Monday, February 16, 2015

Book Review: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, The Book

**No real spoilers! I want you to enjoy every piece of this book!**

I've spent the last few days, whenever I've had a free moment, cozied up with Issa Rae's new book, "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl." I've laughed, I've almost cried, and I've stomped and yelled in affirmation. (All things I would've done in a library, bookstore, and/or train, but thank the lord I'm on vacation. That would've been awkward.)

Get it? Hehe. Okay, still awkward.

Well, this is why the book resonates with me. As a size 14 (a very sexy one I might add), with size twelve shoes, natural hair, immigrant parents, and the newly proud comeback queen to several women/men that tried to play me, back in grade school...Issa Rae totally gets me.

This book is a compilation of hilariously echoing narratives, that are divided by equally compelling "Awkward Black Girl" guides on blackness, the workplace, eating in public, hair, and so much more.

Issa Rae talks about a young obsession with food, her fluctuation in weight, and her trials when it came to losing it. She touches on AOL chatrooms and "cybering" with boys, utilizing the nostalgic A/S/L. She goes to a party, thrown by one of the most popular girls, and frets about doing the dances right. She elaborates on dating, public displays of affection,  tomboy trauma, the assumptions of her peers, the sparseness of our faces in media, the list goes on.

The entire time I read the book, I thought, "WHY IS SHE IN MY HEAD?"

Issa Rae's writing is the perfect equilibrium. She spins tales and notions that we so often dwell on, but are afraid to say out loud. They are potent and bright, just as they were when they happened. I, too, remember them this way. Although the memories are long ago, they reoccur whenever I experience something that correlates.

I couldn't stop the memories, while reading.

I'm reminded of the blue jean stains, on the white walls of my best friend's house, from girls who knew how to "dub" boys too well, at my first house party. I remember the orange halter top and bellbottom jeans, the begging my mother to stay in the car and let me go inside alone. I remember chickening out, deciding that it was better to be a wallflower than to embarrass myself dancing.

I recollect crusades and telling boys, my age (hopefully), that my name was Tasha.

I'm still convinced that my weave is the cause for sudden attention. I alternate between afro, box-braids, and tracks, and I notice that men are abundant, when my hair is faux and flowing.

I'm irked by the girls that email me for help with their creative work, the same girls that clobbered me with words or fists.

I understand what it's like to stand out, intentionally or unintentionally, and hope that the world forgot/forgets how you embarrassed yourself.

Issa Rae's book is an amalgamation of all of these things. She is loud, vibrant, shy, reclusive, all at once.

But most importantly...Issa Rae is a locksmith. She just unlocked a door for all of us, alongside Shonda Rimes, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Ava Duvernay, Mara Brock-Akil, Demetria Lucas, the list goes on...

Our stories matter too.

I am an awkward black girl.

Gap-teeth, tall, thick, witty, snorting-while-talking, comic-book-obsessed, writing-my-ass-off, brown wonder-woman.

& I'm inspired.

Grab the book, HERE!

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