Ah! I’ve been itching to do a book review for a while now, but I’ve been binge reading! These novels were an entertaining four-in-one combo that will take you for a ride, I have so many thoughts. Allow me to share them with you!
I took the time to create a YouTube video that glances over the novels in their entirety if you don’t want to read an in-depth description of what I got out of it. Feel free to watch my video below because I’ll give you insight on what we consider as Urban Literature, the things that Granger decided to include in her books, and how we can use Kindle Unlimited to find our next read.
I won’t tell you too much, but overall For The Love of ATL by Desiree Granger is about young adults around the ages of 20-25 who either live near or on a college campus in the middle of ATL. She writes it from rotating first-person point of view in order to highlight all kind of controversy that occurs within black culture, more specifically, inner city Atlanta, Georgia.
In the video, I didn’t do go into too much detail about some of the characters that this entails, however, you can read more below.
I’ve included a talk that Desiree has on her channel where she tells you more about her books. Apparently, these are the very first books she’s written and they comprise of a series which leads itself into other works that have been more recently published. She has her own publication house and has been featured in stores. So, if you’re the kind of reader that wants to follow the growth of an author this is definitely an amazing opportunity for you.
First and foremost, who is Desiree? I won’t take too long explaining because I want you to take the time to read about her on her blog, and she’s also my author of the day so think of this as a two in one blog post.
I chose to do Miss. Granger as the AOTD because not only did her writing take me on an adventurous and unpredictable ride but she taught me a unique method of YouTubing that doesn’t involve too much face time in the camera.
Just like me, she’s an indie author that does business on her own, whenever and however she wants. It’s what makes this post a bit longer than usual, because ordinarily I’m writing a review about someone we’ve already know, but it’s important to highlight some of the literary pioneers who could be guiding us tomorrow.
Thank you so much for that! I won’t talk too much about who she is because I want you to check out her blog for yourself and even her author page on Amazon.
Okay, so if you didn’t get through all eleven minutes of her talk or just want to read something more in depth, that’s fine because I’m going to dive straight into just what For The Love of ATL entails alongside some critiques.
The novels are written in the rotating first-person point of view, in case you aren’t sure what that is, allow me to explain. A book that is “rotating” in point of view is alternating, meaning that the focalization of the story is constantly changing and moving from lens to lens. She took the time to give us voices and interiority of different characters at the beginning of each chapter which was a completely different way of writing urban literature.
Most people believe that there is only one category of how an African American can be portrayed, however, there are so many more. Granger takes the time to highlight this by having a diverse set of characters that touch on various types of black psyches. She steered clear of cliches and stereotype by bringing the characters alive with their habits and even progression of self.
Not only was it unique in point of view but the setting allowed us to really understand the different subcultures of black within ATL. It was interesting to see how being a product of an environment can take on various meanings for a multitude of cultures. With a plethora of social cliques within the novels, we can see just how the background of each character affects their decisions as well as the way they navigate relationships.
These novels were fun and thrilling to read, however a lot to take in due to the amount of conflict. I do believe that these are well-written works for them to be her first books to have created, however, there are areas where Granger can take them a step further.
I believe that the different characters were needed in order to show just how broad of a population that ATL has, it’s like a melting pot where we aren’t exactly sure of what we’re going to get next. That’s all fine and dandy, however, there were some points where I was a bit lost about which character was who. Again, I was binge reading so it could have just been a brain overload.
I would love to read the other books that Granger has written to see the growth of where she was then and now as a writer because what I found was that there were many opportunities to highlight black dilemmas that are faced. I mean, every reader is going to take away what they will from a fictional story, but there’s always some deeper meaning to what’s being told.
For me, personally, I learned a lot about myself and the break down of cultural norms. I kept reading because past the drama that was entertaining in front of me were hidden truths unique to the black experience. I seek to incorporate this into my own work, but more than that, I wish there could have been some sections that were longer than others in order to shed a bit more light on the empathy needed for certain characters.
To exemplify, let’s talk about the character Marcus. I loved the way that she wrote him in to be a greek, hypermasculine male, whose sexuality was hidden in plain sight. The plotline that was created in order to show the tension between fulfilling overly masculine roles while being a part of the LGBTQ+ community was amazing because we don’t have enough conversations about the way that misogyny can be used as a way to overshadow the true gayness within an African American male. I loved his role, however, there are certain sections that I wish could have been longer such as his interiority after the night his partner decided to expose him. It happened so quickly that if only we could have read those passages to empathize more with how everything around him collides.
Another character that I enjoyed was Amari. For me, I loved watching her evolve into a stronger version of herself rather than a meek virgin who felt as if she was underappreciated. My only critique here is to draw more connections back to her family, the Jamaican side of her that isn’t shown until later, I would have appreciated reading more about her kinship and close ties. There aren’t many scenes where she does realistic things like call home or even makes mention about the relationship she has with her parents, however, her character is still written amazingly.
I don’t have too many complaints about these books because they were enjoyable. I could write for forever about the many kinds of social issues that are glanced on, but it would mean more to me if someone else can take the time to appreciate your writing. So, I hope this review will catch someone’s eye and you’ll have a brand new reader!
Again, thank you Kindle Unlimited for the opportunity to discover more indie authors like myself!