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SHORTIE LIKE MINE by Ni-Ni Simone

SHORTIE LIKE MINE

By Ni-Ni Simone

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7582-2839-0
Publisher: Dafina/Kensington

It isn’t easy being Seven McKnight. She is the “thickest” girl in the in-crowd at school, and has to keep up appearances in order to maintain friendships with shallow Deeyah, loyal Shae and hangers-on Ki-Ki and Yaanah. Complicating matters even further are her parents’ recent divorce, twin sister Toi’s drug-dealing boyfriend and the antics of countrified Cousin Shake. Melvin, a new boy from down South, boosts Seven’s self-esteem with his crush on her. However, Seven only has eyes for basketballer Josiah—Deeyah’s man. While the strengths of the novel include strong characterizations and colorful contemporary language, the pacing is rushed, the story feels crowded with too many characters and subplots and the ending is sudden and anticlimactic. Furthermore, the numerous references to specific artists, songs, fashions and catchphrases risk limiting the novel’s shelf life and audience. In the end, it’s a fun but forgettable read. (Fiction. 12 & up)