Glitz by Philana Marie Boles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The story of a well-brought-up (one might say coddled and protected) girl being entranced by a so-called bad girl is classic; in this case, the setting is Toledo and the world of hip-hop.
Ann Michele uses hip-hop songs as a way of imagining a world beyond Toledo and her strict Gramma, and meeting Raquel (aka "Raq") starts her on the road to seeing things outside her normal sphere. Gramma is convinced Raq is a devil-worshiping, drug taking slut - Ann Michele is entranced by her devil-may-care attitude and appreciation for the same music and language that Ann Michele likes. One Hallowe'en they head to a party and end up spending a week with an up-and-coming rapper named Piper and his crew.
I'm not sure why Gramma doesn't trust Raq's foster parents to provide a safe environment for Ann Michele, but she doesn't. It is true to Raq's life is one of lies, stealing and taking advantage of those around her, but even as she morphs into Glitz it's clear that Ann Michele is troubled by that side of her friend.
The language may take some decoding if you're not into hip-hop, but the story will appeal to most teens.
ARC provided by publisher.
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