again convinced me to consider it.

    • Jade says:

      Glad I could be of service. I am aware that there are plenty of people that have no earthly idea about Urban Fiction so I’m glad to be able to spotlight some of the greatest ones to date.

  5. Lena says:

    The Coldest Winter Ever is a great book, I hadn’t read Dutch, but I’m inclined to now that you have given it such great backing. I tried to come up with five of my own, but I couldn’t. It may taking a little more pondering. Hmmm. Great post Jade. 🙂

    • Jade says:

      Yes TCWE is a Street Lit CLASSIC! I’m still waiting on this movie that was supposed to be made. And I think you’d really enjoy Dutch. It is one of my faves in this genre.

    • Ollie Moss says:

      Lena you most defiantly have to read Dutch and the others if you have not already. This is a great Best Of list Jade has put together.

      Ollie Moss

  6. Street lit books? Oh my gosh, I had NO IDEA about this genre — I actually don’t think I’ve ever picked up a book like these before! x)

    Thanks so much for alerting me to these kinds of books, Jade! <3 All of those ones sound SO GOOD — especially the first one you read, True to The Game! I've always been in love with the idea of books set in the 80s, and if it was good enough make you fall in love with the genre, maybe I'll fall in love with it too! 😉 Thanks so much again for the really awesome post!

  7. Ollie Moss says:

    Jade you have come up with a great Best of list. I have read all of these and your views are right on point.

    Thank you,
    Ollie Moss


  8. I’ve read Dutch but none of the others. Street Lit books were actually very hard for me to find as my library didn’t have them. My parents didn’t buy my books. I read Dutch because I borrowed it from a friend. I wish I would have read more of these. I guess there is always time now.

    • Jade Jade says:

      Yeah I don’t think there were many in my library either. But by the time I got into the genre I was mainly purchasing all my books anyways. You should definitely give some of these agao. I think you’d love TCWE.

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