Saturday, July 23, 2011
SISTER MISCHIEF by Laura Goode
Good Reads Summary
A gay suburban hip-hopper freaks out her Christian high school - and falls in love - in this righteously funny and totally tender YA debut, for real.
Listen up: You’re about to get rocked by the fiercest, baddest all-girl hip-hop crew in the Twin Cities - or at least in the wealthy, white, Bible-thumping suburb of Holyhill, Minnesota. Our heroine, Esme Rockett (aka MC Ferocious) is a Jewish lesbian lyricist. In her crew, Esme’s got her BFFs Marcy (aka DJ SheStorm, the butchest straight girl in town) and Tess (aka The ConTessa, the pretty, popular powerhouse of a vocalist). But Esme’s feelings for her co-MC, Rowie (MC Rohini), a beautiful, brilliant, beguiling desi chick, are bound to get complicated. And before they know it, the queer hip-hop revolution Esme and her girls have exploded in Holyhill is on the line. Exciting new talent Laura Goode lays down a snappy, provocative, and heartfelt novel about discovering the rhythm of your own truth.
Theirs are individual, highly original and strong voices. And they’re funny! Throw in a couple of surprising moment of sweet…and this is me, hours later, contemplating a re-read. First of, I don’t get hip hop, but their early discussions on its origins, white/black/blue/red etc and ‘white guilt’ were hilarious and made perfect sense to me. They put into words the questions I never thought I had. I will also say that SISTER MISCHIEF is clever in tackling the subject. Then throw in some politics, religion, a joint or two, and… well, this is not a simple book! They sure as heck weren’t simple characters.
The humor had me busting my gut. Once the school of SWASPS comes up with a policy counter hip hop, they respond by starting up a GSA club with focus on discussions on it. So… yes, a it’s a little serious with discussion on religion but that’s just one aspect of it because if we strip it down, it’s all on the individuality of these four girls who want to express themselves in an unconventional manner. So, the great thing is they are regular girls, but not teen YA cardboard cutouts. I dare not say that I loved them, because to do so would be too simplistic. And this book, and these young women are anything but.
Out of the four, I was certain Marcy would be my favorite, given her tough and independent I don’t care what others think/say stance. But it was Rowi, with her confusion and choices and actions that stands out right now; particularly her choices with regard to Esme... I saw/felt the conflict. Of course, there’s Tess to consider with her faith and religion coupled with an (unexpected, but deeply appreciated) open mind.
*I wish I had a head/an ear for hip hop, then I could get a handle on what they sounded like… but that’s the extent of my complaints.
READ THIS PEOPLE! 4/5