Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oreo by Valerique Williams


Jayenia, a fourteen year old African American girl, is confused about who she is and who she thinks she is expected to be. She feels alone and and struggles with race issues internally and externally. Through the stress of starting high school and not being excepted by peers, Oreo shares what many African Americans go through in fitting in racially and socially, and the mental struggles they face about themselves.
In the beginning, Jayenia annoyed me. Her story felt slightly gloomy, and she is always in a bad mood. I kept reading, mostly because I could easily relate to her character, and that made the story worthwhile. Jayenia is shy, stubborn, and easily irritated. She doesn 't like loud, crazy parties, and worries constantly that people think she is stuck up, because of her personality, to which I can relate immensely!
She questions who her friends are, who she is, and if her family understands her.
The writing was like a first draft, peppered with grammatical errors.  It read okay, but was a bit distracting. The character kept me reading.
The subject matter was really interesting to read because of how Jayenia struggles with being called an Oreo (too black on the outside to be white,and too white on the inside to be black) and who she thinks she is supposed to be. She wants to be accepted for who she is, the only problem is that she s not always sure who that may be.
The ending was frustrating, as it didn t seem to wrap it all up.. but was also appealing because that is how life is. I would be anxious and happy to hear of a sequel!
There was some mild rude humor, and mild sexual references.
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon United States

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