Saturday, October 10, 2015

What's Your STATUS? (A Book Review)


Tyesha Fenty is a beautiful 22-year-old mother of one very precocious little girl—and an unashamed internet addict. Between taking care of her daughter and posting updates about her life via the Web, Tyesha stresses over love and family. The father of her child is a spiritually devout drug dealer named Rodrick Al-Bashir who has a thing for other women. And her mother, Velma Fenty, is a widowed hoarder on the verge of losing her house. 

Stalking is the least of Tyesha’s worries, until one of her social media “friends” starts showing up at her gym, at her job, and at her home. Soon tragedy strikes, and when detectives catch her stalker—and just as quickly release him—Tyesha is forced to take matters into her own hands. 

Be careful what you post … he’s watching …


I received this book through Bookbub. Immediately, I went to Amazon to check out the reviews and my readers know I always start with the bad reviews and work my way to the good. Funny though, I wasn’t able to find many good ones about this book. However, having said that, the book was free, and, once again, I’ve mentioned to you that just because a book is cheap or free doesn’t mean it’s poorly written. Trust and believe I’ve read plenty of critically acclaimed books that weren’t worth the paper the words were written on. With that being said, this was not a bad book. Did I encounter problems with the story line while reading it, sure, but nothing that was so catastrophic that I was about to abandon the book altogether.

What drew me to this particular book was the synopsis. As soon as I learned what this was involving, I was sold. Even though this was a free book, I would have paid for it. Tyesha Fenty is your today's young woman who is a social butterfly and loves to update her posts every minute of the day. In other words, she was extremely “thirsty” for the “likes.” So imagine her surprise when she heads off to work one day and one of her Site friends shows up. She’s wondering how in the hell did this guy know where she worked? Hmm, could it be because she put it on her page. Not only did he know where she worked, he knew where she lived, where her daughter went to school, the man she was in a relationship with, etc. What angered me about Tyesha is how damn stupid she was. I was yelling at her while engaged in the story, “why not post your damn social security number and add your debit and credit card numbers on your post while you’re at it!” Wow!

This chick was so damn stupid I actually thought she’d do it. Hmmph, she was close enough! Her baby’s father, Rodrick Al-Bashir, reminded me so much of the character, Tony Soprano. For those not familiar with the old hit show The Sopranos which aired on HBO—Tony was a Mob Boss, murdering, robbing, stealing, and committing adultery per episode, but had the audacity to be a devout Catholic and trusted and believed in the Lord. That always blew my mind seeing as how his actions were nothing like his faith, and Rodrick was no different. Rodrick would cite Bible verses and advise every one of their wrongdoing, but he never saw the wrongdoing he committed. Let’s keep it real—selling drugs to your people damn sure doesn’t count as something the Lord would be proud of, in my opinion, which is why I mentioned the similarities of the character, Tony Soprano. I couldn’t stop laughing at how Rodrick would spout these Bible verses and yet, he’s murdering people and making comments on his friends’ pages boasting about his evil ways. Talk about inconsistencies. Hmmph! The more I read, the more I laughed because these two characters were just running amuck and completely out of control, which is why I believe many readers didn’t care for the book. But you know what, that’s what I enjoyed about it. For one, the author did a great job in bringing to light the dangers of social media. He also brought to the forefront how these sites lure you in and want you to put all your business out there, and then when you attract a stalker, which is what happened to Tyesha, one shouldn’t question why when you fueled the unwanted stalker. How can you get angry when you’re the one that put all your information out there for the whole world to see? How can you get angry when some of your supposed “friends” post comments to your constant updates, when you encouraged their involvement? What’s not to love about this story?

There were a couple areas of the book where I felt the author didn’t develop the story line fully—for instance, Tyesha’s mother, Velma. The synopsis suggests Velma was in jeopardy of losing her home, but, unless my eyes deceived me, which they’ve been pretty faithful thus far, I don’t recall anything mentioned about Velma losing her home. In fact, I had to go back and check to see if I missed something? No, I’m pretty sure I did not. Most authors who reach out to me to read their work know going in that I dissect the hell out of a story. If I can be critical of my own work, it’s a piece of cake for me to be just as critical of others. And trust me, I’m more critical of myself. I’m positive that section of the story wasn’t developed. Also, there’s an incident, which I can’t delve much into without giving away too much of the story, but I was very confused as to why more didn’t happen to a particular character? It was like he did something, and it went unnoticed. I know in reality this can be true, but that part of the story made me want to view more, and unfortunately, the author left me hanging. After I finished the story, I went back to Amazon to see if I missed something and I didn’t realize this story is part of a series. As my Intellectual Readers know, I absolutely hate series! Ooooh just thinking on that makes me crazy. I’m a one and done type of reader. That’s not to say there aren’t series I haven’t read. I’ve read plenty, but I do not like to start new series if I can help it. 

Was this story good enough to make me want to read the rest. . .it was pretty decent, and if I have time, I may read the next few in the series. I would like to know what happens to Tyesha and Rodrick and see if they’ve grown up some and learned valuable lessons? Although seeing as how dumb both of their actions were in this first installment, I may not want to get my hopes too high? The story ended on a pretty decent note, so at least the author didn’t cliff us and force us to read the second installment. I absolutely abhor when authors do that. Makes me seethe inside and usually I will abandon that author’s work almost immediately.

Seriously, folks, this book was short, sweet and directly to the point. It had a few bumps along the way, but I really liked the story. It’s a subject near and dear to my soul because I’ve blogged about the dangers of social media many times over. Don’t believe me, go back through old posts and you’ll find the research and my personal experiences with social media. Being an author in this day and age, you must put yourself out there, but to be the ‘Tyesha’s’ of the world, I don’t think so. There’s a limit to what I allow my ‘friends’ to see—but what many people forget or just don’t give much credence to is the fact most of the people who request your friendship are people you do not know. These are not your true ride-or-die friend you grew up with from the hood. Or that old childhood friend from school you were neighbors with. And, even if it were, there should always be a limit as to what you allow others to see and know about you. I give Jordan Belcher a hell of a lot of credit for writing this story.  A man after my own heart. He took what’s relevant today and made a pretty incredible story out of it. And with that, Mello & June gives this book three stars. A pretty decent quick read. So, for those of you behind in your challenges, like yours truly, this is one to add to your shelf or read in a few hours and get your credits. 

Until next time my IMs (Intellectual Minds), Happy Reading!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

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