Review: Status

Status Status by Jordan Belcher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Set in Missouri, Tyesha Fenty succumbs to the lure of a social media site, similar to Facebook. Obsessively posting status updates, she begins to attract unwanted attention from a stranger she "friended." Unashamed of her "addiction", this 22-year old passed up a scholarship to Clark Atlanta when she became pregnant, with a now precocious little Kylie.

While I have not rated this book with 5 stars due to grammatical errors, the story is pertinent for the young and old. In an era when people feel the need to "check in" on Facebook and tag their current locations in an Instagram post, the author shares several clear messages.

Embedded within the story, the attentive reader will see other themes sprinkled throughout. The author, while focusing on the main theme of safe social media practices, touches on relationship issues, effects of marital infidelity on loved ones, and the effects of religion on inmates.

Amidst taking care of Kylie, exercising, and working at the DMV, Tyesha clearly puts much emphasis on love and family. Unfortunately, her devotion to the man she adores, Rodrick Al-Bashir, returns void. Recently released from prison, Rodrick uses biblical statements to control those around him. He even prays over his recent marijuana shipment with his team. Worried that someone who frequently likes her posts, and those of Rodrick, Tyesha is determined not to let the man she loves slip away.

With the uprising of the street literature subgenre of urban fiction, many readers begin to expect gritty scenes of sex and violence. Belcher had a few violent scenes, though they were not typical of the subgenre. Combining the gritty slang of street literature and the edge-of-your-seat plot structure, Status can also fit into the mystery and thriller genre.

In retrospect, stalking, in and of itself, can be considered violent, where the term means an emotional, unpleasant, or destructive force. Sadly for Tyesha, she doesn't realize the seriousness of consistently sharing her location via the Site (the name of the social networking site) until the very stranger she friended shows up at Planet Fitness, her home, and her job.

While I enjoyed the book, I was not hooked enough to read the remainder of the series.

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