Monday, April 2, 2018

Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis ARC Book Review

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Blurb
I’ve got seven days to come clean to my new dad. Seven days to tell the truth…

For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known.

Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters—and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn’t fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home—or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded.

But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad—and she only has seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make—and that life means sometimes taking risks.

Review
Four Out of Five Stars
I am Tiffany Sly, and she is me.

I have to admit this book surprised me. I wasn't sure where this book was going to go, because I admittedly did NOT read the blurb for this book. 

I seen the cover, and honestly--that was enough for me. I have to pat myself on the back--because I did well. This was a great read. 

Tiffany Sly's Mom dies from cancer--and Tiffany is sent to live with the father she never met--in a totally new state. BUT, before she leaves, another man comes forward, claiming to be Tiffany's Dad. She promises to keep this secret for seven days. Seven days until he demands the DNA test, and his timing could not be worst. 

When I started reading this book, I seen so much of myself in it, I was both thrilled and frightened.

It has often been said, that African-Americans in general, don't play close enough attention to mental health. So, I appreciated this take on mental health. I appreciated the author's presentation and approach on Tiffany's anxiety. 

I'm no expert on anxiety, but as someone who suffers from some form of it, I can say her depiction is pretty accurate--scarily so.

Aside from that, Tiffany's character is completely relatable. Her search for her place in the world, trying to fit in, while standing out--it's a place we often find ourselves in; both as young adults and adults.

The family dynamic was initially overwhelming for both the reader and for Tiffany--but it was a perfect fit for the story--and the development of the plot. 

I won't say much about it, because I want you--the reader, to experience it on your own--with all of it's surprises, and revelations.

I will, however, briefly talk about the father. He was infuriating in his ignorance, but understandable. As a Christina, I often find the portrayal of overzealous Christians (or similar religions), frustrating. I know there are people like that, so I get it.

Anyway, the author did a good job of portraying both sides of the religious coin. 

And before I finish this review, I want to talk about Marcus--my favorite character. With a white painted face, and a dysfunctional heart--Marcus weaseled his way right into my heart. His words were few, but their impact was big. His character was wise beyond his years, and deeper than most intellectuals. His part in the book was minimal but he pushed Tiffany forward, and I absolutely loved his character. I loved him so much, I would love to see in a book by himself. 

This book was absolutely necessary in the same way the black lives matter novels are--because in the same way that we need novels that take a stance against racial injustices, mental health representation for WOC is just as important.

I appreciated this book for what it represented and for its entertainment.

The religious back and forth was a bit heavy-handed, but after a while I was able to look passed it. The story is worth it, and the characters are even more worth it. A great debut.

6 comments:

  1. This does sound amazeballs. It's always great when you can find a common ground with a character. The story becomes infinitely more.

    Great review!

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  2. This sounds amazing and I love those books that we connect with unexpectedly!

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  3. I love when I can identify with a main character so strongly. It sounds like there's a lot going on (mental health, grief, religion, family dynamics, etc) but that the story is never overwhelmed by it all. Glad this was such a hit for you!

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  4. It's awesome that in the last few years I'm reading more and more about women I can identify with. I also don't read blurbs too much, especially if I've seen good reviews. Some times going in blind is better.
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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  5. I'll admit, the cover got me wanting to read this one as well. The family dynamics sound really interesting, and I do appreciate realistic portrayals of religious people. I REALLY can't wait to meet Marcus! ♥

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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  6. This sounds really interesting, I want to experience the father for myself. I love that the author examines mental health in black communities, that definitely is not highlighted enough.

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