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UPGRADE U by Ni-Ni Simone

UPGRADE U

By Ni-Ni Simone

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7582-4191-7
Publisher: Kensington

Seven McKnight, introduced in Shortie Like Mine (2008), moves from Newark, N.J., to New Orleans, La., to join her best friend Shae and boyfriend Josiah at Stiles University in this sometimes raucous, sometimes sentimental relationship story. Problem is, Josiah hasn't returned any of Seven's many texts or phone calls, and Seven is afraid she's becoming that chick. As Seven and Josiah cycle through fighting and making up, Seven finds support in her band of new and old friends: insightful Shae; bold, flirtatious and social-networking–obsessed Khya and boa-clad next-door neighbor Courtney, who inserts himself into practically every conversation and outing. When Seven meets Zaire, a seemingly forthright, sophisticated New Orleans native, a love triangle develops—or is that a love quadrangle? Slang and pop-culture references abound in the rapid-fire dialogue. Each chapter begins with a quote from a pop song, and Seven quotes liberally from Beyoncé's “Irreplaceable” in one of her many fights with Josiah. Amidst the drama, heavier themes also emerge, including a pregnancy scare, the trauma of Hurricane Katrina and the potential consequences of keeping one's feelings bottled up. Snappy, smart and perfect for fans of Simone's earlier novels or L. Divine's Drama High series. (Urban chick-lit. 14 & up)