"Except here everybody's black or brown and I'm not the only one who looks like their parents gave them a name not everyone can pronounce." ~ pg. 75
Like most young adults, when Ada leaves home for college it is the first time she's been far from family and first time making decisions on her own. Freshman year at an HBCU is a bit of culture shock. Ada struggles to make it to class and study groups while exploring sexuality and finding a new passion for dance. As if that is not enough, the author takes us into the past when Ada's mother was an addict and her Nigerian father tried making a home for his coming-of-age daughter.
First of all, the book cover is stunning and colorful. Very obvious it is by a person of color about a person of color for a person of color. Read that again if you must. I can appreciate how the author and publisher chose to display this story to the public. Definitely in my top book covers of 2020!
"Dad says having money brings peace." ~ pg. 13
Now on to my review; Every Body Looking is a soft no for me. There was no direction, no climax, no line of poetry that stood out and the verse did not flow. I've been on a prose reading kick lately and Every Body Looking did not impress me. Perhaps if one of the sub-characters had a deeper character dive then I would have been more interested. But young Ada didn't carry the story alone.
According to the description, Every Body Looking is a coming-of-age story meant to be inspiring, dealing with the weight of others' expectations and shaping your own life. Did I pick up on that message? Nope. In fact, I was left with more questions because of a couple issues not being resolved. Maybe I am totally missing the point here. Bookhearts, care to enlighten me?
Title: Every Body Looking
Author: Candice Iloh
Published: September 2020
Rating: 🖤 🖤