Hey guys! I’m back with another book review and I’m excited about this one because it’s my first ever ARC!!! #stepupinnalife
Last month, Tracey Jackson found me on Instagram and asked me if I would like to receive a copy of her book to read and review and of course I said yes. How could I not? Not gonna lie, it made me feel legit as a book blogger for the first time ever. I got the book and added it to the top of my August TBR picks.
“Donovan Jordan is a young and handsome Jazz Band Director navigating a career in education in a new and challenging city. Yearning for change (and a few extra dollars), he forms a Jazz/R&B band with his friends. Managing the band, his career and love life with an “on again off again” girlfriend gets intense when a strikingly beautiful co-worker makes her intentions known. Will Donovan realize his purpose through faith and perseverance or choose to play it safe?”
This book came at the right time of year and is appropriately named as it’s a fun, light summer read. I was hesitant when I saw the words, “purpose through faith” as I thought maybe it could be heavy on the religiousness which, I personally am not, but that turned out to be an unnecessary concern. Donovan and his family are Christian but they are not preachy and over the top at all. Religion isn’t at the forefront of the book.
What I liked about it:
This book gave me 90’s/2000’s African American movie vibes. Think of The Brothers and The Best Man. I was originally hearing Donovan’s mother with a voice like Nene Leakes (too much Real Housewives but I can’t help it, I luv Nene and Greg) but when I mentioned this to Tracey, she told me she saw her more as a Loretta Divine which made me go, Oh! That makes more sense! The relationship between Donovan and his friends, their band (even the band name!), the clubs, the jazz music etc., all of it made me think of those good looking people in those types of movies and 90’s R&B videos which is always a win for me. The description of the different places and venues also helped with the imagery. The book is set in Miami Dade and while I have never really spent any time there, I think I have a pretty good idea of what it looks like and what the nightlife is like thanks to this book and it sounds fun. I’d grab a drink and dance at the clubs mentioned which is really saying something because I hung up my dancing heels ages ago. Yes, I am very old or as we Jamaicans say, I cyaan batta. That was another thing I liked, the representation of different people and cultures. Tracey being of Jamaican descent, had us represented from the people to the food. Latino Americans were represented too as well as characters from all walks of life. #representationmatters.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book like this written from the male perspective and it was so refreshing that it was written in a way where I liked the main male character and I don’t have to apologise for it. Donovan is not a player, he’s not a misogynist, he’s not self absorbed etc. He’s a young, cool guy just trying to find a way to make positive moves in his life, challenge himself more and of course play music. Also, another win, no ridiculous and overdone sex scenes! My little asexual heart was so happy! It is possible to have a sweet romance without all the heavy sex on full display and this way, in my mind, Donovan can remain a good yute whose bedroom prowess I don’t need to have any knowledge of. Is he a dude that can tie her (girlfriend, new love interest) to the fan? I don’t know and I like not knowing. Past experience has taught me that this rare (Looking at you Eric Jerome Dickey). It was a nice change of pace so whether you meant to or not, good looking out Miss Martin.
I also really liked the development of the characters. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know how important this is to me, like, I take it personal. Most, if not all the characters are at an age and stage where they are trying to make moves with their lives (what kind of moves? Money moves. Solid Cardi B reference) and some have big decisions to make. When I finished the book I had so many questions about different characters and what’s going to happen to them next. That’s how you know you have written characters that the reader has become invested in. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and I will be keeping my ears to the ground and my eyes to the ‘gram to see when this book will be published and when Movement 2 is ready.
‘Til next time 🙂