‘True Story’

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Plan A or Plan B?

Each of your two choices has good points and bad. One may take longer than the other and one may be better now. You know there are pros and cons to both, and you need to pick carefully.

But, as you’ll see in the new novel “True Story” by Ni-Ni Simone, sometimes the hardest choice can backfire the worst.

New Orleans was the place to be for Seven McKnight.

It had been like that all summer. Seven had tricked her mother into believing there was some internship that made it mandatory for her to stay in the Big Easy, so Seven didn’t go home to Newark. Instead, she holed up with her man, Zaire, in his apartment for three glorious months.

Now that college had started, though, she was back in her dorm room with her gurls, Shae and Khya and their fabulous guy-pal, Courtney, who’d sweet-talked his way into sleeping on the sofa. It was going to be a great sophomore year.

The only bad part was that Josiah was at Stiles U., too.

Josiah and Seven had been together practically since they were ten years old, but last year, she caught him in a lie (or two). They broke up, she fell in love with former troublemaker Zaire, and that was that. The only problem was that Josiah couldn’t keep his behind out of Seven’s business and, down-deep, she couldn’t forget that she still loved him.

More than anything, though, Seven loved Zaire and she tried to loosen him up but he was too focused on work. His parents had both been killed by Hurricane Katrina, and he knew there was no third chance to get life right. He studied, worked constantly, and never wanted to go out. Pretty soon, eighteen-year-old Seven was bored.

With her friends out partying nearly every night without her and her boo falling asleep in front of the TV all the time (ho-hum), Josiah started looking better and better all over again. Could a cheater ever reform? Or was a hard-working former drug-slinger better for Seven? The choice wouldn’t be easy…

That’s fun—if you can understand what’s being said in the conversations between the characters. Like other books in this series, author Ni-Ni Simone uses lots of slang in this book which, while it makes the story authentic, also can make it hard to grasp. On the flipside, there’s enough humor in this book and the characters are appealing enough to make a reader want to stick around and, happily, the confusion eventually takes care of itself.

A couple of relatively tame love scenes make this a book for teens ages 14-18 or for moms who are starting to get into YA books. If that’s you, then “True Story” could be a good book to pick.

(“True Story” by Ni-Ni Simone, c.2012, Dafina Teens, $9.95/$10.95 Canada, 224 pages.)

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