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Love Is the Drug

4/5. A student at a near-future Washington D.C. prep school wakes up after a party with no memory of what happened to her, and with the world in the grip of a pandemic flu virus.

This, on the other hand, is wonderful, and deserves to be hyped a lot more. It's not really science fiction, more near-future sociopolitical thriller with some speculative elements. But the flu is not really the point, and the thriller plot is so not the point (if you haven't figured that out by a quarter of the way through, this may be the first book you've ever read). No, the point is the heroine, who is struggling with competing models of how to be black in America, and working through the use and abuse of power on her and by her, and falling in love with a drug dealer.

This is the rich, complex book that her Summer Prince fell short of, in my mind. Which is partly her – she got a little less overdramatic, a little more controlled. And partly about how I'm getting really sick of specfic books about race that have to take the world at several steps remove from ours to be about race. This book really doesn't do that; it's not about race "through the lens of" or about race "reimagined." It's about this black girl and her black family and her friends and boyfriends and what they do to survive. Fuckin' applause.

Date: 2016-02-07 01:54 am (UTC)
jadelennox: Noddy-style Sam waving from Life on Mars (life on mars: noddy sam)
From: [personal profile] jadelennox
Man, I know, right? I loved Summer Prince, but this book really engaged with race and class (social, not monetary) and expectations, and gender, and family, and education, and just there was so much *there*.

This one I also read on audio; I loved the narrator, who is apparently playing the bionic arm-wielding Misty Knight in the Luke Cage netflix show. So I guess I'm watching that one.

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