Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: Kendra by Coe Booth

Kendra by Coe Booth is the story of a fourteen year old girl named Kendra Williamson who has been living with her grandmother since birth.  Kendra's mother Renee has been dedicated to getting her education, and just graduated with her PhD.

All Kendra wants is to finally be able to live with her mother, but it's obvious that Renee is not ready yet.

Meanwhile, Kendra's grandmother becomes a bit over protective because Renee was the same age as Kendra when she gave birth to Kendra.  The last thing that Kendra wants is a baby.  However, Kendra's grandmother always threatens to have her checked if she suspects anything-and I mean anything.

Life gets complicated when Kendra finds herself caught between two boys-Darnell and Nashawn.  Back at home, Renee claims that she's not ready to raise Kendra.

This is what really grinds my gears: there are people who out there who really want to have children but can't.  On the other hand, there are the people who are having children left and right and refuse to take responsibility for them.

Kendra senses this-Renee wanting to carry on with her life without her.  It is clear that she is use to being fancy free and can come and go whenever she please.  This may explain why Kendra finds herself hooking up with Nashawn.  I think that all she wants is some sort of connection with someone.  Nashawn  is actually going out with Adonna- Kendra's aunt/best friend.  One day, Kendra reveals that she has been hooking up with Nashawn and the girls get into a fight which destroys their friendship.  Kendra's grandmother puts her foot down and sends her to live with Renee whether she likes it or not.

As a 30 something reader, I found the fight between Adonna and Kendra to be senseless.  What did it accomplish?  Absolutely nothing-it just made a bigger mess of the whole situation.

There were moments when I really wanted to yell at these characters and give up on this book. However, I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens next for everyone.

To an extent, Kendra is mature for her age, but she can be immature emotionally.  She appeared to be more mature than her own parents.  Kenny is still pining after Renee even though she has clearly moved on, and Renee keeps coming up with excuses. I'm not against education, but Renee has three degrees now and a job, what excuse can she come up with now?  I would have been upset too when she goes out and get a studio apartment not a two bedroom apartment.  Really? Really?

I suppose I could go on and on about the characters in this novel and how I shook my head at their actions. I hope that things work out for Kendra.  There were some loose ends at the end of the book.  Kendra ends up with Nashawn-the guy that was using her and Darnell is out of the picture.  Will Kendra mend her relationship with Adonna? And will Renee finally give Kendra the mother and daughter relationship that she has been wanting?

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