This is a powerful, brutal, raw but ultimately inspirational account of life on gang ruled streets. Although set in Washington D.C. the story will resonate with any inner city streets of all major cities across the world and as such has the potential of reaching many teens who desperately need to hear the message of hope.
It is evident from the passionate writing and realistic portrayal that Ms. Shiraz has personal experience to bring to the story and this is what brings the story to life, giving it an extra edge over other books in this genre. The twisting vigilante actions, of determined family members spiral out of control as the police try to uncover the truth, make an engaging story-line which will appeal to all, including the most reluctant of readers.
I have a couple of concerns about the book which niggled in the back of my mind as I was reading:
Ms. Shiraz, who brings herself into the story as a source of help, gives advice which amounts to leaving the neighbourhood. While this was possible in this particular story it is unlikely to be more than an unattainable dream in many situations.
Hope is a powerful emotion which has enabled many to reach their dream, but compared to America, which has a fully functional, professional police and emergency response departments, hope often flounders in less developed counties where the majority of crimes go unnoticed.
Recommended age: 14+
Series: Retaliation: Book 1
Author: Yasmin Shiraz
Publication Date: 15 February 2007
Publisher: Rolling Hills Press
Source: Free copy from author in exchange for honest review
Violence runs rampant on the streets of Washington, DC, and on one seemingly quiet day, the Odom family finds its world destroyed when seventeen-year-old Tashera is brutally attacked by a group of high school girls. — Extract from Goodreads.com
The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.