***I received a free copy in exchange for a review***
The Bayou Classic is a fictional story that describes the lives of a group of inner city kids and their journey from high school, college, and beyond. The story revolves around the girls Areille, Carissma, and Jasmine, three teenagers who are struggling to be good students while simultaneously dealing with the pressures that come along with living in the ghetto. You also have their male counterparts Derek, Bingo, Skeeter, and Stepper. With Bingo being the fearless rebel in the crew, theirs never a dull moment. With Skeeter being the savvy street smart hustler theres never a sure thing, it’s always a gamble. With Stepper being the suave playboy in he crew its always interesting to watch him juggle his many women. Lastly theres Derek, the level headed, hard worker who is struggling to find his way through life without getting into any trouble. Like life, trouble eventually finds its way into the mix and effects the entire group. They eventually find themselves banding together to help each other get through. This story is sure to captivate the reader and draw you into the lives of each individual character. This story is not written from a spectators point of view, but the characters themselves narrate the events that take place, which will effectively connect each reader to the characters in the story. There is also another very interesting twist to this story. This entire story is written in poetry form, meaning the entire story rhymes. So the entire novel is basically a poem. Each page has its own individual character, each page is its very own entity. If you love drama, romance, comedy, action, and suspense, then you’ve definitely pick the perfect story.
I liked this book. The introduction was an overview of the hood as a poem, which was nicely rhymed. I have mad respect for the author. He managed to make the entire story sound like freestyle at a poetry reading. Not only did everything rhyme, but he managed to create colorful personalities and a plot to keep the story going.
The Bayou Classic followed Derek, Bingo, Skeeter, Stepper, Areille, Carissma, and Jasmine through their high school, college, and young adult years. Some graduated. Some ended up in jail. Some were in the drug business. And some manged to create successful businesses for themselves. I love drama, so my favorite sections involved Derek and Areille’s breakup.
Just to give you an idea how the rhythm flowed, here’s my favorite passages from the poem:
1) We could just help them take baby steps, start over as friends, sometimes when you think a story is about to end, it actually begins.
2) I’m already in love with one psycho. I certainly don’t need another.
3) You two have plenty of time to grow, so be careful how you touch, I know I said I like her, but I don’t like her that much!
4) That’s my future baby mama, she keeps me focused and balanced, my girl ain’t mean, she’s just socially challenged.
5) They were looking dead serious, like they was going through a crisis, how these n***** buying cars, and can’t even get a license?
Towards the end, the poem stalled for me–it seemed like everything was happy happy joy joy, especially when they were adults getting married. I wish there could have been some tension or conflict somewhere to balance out all that happiness. Plus, I didn’t like seeing the N-word. It seemed like the male characters used that a lot as a term of endearment. Like I said before, I really love drama, so the beginning really kept my attention when people’s parents were ending up in jail, the heart ache, etc.
If you love poems, I RECOMMEND this book to read.