EVE by K’wan


Email this review


This sleek, punchy, patently sexist and fairly forgettable hip-hop title by K’wan (Hoodlum, 2005, etc.) trails a young woman freshly sprung from jail as she gets entangled back in the Harlem hood.

Evelyn Panelli, a knockout mixture of Italian, black and Irish, emerges from an 18-month jail sentence at age 19 after taking the rap for her so-called friends. Her crew includes Twenty-Gang sister Cassidy, a tall, fetching clotheshorse and trick-turner; Butter, the ruthless new head of the local drug-dealing den and Cassidy’s sometimes lover; and his sweet-faced partner Felon, Eve’s big-brother mentor who showed her the ropes in her youth and never forgot about her in jail. Needing money and connections, Eve is instantly swept back up into the hood’s bad news, where the smooth young stallions call the shots and their slavish women will do anything—“hoeing,” carjacking, robbery—for a little “paper” and “cheese.” Eve wised up during her time in jail: A virgin still, she eschews prostitution and even entertains thoughts of getting educated, and she demonstrates some exemplary humanity by extending kindness to a mentally challenged friend, Beast, who was shot in the head as the result of a gang fight Eve herself started. But the quick action on the street proves a powerful lure, as does a renewed hunger to avenge the horrific murder of her parents, ambushed in their apartment by a white intruder as their young daughter looked on. When Eve finds out that Cassidy was killed by Carlo, son of the Mafia don, who probably had his hand in the death of her parents, her desire for revenge overwhelms her nobler instincts, setting off plenty of vicious bloodshed. An attempt to engender a romance between Felon and Eve fails sadly, as the two characters are not redeemed from or transformed by their murderous acts.

Bright, brief lives that lead nowhere.

Pub Date: March 21st, 2006
ISBN: 0-312-33310-2
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2006