Reviews for This Ain't No Hearts & Flowers Pt 2
Reviews for This Ain't No Hearts & Flowers Pt 2
Timothy N Stelly, Author: Human Trial Trilogy
Sept 28, 2009
As always, we see Darkchild’s biting humor and fearlessness in bringing out the most sordid details of her characters. She paints no rosy pictures, this one; taking us from a staccato burst of emotion to points where the story unfolds in a delicate drawl.
The sequel to her prize-winning prequel, TANHFLS-2 covers some painful territory dealing with the rape of Princess by her stalker ex-boyfriend, Einstein. Not only do we feel Princesses pain from the physical scars she carries, but Darkchild makes us feel the psychological effects it has on both she and Obie. Exacerbating their woes, Darkchild takes us on a visit to the “Bad things come in threes” school of thought, as the shadow of death looms large.
During Princess’s climb from her personal pit of pain and up the career hill, even with Obie at her side, it is still a lonely one. Darkchild walks us through a a vortex of miseries—STDs, lawsuits, therapy, career woes; and when Princess is down, we’re down with her; when she feels better, we also get an adrenaline rush, but we also feel Obie’s angst.
Cess raises the question, “Can a person be so right and so perfectits like you were created to be together?” The answer comes quietly and might not be what you expect, but you know I won’t spoil it for you…
I could see this not as a theater movie, for exploration of the characters’ motives is explored with so much depth; but TANHFLS 1 and 2 would play quite well as a miniseries. (This would be perfect for Lifetime.) I suppose, however, the question for Ms. Darkchild is, will her next book give us a different story with new characters, or will she continue the saga of O.B. and Princess? If it is the latter, I could definitely live with that.
Rumble, young woman, rumble.
Gail McFarland, Author: Dream Runner
Gail Mcfarland rated it 5 of 5 stars
Read in April, 2009
To say that Part 2 of This Ain't No Hearts and Flowers Love Story is deep is a massive understatement. It is dark, passionate, contemporary, and totally of the moment. The "street" flavor is amped by vividly bright and ultimately likable characters with readily identifiable personalities and twisted, sometimes tortured, personal lives. The trials of Princess and Obie both highlight and underscore the book's triumphant themes of redemption, trust, and faith, and I was again captured from page one. Like Part 1, this book is written in Brooklyn Darkchild's mesmerizing dual voices, and tells a complicated story that is well worth sharing.
Part 2 is more than simply entertaining. It is a visit with family -- you know, the ones you didn't get to choose, but they are yours, so you stick with them through thick and thin. Then you share their ultimate joys and pains -- again, because they are yours. I am glad that Brooklyn Darkchild chose to share her vision with This Ain't No Hearts and Flowers Love Story, Parts 1 and 2, and firmly believe that Brooklyn Darkchild is an author to watch.
Reviews for This Ain't No Hearts & Flowers Pt 1
Coulee Eidos, APOOO BookClub
July 29, 2008
The one person in his life that seems to be able to offer him some stability and peace of mind is BG, known as Baby Girl. All of her life she has adored Obie. He was a comfort in her world of constant craziness. They both share a kinship in a yearning for true love from their mothers; Obie's, drug addicted, Baby Girl's, hatred for hers until her death from cancer. With both of their mothers unable to care for them, the men in their lives raise them up in the best schools and with plenty of love, yet, they are both still lacking and missing something from their lives. Not to mention, the men in their lives are gay and men with rough street reputations, yet they never let that affect the love and support in raising Obie and Baby Girl over the years.
As the years pass by, Baby Girl realizes that she loves Obie. He states that Baby Girl is going to "marry him and have his baby." Baby Girl loves him dearly, but wonders if he is truly capable of just loving her unconditionally and monogamously due to his reputation of being sexually charged with several people. Then there is another issue--they are cousins. Will Obie and Baby Girl triumph through all of these troubles? Will they be able to create their own "hearts and flowers" through all of the turmoil they have experienced in their lives?
This novel is one that readers will find they are unable to put down. Incest, murder, death, rape, self esteem issues, racial issues, homosexual issues--one will find it throughout this story. They will also find the ties of how one gets through with love, support and unconditional love despite all of the dysfunctional happenings surrounding this family. This story is very well and uniquely written and very REAL. The author does a fantastic job of portraying just how real-life these situations could be. The only downfall is the number of pages of the book-there are over five hundred. However, the story more than makes up for the long length. I give this one two thumbs up and highly recommend it; an urban novel with a harlequin twist-definitely worth picking up.
Marlon McCaulsky, Author: The Pink Palace Series
5.0 out of 5 stars
September 4, 2009
That sums this book up in one short quick summary. It was amazing. Brooklyn Darkchild is so talented. This is a true page-turner once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. Darkchild deserves a standing ovation for this captivating tale of misery that engulfs you and pulls you through the wringer with the central character Obie. This book was VERY brutal but honest. This book was something different.
Princess and OB share a bond that is a much deeper then most people really have. It this bond that keeps them alive in this world draped in lies, violence, and addiction. I was happy with the new life and peace they found after the storm. Brooklyn Darkchild just gives it to straight no chaser off the chain novel that takes not prisoners. This was a great job for her first novel. I enjoyed reading this one.
Adrienna Turner, Author: The Day Begins With Christ
Adrienna rated it 4 of 5 stars
June 15, 2009
This is raw, nitty-gritty, entertaining, and Ebonics is the middle name of this book! It is for the Hip Hop Era, new style of writing and format, that can reel you in to keep reading or scare you off from your normal novel. What makes it clever, I think of the classic black writers like Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and many others who wrote out of the norm (to captivate and grab your attention). Moreover, you cannot classify a particular genre for this book. If I had to come up with something as a reviewer, it would be Lyrical Fiction or Hip-Hop Monologue turns Fiction.
Hard to rate this book....
Timothy N Stelly Sr, Author: Human Trial Trilogy
Timothy Stelly Sr rated it 4 of 5 stars
April 13, 2009
The story centers on cousins Obie and Princess, one of whom struggles on the streets of New York and the other raised within the confines of luxury. Both have been exposed to drugs and aberrant sexual behavior, but more important they are bonded by the fact neither has a mother whom they can turn to for affection or advice. Rather than making them cynical, it forces them to grow up quickly and fuels their drive to become stars in the entertainment industry. It is the older Obie who gets there first, but Cess has all the determination of Louretta Hawkins, the lead character in Kisrstin Lattany’s classic, The Soul Brothers and Sister Lou.
Through Obie’s eyes, we watch Princess blossom into womanhood and like Obie, we too, fall in love with her. After sexually charged denials, the two slowly evolve into lovers, and we get both sides of the story. It’s balanced, not a pity party deal, as Darkchild shows off her firm grip on the subtleties and intricacies of love (and lust, for that matter). She paints in vivid strokes the psychodrama that takes place not only between the O.B. and Cess, but even the bit players--including Cess’s obsessed suitor Einstein, and bisexual uncles and onlookers.
OB and Cess’s love is tested by outsiders—includes a haunting from the ghost of a one-night stand and a violent attacker. The book ends with the promise of a sequel already penned (author's note: available here on this website)
One of the things I liked about the characters is that they are written as introspective without drowning the reader in narrative. We always understand the motivation behind the character’s dreams and actions. In the end, this becomes not just a tale of love, but a coming of age story.
So much of the black literature market fails to address the coming-of-age genre. This book nails it and also conveys the message that candy and flowers are one thing, but love borne through a common struggle, and that simmers, is wondrous all by itself.
(Author's Note: This review is for The Complete Edition which contains Pt 1 and Pt 2)
Baby Girl is born into depravity, but soon escapes it as her family relocates to Park Avenue, land of opportunity for the rich and ridiculously wealthy. Her uncle, BB - who is really her father's lover - takes them in, allowing them to become accustomed to a lifestyle millions of others can only dream of. She soon becomes "Princess," and her life of privilege more than lives up to the moniker.
Oscar Bryan, affectionately known as "OB," is also born into depravity - but escape is never an option for him. That is, not until he's discovered dancing on a New York corner one day - the day that changes the rest of his life forever. Soon, OB makes his come-up in the world - including sleeping with more women than most men ever see - but along the way he never forgets the special bond he has with a certain privileged Princess who knows just how it is to be loved by everyone except your own mother.
See, though Princess and OB are technically half-cousins, their true connection is a much deeper, much more spiritual bond that is rarely found and even more rarely understood. It is precisely this bond that anchors both young souls as they venture out into a crazy, volatile world marked by violence, corruption, addiction, and betrayal, and it is just such a bond that unites them for life - even to the point of creating a new life from its own.
This Ain't No Hearts And Flowers Love Story is an enjoyable read, filled with witticisms and turns of phrase that keep the story moving and reveal more and more of each richly depicted character along the way. Though the book comes in at just under 500 pages, Darkchild's lyrical writing style makes for a refreshing read, somewhat deflating the prospect of a daunting, drawn-out tale.
As the title states, this book is certainly not for anyone seeking a love story laced with dashing heroes, wistful heroines, and rose-colored lifestyles - but that's not always a bad thing.
Dr Carol Hoyer for ReaderViews.com
Reviewed by Dr. Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (2/08)
"This Ain't No Hearts and Flowers Love Story" is a witty, sarcastic, humorous story written in Ebonics by the author Brooklyn Darkchild. Although the underlying theme of abandonment, junkies, drugs, failure and success are not an original theme, the way it is written is unique and captures your attention.
The author introduces us to OB (real name Oscar) and BG (baby girl) later named Princess who are in all rights cousins. OB is born to parents of white and half-white ethnicity, born on the wrong side of the tracks, while BG is born to African-American parents who are quite wealthy. The author has OB and BG take the usual stereotypical route that most children of junkies take--drugs, wild sex, living on the street and failures. Through his own determination OB was able to become a sensational dancer that would eventually lead him to stardom. Little did OB and BG know that later in life, almost twenty years later, they would [spoiler deleted by author].
Initially I was a little leery about reading this book due to the Ebonics, however, after about three paragraphs I was hooked. The author's description of the characters, and environment were so vivid that I felt like I was right there with them. I could just imagine the body language, vocabulary and behaviors of individuals in the storyline.
There were only two things I did not like about the book. I could not find any bio on the author and I felt that the back cover of the book too hard to read due to the dark colors. Darkchild's book, "This Ain't No Hearts and Flowers Love Story," made me laugh, cry and generally realize what it is like to virtually have to fight for your life against many odds.
Excerpt from Writers Literary.com Critique
"This Ain’t No Hearts and Flowers Love Story" is a great title. It’s intriguing and yet seems to taunt a reader’s desire to have a happy ending. The reader is interested to see if the title remains true to its word...Your language choices are fascinating. I love the matter-of-fact dialogue and dialect that gives the character a true voice and individuality...the dialogue is great because it gives the reader a sense of the character...I think that your use of slang and conversational phrasings is a delight for a reader. And I also think that it’s crucial to the story...I think that you have done a lot of interesting things with your formatting—the line by line styling instead of paragraphs. I like the idea that this is more of a ‘poem’ rather than a story to me. It speaks of anger and reality in a very beautiful format...This is a tremendous piece of work...it has a delicious flavor to it that makes it stand apart from others in its genre.
I think that you have captured the hearts and the souls and the yearnings of Obie and Princess and made them into complex and realistic characters.