The Fight by L. Divine
ISBN-13: 978-0758216335
Dafina, New York, 2006
208 p.

GENRE: Chick-Lit

TEASER: When KJ breaks up with Jayd because she won’t give it up, all she wants is a clean slate. But can she avoid fighting with Trecee and stop all of the drama?

SUMMARY: After being dumped by KJ, a cute and popular basketball player, because she wouldn’t give up the cookies, all sixteen-year-old Jayd Jackson wants is to start her junior year off without drama. This is easier said than done at South Bay High, or Drama High as it’s nicknamed. Drama High is a predominantly white school in a wealthy part of L.A. with a small population of Compton kids. Jayd is book smart and street smart and not afraid to put up a fight when people start hating. Her ex-best friend Misty starts is telling lies to Trecee, KJ’s new girlfriend. Now Trecee wants a fight. Is there anyway Jayd can stop the fight and the drama?

CRITIQUE: The book is written in first person voice. The language is very causal with some Ebonics. There are moments where this makes it confusing to read. However, I felt that it was not so overly filled with Ebonics that it would confuse the reader. There are numerous flashbacks in the book. This would sometimes annoy me but I felt that it was done well. They were not separated from the main text but they were distinguished by italicizing the flashbacks. Another interesting feature of this book is that each chapter has a quote from a rap or R&B artists at the beginning that relates to the chapter.

This book deals with race issues quite a bit. I really enjoyed how the community and some of the social issues were treated in this book. There is a scene where Jayd meets the South Central clique and is criticized for being smart. They look down on her for her academic achievements, and don’t believe she is really from Compton. There is also a lot of pressure on Jayd to have sex. Even her girlfriends think she’s not normal for not sleeping with KJ. There is also mention of social tensions with biracial relationships.

Divine did an excellent job at creating believable social structures and characters. On her website she states that she is writing for the girls in her community. She wants to get them into reading by creating characters they can relate to.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: L. Divine grew up in Compton. She has a Masters in African American Studies and Educational Psychology from UCLA. Aside from being an author she is a teacher in the L.A. Unified School District. She began writing the Drama High Series to inspire teens to read for pleasure.

The Drama High series began in 2006 and now contains 14 volumes. She is working on a new series; Drama U. Divine is very active in her community, volunteering in community programs and schools focusing on African American teens. She currently lives in L.A. with her two children.

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://dramahigh.com/

READING LEVEL: 13+

CHALLENGE ISSUES: Possible challenges for violence, drug use, and alcohol

DEFENSE: I would ask that people remember why these books were created. These books are based from a real community with similar issues.

I would also suggest looking at the ALA’s support page for challenged materials.

CURRICULUM TIES: N/A

BOOKTALKING IDEAS: L. Divine wrote the Drama High series for the teens in her community. Do you think that Jayd is relatable to teenagers outside of her community?

WHY INCLUDED: I felt like it was important to have a chick-lit novel that related to African American teens. Much of the chick-lit out on the market is whitewashed has little diversity.

Advertisements