Format Read: Paperback (186 pages)
Genre: Adult/ Contemporary/ Women's Fiction
Rating: TWO POINT FIVE STARS
Outstanding African-American Fiction Award winner, Guilty Pleasures is an unpredictable story that captures the challenges of love, life, and social drama that Simone Miller encounters on her journey for self-preservation and emotional fulfillment in all the wrong places. As her life unfolds, many other characters come to light and a microcosm of the human race is seen. This work of fiction is actually a deep look into what draws us to self-destructive behaviors, failed relationships, and to be consumed by a desire for love from all the wrong places. Guilty Pleasures reverberates with painful truths about how we lead our lives and points us to a way of renewal with its words of wisdom and inspiration. Simone helps us reconcile with and appreciate that one person deep within. Guilty Pleasures entertains, opens the eye, raises self-awareness, encourages self-esteem, and guides readers to a path of closure and a sense of renewal. It takes readers beyond the drama and delivers a message: Learning to love yourself is a journey that starts within.
REVIEW:This book had some great themes and humor, but unfortunately the writing wasn't great. Simone Miller is a protagonist who has to juggle her Christian faith with a unhealthy relationship. I enjoyed the humor involved, and the portrayal of a range of Black women, with different lifestyles. However the back and forth between some graphic sexual terms mixed in with Bible verses, felt jarring at times. The themes I was happy to see addressed were domestic violence, therapy as a positive tool and finding ways to prioritize yourself first. It's important for all women to find ways to empower themselves, so I appreciated that message.
"One day at a time. Don't take on more than I can handle. Expect setbacks and grow from experience."This was a short read, but everything happens too fast. The short chapters keep the reader engaged but important plot points aren't fleshed out enough. The plot is very fast paced, and a lot happens in a short amount of time. Since the plot is fast moving, its hard to relate and connect with the characters in the book. Character development is one of the elements of a book that I enjoy the most, so it was disappointing that there wasn't a lot here.
The writing itself seemed inconsistent style-wise. There would be slang used in dialogue between characters, but then the word choice for inner musings included phrases like 'heart of hearts'. This interrupted the flow of the story for me, and was a distraction. This was a Boston Radical Women of Color book club read, and I'm excited to have this local author join us for the discussion. I did enjoy the positive themes of the book, but I wouldn't recommend it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sonya Harris resides in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a business degree and a masters in education. She's a mother and a Promising Pen Pal. Her first novel, "Guilty Pleasures" won the Outstanding African-American Fiction Award. Her sophomore novel "My Body Is Calling" is highly anticipated. Sonya aspires to raise self-awareness in readers by empowering them, through her books, to connect with and nurture their mind, body, and spirit with the goal of self perseverance.