Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review - "Almost A Senior" by Brenda Faye Collie

High school is an unforgettable experience. The challenges we face and decisions we make during those delicate teen years can shape our lives forever. It is an exciting, adventurous time of life. Brenda Faye Collie takes us back to that time period in her debut novel, Almost A Senior.

The main character, Loresha, is a junior at Major Horris High School in Harlem. She has just been elected as the student body president. Loresha is full of hope and promise. She is a good student with a bright future ahead of her. She is very driven to make improvements in her school. Soon after the election, she begins to make changes. Even though some of the changes are unpopular, she shows a strong conviction and determination to be a good leader.

Loresha faces many challenges. She is the product of a single-parent home. Her mother, affectionately referred to as “Mama Police,” is a strong black woman. Mama Police has done her best to take care of her children and set a proper example for them. Loresha’s brother, Jason has had his own struggles that have affected the whole family. The family dynamic is one that many can relate to.

Peer pressure is common during the teen years. Peers can exert a very powerful influence – either good or bad. Loresha starts dating one of the popular boys on the basketball team. He introduces her to a new group of people and a new set of standards. She chooses to experiment and she quickly finds out that people are not always who they seem to be. However, she learns to recognize and appreciate loyal friends.  

In this coming of age novel, we follow the main character through various ups and downs. Dating, betrayal, drugs and alcohol are just a few of the tests Loresha encounters. Although she makes mistakes along the way, she comes out successfully.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was easy-to-read and very entertaining. It is great for summer reading while lying on the beach or sitting on a park bench. Many teens and young adults can relate to the characters and situations in this story. Brenda Faye Collie is a wonderful storyteller. She is an award winning playwright and I am confident that she will continue as a successful author for many years. I look forward to her next book.

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