Book Review | Ultra Black Hair Growth II by Cathy Howse

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. 

Ultra Black Hair Growth II 2000 Edition
by Cathy Howse, details a method for retaining approximately 6 inches of hair growth in one year. Like many books that I own, I had to reread this one before the knowledge entailed within it really sunk in! I purchased this book two years ago after reading about the “Cathy Howse Method” on various  hair care websites. I read it, tried the products, and then moved on to something else. Now, that I’ve reread it, I wish that I would have stuck with it!  Although people claimed to know and share the basics of the regimen, I’m the type of person who likes to read and obtain information for myself.

So, I purchased and read the book. Although it is a short and easy read (158 pages), it contains a lot of information. As I figured, many hair bloggers were leaving out crucial details of Cathy’s hair-growing method. I would encourage any person interested in beginning her technique read her books, check out her website, and consider purchasing her products. I will talk about my experience with her products in a separate post.

Cathy Howse is a pioneer in the world of black hair care. Long before YouTube, blogs, and online hair-growing communities existed, Cathy developed what she calls “the only proven method” for growing “black” hair. Black hair refers to the hair type that most people of African-American descent have naturally – hair that is tightly coiled. Cathy advocates sticking to the following six requirements in order to grow and preserve your hair:

1) Frequent cleaning

2) Daily moisturizing

3) A conditioner that contains: protein to strengthen, oil to lubricate, and a scalp stimulant

4) Good blood circulation

5) Careful use of appliances

6) No hairbrushes

Please note that Cathy’s suggestions allow hair growers to also incorporate techniques advocated by other “methods.” For example, if one chooses not to wash her hair with sulfate shampoos, this may be easily incorporated into this method. If one chooses to wear her hair in a protective style, this can be incorporated as well because Cathy does not advocate for one style over another, as long as the style is not accomplished by doing things that damage the hair.

One of the most controversial points that Cathy makes in the book is that there is no need to trim your hair. This is controversial because for many, including hair stylists, the idea that one has to trim her hair in order to “make it grow” is deeply rooted. Cathy points out that hair grows from the root, not the ends and that hair does not split up the shaft. She does note the importance of retaining healthy ends in order to accomplish growth, but she does not advocate trimming on a schedule or, really, at all, except if one chooses to for a neat appearance.

Like I stated, this book is chock full of common sense types that apply specifically to growing the driest hair type. She also has a question and answer section on her website. The only criticism that I have of the book is the editing. There are some errors here and there grammatically, but nothing that affects the knowledge contained within the book itself. I would also like to see an update since the book was written in 2000, but you can visit Cathy’s website for update. For example, her hair is no longer relaxed. She now wears it naturally and only washes her hair once a week instead of twice.

For more details about Cathy’s hair care routine and more of her tips, visit her website! http://www.ultrablackhair.com/ubh2/

Click to purchase on Amazon: Ultra Black Hair Growth II 2000 Edition

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Book Review | Unplanned by Abby Johnson

It’s been quite a while since I posted a book review! I started a new job in December of last year and I’ve been too busy to post, but I’m back! I hope to read a book a week until the end of the year. This is very doable if I cut back on TV time! I have 3 hardback books and 4 e-books on my Kindle waiting for me to read them. But, Unplanned by Abby Johnson is a book that I read back in December.

Little did I know in December of 2011 that the topics of healthcare and abortion would come together and cause turmoil throughout the ranks of the Komen Foundation and other high-ranking organizations. Unplanned is a book that tells a riveting behind-the-scenes story of a conservative working at Planned Parenthood. Abby Johnson started out as a young volunteer and rose to rank of executive, leading a Planned Parenthood location in Texas. Her unusual participation in an abortion procedure forces her to face her internal conflicts. As a devout Christian, her job (working in a clinic that provided abortions among and other healthcare services) conflicted with her moral beliefs.

Many young women can relate to Abby’s conflict whether they have performed similar work or not.Like Abby’s real-life character in this book, I have been conflicted about my moral beliefs versus my support and patronage of Planned Parenthood. This book presents both sides.

What I enjoyed most was Abby’s candid discussion about not only her experience working at Planned Parenthood, but also her own past. She reveals some ugly truths about abortion clinics and also discusses the value of the other healthcare services provided by Planned Parenthood. In addition, she shares her own story of not one, but two, unplanned pregnancies and why she  made the choices that she did.

Lastly, Abby talks about why and how she changed her mind about working for Planned Parenthood. If I have a criticism of this book, it would be the slightly dramatized chapters in the book following Abby’s choice to walk away. Although it was a heart-wrenching decision, people quit their jobs every day. It is also fascinating that she ran away from one extreme to the other, seemingly without considering a middle ground. She went from being a staunch supporter and worker at Planned Parenthood to being strongly anti-abortion and anti-Planned Parenthood. I would have liked to see some talk about a middle-ground, an area of compromise where we can support the rights of women and the unborn at the same time…is that possible? I’m not sure, but when I put this book down, I felt inspired…of course, my beliefs align pretty strongly with Abby’s. Abby introduces readers to pro-life organizations that are less divisive. She could have simply walked away from Planned Parenthood and found another job, but instead, she chose to share her story and to use her experience as a platform to help change the lives of others.

For those looking to better understand the perspective of individuals, particularly, Christians, who work at Planned Parenthood, this would be an interesting book to read. Be fair-warned that this book is not pro-Choice. The author advocates an end to abortion because of her religious beliefs and because of the detrimental effect that abortion has on women and families. But, the way she wrote this book provides a fair perspective of both sides because, unlike many people, she has “fought the war,” from both sides. If you’ve read this book, let me know what you think! If you wouldn’t read it, let me know why not!

Book Review | No Weapon by Audrey McKay

No Weapon is the riveting follow-up novel to Audrey McKay’s first book Enough Good News. It continues a few years after Enough Good News ended. (My review for Enough Good News can be found here. This review may contain spoilers for those who have not read that novel first). Instead of focusing on Sidra’s story, it focuses on the tale of Sidney Lyons and how her life has changed since accepting the Lord. When Enough Good News ended, the reader was left feeling hopeful, but uncertain, about which way Sidney’s story would go. Soon after accepting Christ into her life, she made a big mistake that almost severed her ties with family and her faith in the Lord.

In No Weapons, Sidney seems to have recovered well from the mistakes of her past. Unfortunately, old spirits are waiting to come back and haunt her once again as an unspeakably evil force begins working to bring her down. It only took me about one day to read this book because I was quickly caught up in Sidney’s tale and how a single lie worked to turn so many people against her. The book also had real life connections as it dealt with scandals and corruption within the church which are both, unfortunately, all too common today.

Christians who are interested in learning more about spiritual gifts will find this book intriguing. In McKay’s first book, spiritual gifts are mentioned when Sidney accepts the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into her life, but in No Weapon, those gifts play a central role in the development of the plot. Until reading this book, I never gave much thought to “spiritual gifts” and what they mean, but this book definitely encouraged me to look into them more.

Along with the consistent action in this story, McKay skillfully weaves in the thoughts and insights of non-Christians who are witnesses to the turmoil taking place among so-called believers. This is an important part of the story because it helps the reader understand why so many people are hesitant to become a part of the Christian faith. Many non-believers have witnessed wrongdoing and hypocrisy among Christians that makes them question the teachings of the Bible and spiritual leaders. The way that McKay uses the true believers to respond to such doubts can serve as a lesson for the rest of us.

The plot of this book was a real page-turner. The way people came together to work against Sidney was fascinating. Not only that, but the use of technology to aid in their endeavor made the work more interesting and believable. I would highly suggest this book, even if you haven’t read the first book in the series. The author provides enough background information to make it easy to follow all of the characters. For more information about No Weapon, or to learn more about the author, visit her website here.

Christian Book Review | Right Package, Wrong Baggage by Wanda B. Campbell

This book was a selection suggested to me by Amazon due to my history of reading and reviewing Urban Christian Fiction novels. It was pretty reasonably priced (at the time), and had good reviews. I purchased and downloaded it to my Kindle to read and I’m glad that I did! This book is a Christian-based complex love story that artfully tackles some major themes dealing with sexuality and celibacy. These themes are intricately woven into the storyline and the reader will find him or herself caught up in the the story of a young couple, Pamela and Micah.

When I first started reading the book, it opened with a family scene that seemed a bit far-fetched. Things just seemed too good to be true for Pamela. As a young single mother (widowed), she was swept off of her feet when a man from her church named Micah begins to court her and help her care for her son. However, it quickly became clear that the author was setting the scene for a sequence of events that would take the couple through a number of emotional ups and downs. Just when it seems like Pamela, Micah, and Pamela’s son Matthew are about to get their story-book ending, the past catches up with Micah and things begin to fall apart.

Often, Christian-based story lines are flat. They go something like this – pray enough and God changes things. While this is true, our human emotions often get in the way of us receiving our blessings. What Campbell successfully does in this novel  is contrast Pamela and Micah’s attempt to live by Christian principles with their difficulty overcoming their pasts. The two of them are deeply in love, but their issues are catching up with them quickly.

For Christians struggling to stay focused on God’s principles while being involved in relationships, this is an excellent read. It also speaks to single mothers and individuals struggling to over come drug abuse or issues that arise from being victims of molestation and sexual exploitation. These topics sound serious, but the book is really an enjoyable, well-written work that and is an awesome love story at its core. I rarely outright suggest that my readers purchase a book, but if Christian Romance is your genre, this is definitely the book for you. If you’d like to hear more about the book or the author, check out the summary below from the publisher and click the link  to visit Ms. Campbell’s website.

From the publisher:

For five years, Pamela Roberts, has balanced the demands of being a single mother and a devoted Christian. She unselfishly places the needs of her son, Matthew, above her own. Although she tries to convince everyone that she’s happy with Jesus alone, Matthew handpicks the perfect present for her—a husband. Everything about the man her son chooses is perfect, except for his past. Micah Stevenson is excited when he learns the son of the woman he has been praying about wants him to join their family permanently. Believing Pamela Roberts is his soul mate sent from God, Micah pursues her. Once he is certain of her love for him, Micah reveals his dark history, shaking the foundation of the once loving and stable relationship. Trust is broken as judgments and prejudices threaten to deny the couple’s destiny. Will the man he used to be prevent Pamela from loving Micah for the man he is now?

Book Review | Become Your Own Matchmaker by Patti Stanger

Patti Stanger is the popular, controversial force behind The Millionaire’s Club, an international dating service that caters to, well, millionaires. Her club spawned the hit show Millionaire Matchmaker, which aired on Bravo.

I was drawn into reading this book because of Patti’s sassy attitude and no-nonsense advice. She seemed to know what she was talking about on the show and often bragged that her track record was impeccable. As far as dating books go, it was pretty good. I purchased it myself and read it on my Kindle about a year ago, then re-read it for this review.  Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from Patti’s dating guide.

Audience: This book is geared toward female daters who are seeking a man to marry. The man does not have to be a millionaire, but if you’ve ever watched Patti’s show, she encourages men and women to embrace traditional roles. Therefore, future hubby should be a provider who displays desirable male traits (no “coffee shop” men, whatever that means). This is a secular dating guide, so if you’re looking for something focused strictly on Christian principles, this isn’t the book for you. Lastly, you’ll have to be willing to make some changes to yourself. If you’re already perfect as-is, you don’t need Patti.

Goal: The goal of the book is to lay out a step-by-step plan from dating to the alter. As a caveat, I should mention that Patti is not married and never has been (she’s 50). So, take all marriage advice with a grain of salt. Patti gives a lot of background information about how she got to where she is in her career, as well as the dating woes that she’s been through.

The Plan  (I’m putting Patti’s plans in to my own words to provide the summary below):

(1) “You” Time. The plan is simple – first take some time and get to know yourself. Heal from your past relationships and pamper yourself. Get your physical appearance in order and learn how to dress for your shape. Get your hair done professionally. Spend some time with the girls or whatever it is that you need to do to feel your personal best and gain your confidence back.This is an essential step to prevent you from dragging old baggage into new relationships.

(2) Meet Men. This is where Patti gets a little radical. Basically, she encourages women to do whatever it is that they need to do to meet men. If you have to go online, go online. If you have to move to a city with a better male-to-female ratio, then move. Put yourself out there. Smile at and talk to men. Let people know that you’re looking. People love to play matchmaker and if you’re really interested in finding a mate, you’ll be open to suggestions.

(3) Evaluate Potential Mates & Present Your Best Assets. A lot of women want a great man, but they don’t bring much to the table themselves. Patti provides tips for how you can present yourself as a great potential wife, while evaluating your potential husband. If he’s not marriage material and you are looking for marriage, you are wasting each other’s time. Patti talks about ways you can tell whether a man is looking for a future wife, just dating, or just playing around. It’s also essential that you make a (short!) list of non-negotiable characteristics that you desire in a husband. This will keep you focused on your core needs without becoming too nit-picky about every man you meet.

(4). No Sex Before Monogamy. Patti is a stickler on this point. She talks in detail about how females produce oxytocin during intercourse. This is a bonding hormone that women produce in much greater quantities than men. It’s what makes it difficult for women to walk away from a man once they have taken that step in their relationship. Her points on this topic are pretty much scientific and common sense; she’s not a religious person (although she doesn’t downplay religion’s role in evaluating compatibility).

(5) Set a Timeline.  This is a another key factor. Patti believes that a man who is looking for marriage will not string a woman along in a relationship for years at a time. So, set a timeline and stick firmly to it. If he’s not talking marriage in a year – as in ring-on-finger, date set, then walk away. This point sets Patti’s plan apart from other dating books. Many books say to give a man two years or longer. Patti says that women don’t have that kind of time to waste. As we grow older, our marriage prospects only diminish further.

I think this is a valuable guide for women who are a little lost in the dating game and really ready to get married. It’s packed with information and Patti gives reasons for each point in her plan. It’s not for the faint-at-heart, since it requires diligent effort on the part of the woman. If you’re just dating “for fun,” then this is probably not the book for you. If you’re interested in finding a hubby worth having, then give it a read.

(Raw) Cookbook Review | Raw Food: A Complete Guide…by Erica Palmcratz

I picked up Raw Food: A Complete Guide to Every Meal of the Day by Erica Palmcratz and Irmela Lilja after a few interns and I purchased this book for a co-worker last summer. She was excited about making the bell-peppers that are on the cover of the book. They looked tasty, and the book seemed like a good book for a raw food beginner, so I decided to try it!

This book is a great starter raw food book for newbies. The recipes do not require any of the expensive, complicated materials that are often associated with the preparation of raw food, such as dehydrators. You need a blender, a food processor, and a few other common household kitchen items to get started. Last summer when I originally purchased this book, I made quite a few of the recipes.

The smoothies were great for pre and post-workout “pick me ups.” The recipes such as lettuce wraps that called for the use of avocados were downright delicious and very easy to make. My favorite recipe was the stuffed bell pepper recipe featured on the cover of the book. That recipe called for the use of leaks. This was my first time using leaks. I thought I had to go to Whole Foods to purchase them, but they are carried at many regular grocery stores. I had just been overlooking them for years.

One of the best features of this book is the beginner guides included. Palmcratz gives the raw food newbie a breakdown of common ingredients and tools with an explanation of how to use them and where to find them. She describes how to “progress” from simpler recipes to more complicated ones without feeling overwhelmed.  The book also included vivid color photos of the “finished products” so that the reader will know what to expect once the recipe is completed. For raw food veterans, this may not be the best book. Many of the recipes may be too simple. Also, many hard-core raw foodists may not like the fact that the author is not 100% raw. Instead, she advocates well rounded healthy eating and a majority-raw food diet.

The only con to this book is that, although it does not require expensive equipment, it does require time. Like many raw food recipes, the prep work can take hours even though the actual (non) cooking time is fast. The author is Swedish, so it’s hard to find concrete information about her in the US, but you can check out her website here. Google will translate it for you!

I Love My Kindle :-)

This is not a book review – it’s a long overdue rave about my Kindle. I’ve been using my Kindle since Christmas when I purchased it as a gift for myself.

After 6 months of use, I can honestly say that my 3rd generation Wi-Fi Kindle is worth every penny! My Kindle is lightweight, slim, and it has an amazing battery life. I hardly ever have to charge it. The charge literally lasts for a month or longer!

I opted for the Wi-Fi version rather than 3g because it’s so easy to access hotspots and I also have Wi-Fi at my home. So far, I have not regretting skipping 3g service. The $50 in savings justified my later purchase of a leather Kindle case with the book light. It does add a bit of weight/bulkiness to my Kindle.

I have read and downloaded many books, including several free books. I like e-ink because I hate looking at LCD screens for an extended time. The Kindle works perfectly for my needs, but if I get an e-reader for my son, I’ll probably get him one with a color screen.

All in all, my Kindle was a great investment. They now have a $114 version with limited ads, but I can’t speak on that since I have the ad-free Wi-Fi version. If you’re in the market for an e-reader, consider the Kindle.

Book Review | The Insider’s Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job

I purchased the book The Insider’s Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job: What Every Law Student Should Know About Interviewing (affiliate link) by Erika Finn and Jessica Olman,  back when I was a hopeful 1L. I wasn’t particularly interested in a big firm job, but I did have a couple of firm interviews as a 1L and I did not get a call back for either position as a 1L Summer Associate. I did land a fabulous summer fellowship, but decided to buy this book to prepare for 2L OCI (On Campus Interviewing).

Fast forward to the fall, and it turns out that I didn’t have to worry about OCI. Although I did have several interviews scheduled, I transferred schools and didn’t participate in OCI after all. This book fell to the wayside for a whole calendar year. Now that I am a 3L and back in interview mode, I decided to read this book to help me “brush up” on my interviewing skills.

The Review

Out of five stars, I’d rate this book a 2. There is no information in this book that you cannot get from the CSO (Career Services Office) at your law school. The book is 122 pages long, including the sample set of letters in the back. That means that a law student could read this book in one sitting – not necessarily a bad thing, considering that time is short for any law student.

The topics in the book begin with “Is a Big Firm Right for You?” Well, the answer is yes if you like money and are willing to work hard. I also sincerely hope that you thought about that question before you bought the book. The better question would be, “Are You Right for a Big Firm?” The book glazes over the fact that you have to first get an interview. In order to get such an interview, you will generally need to be at the top of your class. I won’t get too far into that, just know that this book doesn’t get too far into that, either. Instead, the focus is on OCI, which basically means that you got the interview through your school based on your credentials.

There is a 2 1/2 page section about applying outside of OCI, but it talks about using your “personal contacts” and “interacting with people.” This information is clearly geared toward the upper class of law school students are those whose parents may be lawyers. I don’t know who else would know a lot of people who work at large law firms.

There is information that is borderline unhelpful, such as “cover up your tattoo” during an interview, as well as sections on “Networking” and “Discrimination.” Again, you can get any of this information by doing a mock interview at your school and asking for feedback, or asking the Career Services professionals at your school for free pamphlets.

Should You Buy This Book?

I didn’t read anything in this book that would give an edge to a student interviewing for a firm job. The reason why I gave the book 2 stars instead of 1 or even none is becomes it does have quotes from real life recruiters and interviewers and sections on “the view from the firm,” which would be helpful to a student whose school does not discuss big firms, or to a student who is wholly unfamiliar with the culture of a law firm.

As you can tell, the audience for this book is not the typical law student. Although the “view from the firm” sections would be helpful to any student, I think this book is geared towards a student at a Tier 1 law school who just wants to make sure that they have all bases covered after receiving several OCI bids. For your typical law school student, it’s a waste of $16.95. A better choice would be Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, 2nd Edition by Kimm Alayne Walton. It costs more, but you get over a thousand pages of detailed advice and tactics aimed at every student, even those who are not sure that they want to practice law.

If you’ve read this book and agree or disagree, please let us know in the comments!

Christian Book Review | Selling My Soul by Sherri L. Lewis

Selling My Soul by Sherri L. Lewis

Selling My Soul by Sherri L. Lewis

Lately, I’ve had the hardest time finding new Urban Christian Fiction titles because the publisher, for some reason, decided to stop putting the script across the bottom of the cover page that declared the book was an Urban Christian Fiction title. Perhaps they want to appeal to a wider audience of urban fiction readers, or maybe the authors complained. Either way, this is the main reason why I haven’t reviewed any Christian fiction in a while – I couldn’t find any!

However, I’ve read three other titles by Sherri Lewis – The List, My Soul Cries Out, and Dancing With Destiny. So, when I saw her name, I immediately grabbed the book, excited to read it. I was even more excited to see that the main character of the book is a professional, a Public Relations expert by the name of Trina Michaels.

Trina is returning home from a two-year trip to Mozambique in Africa where she was doing missionary work. Needless to say, Trina is a devout Christian who has been trying for many years to lead her mother and her sister to Jesus. While in Africa, Trina meets a wonderful man named Gabriel who is in love with her. But, like many women, Trina is not open to love and struggles to commit herself to the relationship.

To make matters even worse, Trina’s mother is very ill and her sister’s life is falling apart. Almost as soon as she gets back to the States, Trina has to get back to work in Public Relations, even though she left her heart and her passion back in Africa. She is forced to make a very tough decision about whether to represent a Bishop Walker, her former pastor, despite his possible involvement in covering up child molestation in the church. Things are further complicated by the fact that Monica, from My Soul Cries Out, is Trina’s best friend. Monica’s husband was one of the victims of molestation at the church, further complicating Trina’s decision. Trina’s faith is tested, as she tries to work out her own life as well as help salvage the lives of the people around her.

I found this book to be an awesome read. Once I had time to sit down and read through it, it only took me a few days to work through the entire book. I enjoyed reading how Gabriel expressed his love for her, and it made me think about my own attitudes towards men. Just like in The List, there were a million different mentions of natural hair. At least in this book, they fit in a lot better because the character had cut off her relaxed hair during her extended time in Africa. I really liked the way Lewis intertwined the characters from her previous book to this on in a meaningful way.

The references to Mozambique and the conditions there were eye-opening. The author made mention of starving children and disease, and often mocked American consumerism and creature comforts. That might be the only part of the book that I was uncomfortable with. I think of myself as a conscious person, but there isn’t much that I can do about the fact that I was born here in America, and that as an American, I have been very blessed.

I would also like to read more titles with characters who are not just single and struggling or married and confused about their relationships…where are the Urban Christian books about mothers and students? What about older married people who have struggles that go beyond their relationships with each other. In this book, Lewis did a good job of showing that struggles as a Christian go beyond just relationships and sex.

I’m glad to be able to recommend yet another well-written Sherri Lewis work. Selling My Soul is an intriguing book for those who are devout Christians and those who are struggling to believe. Either way, you will relate to Trina or her family and their struggles.

If you read this book or another Sherri Lewis title, please share your thoughts in the comments section. As always, thanks for reading.

http://www.sherrilewis.com/

Novel Review | PUSH by Sapphire

push-novelMy review of PUSH by Sapphire is long overdue. During my frequent travels, I picked this book up in an airport bookstore and I didn’t put it down until the last page. The book is a very short one, but it was very powerful. I originally wrote this review in 2009 and slightly updated it in 2011.

PUSH is a heart-breaking tale of a young inner-city girl-turned-woman named Clareece “Precious” Jones who is brutally abused – sexually, physically, and emotionally by her father. The story becomes deeper and more disturbing upon learning that Precious is being abused by her mother as well. The poor child ends up birthing two children fathered by her own dad.

Precious is academically challenged, not necessarily because she is slow, but because she is unable to concentrate in school due to the trauma that she is suffering at home. Her mother forces her to eat so that she will remain overweight; her mother then molests her and forces her to perform sexual acts.

The first baby that Precious had is mentally retarded, and Precious is not able to see the child. Her mother is living off of the system; she encompasses all of the worst attributes of a woman living in poverty and despair. Surprisingly, the author did not make Precious’ mother a drug addict. However, she must have been mentally disturbed to do and allow such things to be done to her child. Precious’ grandmother, seemingly aware of the horrors taking place, is also living off the system and does nothing to help the girl.  Her grandmother is caring for the mentally retarded baby in order to receive money from the government for the baby.

An important change takes place in Precious’ life when her high school sends her to an alternative program. For the first time, Precious is able to talk about her problems and begins to learn; she experiences the joys of journaling and talking about her feelings. Her teacher genuinely cares about her, although she does give Precious some questionable advice about being a mother. The book mirrors Precious’ progress from being functionally illiterate to being able to express herself with words. The author’s writing is choppy and words are misspelled at the beginning of Precious’ journey, but the writing clears as Precious’ thoughts clear.

The reader begins to hope that Precious will be a success story, overcoming the years of abuse to become a strong mother and an educated person. She develops career goals, gives birth to her second child, moves away from her mother, and seems to be making progress. It was literally painful to read her thoughts as she begins to realize the depth of the abuse that she has suffered, questioning why no one helped her over the years, why the education system passed her on from grade to grade even as she wasn’t learning, and why the authorities didn’t step in when she was clearly being raped by and fathered a child by her dad. She begins to wonder what it’s like to be loved by a man, to have a real boyfriend, to have true intimacy rather than being raped, to have had a childhood, to have been “attractive” instead of fat, to be innocent instead of being victimized.

Despite the painful healing process, again the reader hopes….until Precious’ mother comes to visit her and reveals devastating news that will change Precious’ life forever.

I must warn potential readers of this book that it’s not for the faint at heart. I was reading about horrors that I never even imagined a person, let alone a young child, going through. I cringed as the abuse was described. I almost cried at the fate that Precious was doomed to.

Even though it is difficult to read this book without shedding a tear, it’s important for everyone to read, especially people who have not been through abuse and want to understand it. It was eye-opening and educational. It was a book that I will NEVER forget. The ending left me with many questions. Some have described the ending as being “incomplete.” However, I feel that it was best for the author not to tie the end of the story in a neat bow; after all, in real life, many of the issues faced by abused and neglected children are never resolved. In that way, this book accurately reflects life.

PUSH has been made into a movie, best known for Mo’Nique’s Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Hopefully, the book and the movie will encourage victims of abuse to talk about their experiences and seek help.