Let Me Hear a Rhyme
In this standalone novel, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he is still alive.Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.

Let Me Hear a Rhyme Details

TitleLet Me Hear a Rhyme
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 21st, 2019
PublisherKatherine Tegen
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Let Me Hear a Rhyme Review

  • Emma Giordano
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars! Review to come.
  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    "[...] the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he is still alive."me, vibrating so hard I begin to clip through the floors: I am...moderately excited
  • Laurie Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book - a great story, very well-told. Great tensions, relationships and so much Brooklyn!!!Teens will love this book... and so will a whole lot of adults!The only hard part for me was acknowledging that books set in 1998 now classify as historical fiction.
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  • Ellen Gail
    January 1, 1970
    Okay I know Monday's Not Coming has just barely hit the shelves. But I'm already ready for this one anyway. More Tiffany D. Jackson!GIMME!
  • Jazmen
    January 1, 1970
    Love! Love! Love!The young adult genre has not yet seen a novel the likes of Let Me Hear A Rhyme, and whoever signed on for this title knew what they’re doing.Let Me Hear A Rhyme brought forth memories long since buried. It felt like someone ripped these pages right out of my childhood. Jackson knows, and she gets it.If LMHAR, were out when I was a teenager, I would have devoured it, in the same manner, I devoured my fifty cent snack: a bag of chips and a quarter juice.LMHAR is what Urban Fictio Love! Love! Love!The young adult genre has not yet seen a novel the likes of Let Me Hear A Rhyme, and whoever signed on for this title knew what they’re doing.Let Me Hear A Rhyme brought forth memories long since buried. It felt like someone ripped these pages right out of my childhood. Jackson knows, and she gets it.If LMHAR, were out when I was a teenager, I would have devoured it, in the same manner, I devoured my fifty cent snack: a bag of chips and a quarter juice.LMHAR is what Urban Fiction wishes it could be. This book is not Urban Fiction—it lacks a certain “urban fiction” quality. (That’s not a bad thing.) But, it would have definitely been UF teen, if it were a genre. I would’ve snatched it off the bookseller's table on 125th (the only place to find books fully “black”, at least at one point) tightly gripping the plastic-covered novel—eager to read it.Instead of sneaking my mother’s copy of True To The Game, well before I knew the “game” I would have eagerly grabbed this book. LMHAR fills in the gap; the void between: “Too old for Harry Potter, and too young for Urban Fiction.” It does for young black teens what books like The Hate U Give and its comparable titles have yet to accomplish. It took the streets it was unaware of, or afraid to portray and told the stories I would have easily related to. The black experience is all-encompassing, but neglecting the “streets,” and hip-hop neglects the stories that need telling.Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine could have easily been my friends. Steph would have hit it big one day. He could rap better than the best of them. But, his life was tragically cut short—leaving behind two grieving best friends, and a grieving sister.One day it hits them. Steph story is not over, and together they hatch a plan to make Steph the star he deserved to be; post-mortem. It’s genius, but how long can you pull off pretending someone’s alive that’s now dead?This book is absolute literary goodness. Stunningly written, unwittingly relatable, and outright good literature.Jackson told a story that wasn’t necessarily new but has never been told in the capacity with which she told it. She not only did Brooklyn justice, but she also did justice for boys like, Steph who lose their lives too soon, for little to no reason. And for the black girls who don’t fit in. The ones who were a little “weird,” the ones who felt just a little outside of “blackness.” The expectation being you had to be a certain way, to be considered fully black.I loved that Jasmine was pro-black and very in tune with her roots. I loved that Jackson let her wear her natural hair with pride. Edges and afro-puffs on fleek!It’s stories like these that allow us to see the unseen. Jackson is a master at that. My heart and black body are full. I’m filled to the brim with black pride and joy. This novel did what needed to be done.The characters practically leaped off the page. Jackson used these characters to take internalized black issues and struggles and put a bright light on them; staying true to the message without being preachy or holier than thou in the delivery.Kids from this generation will get to know what the 90s to the tip of the 2000s was like from an authentic place/voice. I have a serious case of nostalgia and will need to refer to my 90s playlist to satiate my current need to revisit this time period.Let Me Hear A Rhyme is a stunning, gritty and pulsating novel that does exactly what it sets out to do and it does it one hundred percent right. Buy this book. It will not disappoint you. If you need me, I’ll be looking for my Sergio Valente’s.
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  • Celia McMahon
    January 1, 1970
    HOW DARE THIS BOOK COME INTO MY HOME. How dare it put me through a torrent of feelings. In the place where I sleep. Where I watch Netflix and eat jalapeno Cheetos. Thank you Edelweiss and publisher for the honor of reviewing this title ahead of its release date. This is the first book I’ve read by the author, but believe me, I’m scooping up her other titles shortly. This book follows three friends who, after the murder of their friend, set out to 1.find out who killed him and 2. Show the world h HOW DARE THIS BOOK COME INTO MY HOME. How dare it put me through a torrent of feelings. In the place where I sleep. Where I watch Netflix and eat jalapeno Cheetos. Thank you Edelweiss and publisher for the honor of reviewing this title ahead of its release date. This is the first book I’ve read by the author, but believe me, I’m scooping up her other titles shortly. This book follows three friends who, after the murder of their friend, set out to 1.find out who killed him and 2. Show the world his music. Set in the late 90’s in Brooklyn, Jackson throws into a world of hip hop, the daily struggles of teens and that of black families and in the injustices they face. It hit me emotions like the ones I got reading THE HATE YOU GIVE and DEAR MARTIN. This story is told by three points of view as well some past third person throw backs. I’ll usually feel overwhelmed by so many alternating perspectives, but this one didn’t bug me much at all. Read this book if you love: Old school hip hop references to make you feel old (or discover new ones if you’re not as old as I am)Strong friendships Amazing writing Don’t read it if you’re heartless and prone to shedding your snake skin at night.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This author is known for writing important and meaningful YA books. This book is no exception.This is the third book that I have read by this author. I have previously read: Allegedly and Monday's Not Coming.Let Me Hear A Rhyme is told from the POVs of three black teens from Brooklyn and is set in the late 90s. The POVs: Jasmine, Quadir, and Jarrell (all 1st person POVs).The basic premise of the book is that one of their friends is murdered. And he was a really good rapper. They want to posthumo This author is known for writing important and meaningful YA books. This book is no exception.This is the third book that I have read by this author. I have previously read: Allegedly and Monday's Not Coming.Let Me Hear A Rhyme is told from the POVs of three black teens from Brooklyn and is set in the late 90s. The POVs: Jasmine, Quadir, and Jarrell (all 1st person POVs).The basic premise of the book is that one of their friends is murdered. And he was a really good rapper. They want to posthumously make him a success.These kids are 15 and 16 and are in high school. The book features a lot of slang, which I found to be a bit too much.There is a bit of romance, but not a ton.There are also a few chapters that include the murdered friend (3rd person POV). These chapters show the dates (1997 and 1998). It was obvious that these took place before the friend died. But I found it a little bit confusing and wish that it had just been explained at the beginning that the rest of the story was moving forward from August 1998. Also, why is the story set in the late 90s at all?There is a bit of a mystery as the teens want to find out how their friend died.I did like the premise of the story. It was an interesting idea. The author tells a powerful story. But overall I just didn't find myself overly invested in the story. There was so much slang and maybe some people love reading when teens talk like that. But for me it made it harder to understand.Thanks to edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for allowing me to read this book.
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    a deceptive suspense story // thanks for my life Tiffany D. Jackson
  • Sarah {Literary Meanderings}
    January 1, 1970
    • Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings- - -In 2017, I read Tiffany's book Allegedly , and I LOVED it. So, Let Me Hear a Rhyme is my second read by this author. I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as I'd hoped. I was very close to giving this 5 stars, but the plot did drag a little and the ending wasn't what I'd hoped for.LMHAR is about three teens living in NY—Jasmine, Quadir, and Jarrell. It is also about Steph—who was recently murdered—best friend of Quadir and Jarrell, brother of Jasmi • Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings- - -In 2017, I read Tiffany's book Allegedly , and I LOVED it. So, Let Me Hear a Rhyme is my second read by this author. I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as I'd hoped. I was very close to giving this 5 stars, but the plot did drag a little and the ending wasn't what I'd hoped for.LMHAR is about three teens living in NY—Jasmine, Quadir, and Jarrell. It is also about Steph—who was recently murdered—best friend of Quadir and Jarrell, brother of Jasmine. The story is primarily centered around these three teens trying to gain fame for their dead friend/brother. More important than fame, though, is that they find Steph's lyrics so important that they really want to get them out there and make sure people remember Steph. They want to sell his music (pre-recorded, of course) to a record label and use the money to hire a private investigator to look into Steph's death. The problem? Convincing people to sign someone to a label when that person is deceased. So, they hide it and work around it. At first it works out great, but eventually things begin to get tangled and go south. Jarrell was definitely my favorite character. I appreciated a main character that didn't fit into a mold, so to speak. He was interesting and unique. An overweight guy with multitudes of confidence; comfortable in his own skin and witty to boot. Jarrell had endless love for the ladies and wasn't afraid to say so. Brains, talent, and more. He was a mood lightener with all of the serious topics going on in this book.Quadir lacked a little bit of substance, in my opinion, but I still think his POV was needed as it gave the story a different take on the situations going on within the book. Each of the three MC's had a little secret to share and it wouldn't have all fit together without Quadir.Jasmine was tougher for me to like at first, and I can recognize and admit this is due to me being a white girl. Jasmine has some anti-white tendencies (which is understandable, of course) and she gets caught up with a Malcolm-X-ideals type of group that doesn't really express themselves in a healthy or productive way. They choose to be violent and that just adds to the problem. You don't put out a fire by throwing gasoline on it, yeah? Side note: Jasmine sort of reminded me of the dad from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. BUT, Jasmine does have a sort of come-to-Jesus moment in the story where she realizes she is turning into exactly what she dislikes in others and makes a decision to be a better person. So, overall, her character was great as well. My hang ups with her come from me just not being able to connect with that specific part of her character as I can never understand what it is like to be a person of color in America. While I am in this vein, I will say that this book does highlight many social issues that have relevance. Police brutality (against POC specifically) is touched upon, which is such a major problem right now. The book also highlights how and why some people may get caught up in selling drugs (it may be the only way they see to help their family financially). It also makes you realize how important it is to choose who you trust carefully.Before I wrap up, I just want to say how AMAZING it was to read a book set in the 90's. I am a true 90's kid/teen and I remember when Biggie was killed (they reference it a lot in this book) and I remember the music from back then and how huge it all was. It was a very nostalgic read for me!My only real negative thing to say is that the ending was a little unfathomable for me. It wasn't good or bad, it was just TOO PERFECT. I can't really describe it without spoiling the ending. It was just too unbelievable, honestly. But, I can definitely overlook it with the rest of the book being so enjoyable and special.Overall, I definitely found this book very hard to put down! It touches on very important and relevant issues regardless of the fact that this takes place in the 90's; it honestly just goes to show that things haven't change enough. This is a story of friendship and hardship, honestly and love. It is very special and I loved it. The characters are well built up and each one has a unique voice and story to tell, yet they all culminate into a very important thread in Steph. I recommend this one for sure!- - -Book source: From the publisher for reviewPublisher: Katherine Tegen Books• For more of my reviews, check out my blog!
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Tiffany D. Jackson is becoming an autobuy author for me.  I loved Monday's Not Coming, but I loved Let Me Hear A Rhyme even more.This book takes place in 1998 with some flashbacks to 1997.  I has 21 at that time, so not too much older than these kids.  I remember the east coast, west coast rivalries.  The shootings and how they're still unsolved.  I loved all the hip hop music references throughout the book.Steph was a 16 kid who loved music.  He also took after his father, trying to get kids to Tiffany D. Jackson is becoming an autobuy author for me.  I loved Monday's Not Coming, but I loved Let Me Hear A Rhyme even more.This book takes place in 1998 with some flashbacks to 1997.  I has 21 at that time, so not too much older than these kids.  I remember the east coast, west coast rivalries.  The shootings and how they're still unsolved.  I loved all the hip hop music references throughout the book.Steph was a 16 kid who loved music.  He also took after his father, trying to get kids to see that they could become so much more.  That their neighborhood or economic issues didn't have to dictate their lives.  He encouraged his friends to go to college and become something.  Steph was serious about music and was writing songs all the time.  But then he was shot and no one was talking about who did it or why.  The police weren't really taking it too seriously.  To them, he was just another black kid shot in the city.Steph's sister, Jazz, along with best friends, Quady and Rell were all devastated.  They went into Steph's room and found cds and notebooks with lyrics.  Boxes of them.  They also found a box that confused them, because Steph was a good kid.  Jazz goes to pick up Steph's last check and finds out that he never worked where he said.  So where did he get his money?  The trio is really bummed that no one would ever hear Steph's music.  They thought he could be bigger than Biggie.  So they came up with a plan to record an album and sell it locally.  They would hand it out to DJ's and see what happened.  The music was popular right away.  So much so that there was a small piece in Vibe and a big producer contacted "The Architect".The kids try to play things off the best they could.  They went into a small local studio and made the songs better.  They took meetings and made excuses on why Arch wasn't there.  Jazz even pretends to be him at a club one day.  But they can only keep things a secret for so long.  During this time, Jazz is trying to figure out why Steph was killed.  Each friend had secrets and so did Steph.  The book was filled with lyrics and points of view from each character with flashbacks to Steph.  I loved the ending and I teared up a bit.  Music is so important to me and I can't sing or write (or play for that matter), so I can only imagine how much it means to the people surrounded in that scene.  I feel like music is a language that everyone can understand and it can bring people together.All the pieces of Steph's murder do come together at the end.  His secrets come out and the kids do come clean about his death to the producer.  Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my copy for review.  I gave this 5 stars.
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  • Kaleah
    January 1, 1970
    Wait...what! I haven't even read Monday's Not Coming yet! I need to catch up! 😩
  • Sierra
    January 1, 1970
    4 of those stars are definitely for the book, 5th is because I just didn't want to stop reading it. This is without a doubt my favorite of her books so far.
  • Stacie C
    January 1, 1970
    They had no idea if this plan would really work. Steph was dead but that didn’t mean his memory had to be. All the tapes he had under his bed, the cd they found, the notebooks filled with lyrics all seemed like possibilities to Steph’s two best friends Jarrell and Quadir and his little sister Jasmine. It gave Jarrell and Quadir a chance to put their best friend on the map. And Jasmine only agreed to help if they promised to help find out who killed her big brother. They had a chance to make Ste They had no idea if this plan would really work. Steph was dead but that didn’t mean his memory had to be. All the tapes he had under his bed, the cd they found, the notebooks filled with lyrics all seemed like possibilities to Steph’s two best friends Jarrell and Quadir and his little sister Jasmine. It gave Jarrell and Quadir a chance to put their best friend on the map. And Jasmine only agreed to help if they promised to help find out who killed her big brother. They had a chance to make Steph a legend, a star. But there were so many things they didn’t know about Steph and there was no way they could have known how dangerous his lyrics could be. Everyone handles grief in different ways and I find it very interesting the way these three characters handle their grief by continuing to love and honor their friend through his novel. This is as much a novel about three teenagers dealing with grief as it is a coming age of story. Throughout this journey Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell all grow in so many ways, confronting themselves, confronting each other, conquering insecurities and learning to trust themselves and each other. The way Jackson chose to tell the story with alternating point of view chapters really allowed each character to fully develop. It also really helped with pacing and the plot of the story. Readers are never stuck in any situation since each character brought a new view to the situation, propelling the plot forward. I had a lot of fun reading this novel. My only regret is that so many of the teens who read this book will be lost in some of these nineties references! The nineties though represent a significant chunk of my life and I absolutely loved all of the references to music and hip hop culture. I love that the conversations our main characters were having came directly from that time and that culture and that space that so many people can relate to and draw memories from. Not to mention the fact that Jackson dropped so much knowledge when it comes to Black history. Gems that I’m hoping people will research and learn from. Overall, I enjoyed this book. Jackson’s writing style can easily hook readers because it’s so easy to relate to. I’ve never thought about doing what these kids did, but I’ve had similar conversations about losing a loved one, about gang violence, about the culture and I love that I see all of that in this book.Thank you Edelweiss for this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Abby Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    So great, so great. When their best friend Steph is shot and killed in their Brooklyn neighborhood, Quadir and Jarrell and Steph's sister Jasmine find a way to memorialize him. They discover shoeboxes full of recordings that Steph made, preserving his verses and songs, and they set out to get him discovered as the next great rap star from Brooklyn. While Quadir and Jarrell want to immortalize their friend (and maybe make some money to get out of the projects), Jasmine has another motive - she wa So great, so great. When their best friend Steph is shot and killed in their Brooklyn neighborhood, Quadir and Jarrell and Steph's sister Jasmine find a way to memorialize him. They discover shoeboxes full of recordings that Steph made, preserving his verses and songs, and they set out to get him discovered as the next great rap star from Brooklyn. While Quadir and Jarrell want to immortalize their friend (and maybe make some money to get out of the projects), Jasmine has another motive - she wants to find out who killed Steph and how it went down. Told in alternating points of view, the friends get closer and closer to figuring out what happened. This novel is an homage to rap music as well as an urban mystery story set in the late '90s against the backdrop of Tupac and Biggie Smalls' murders. Hand this to fans of Jackson's previous work as well as fans of urban fiction and/or fans of rap. I couldn't put it down.
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  • Charvi
    January 1, 1970
    On her 3rd novel in 3 years, Tiffany D. Jackson's consistent reign on storytelling is not letting up. Debuting in 2017, Jackson came out the gate with an action pack thriller in Allegedly. Threw her readers in a time warp mystery with Monday's Not Coming. Today, she released a heartfilled homage to the hip hop culture in Let's Hear a Rhyme. In this historical fiction, Jackson takes us to 1998, the year Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious B.I.G was murdered in California after an awards show. She On her 3rd novel in 3 years, Tiffany D. Jackson's consistent reign on storytelling is not letting up. Debuting in 2017, Jackson came out the gate with an action pack thriller in Allegedly. Threw her readers in a time warp mystery with Monday's Not Coming. Today, she released a heartfilled homage to the hip hop culture in Let's Hear a Rhyme. In this historical fiction, Jackson takes us to 1998, the year Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious B.I.G was murdered in California after an awards show. She gives a 1st person perspective from 3 characters that is centered around the death of a loved one in Steph. Steph was the one in the hood that was supposed to "make it". We all know the story of a local friend who was supposed to "be somebody" but due to death, incarceration, or injury, that local hood hero is just another case of the hood failed chronicles. Jackson takes that tragedy and weaves a profound web of shock and awe for the reader while taking them on a journey to the past.Hot off the press and released on Notorious B.I.G's birthday, I was able to read this historical fiction with non stop page turning action. The fight to keep Steph's legacy alive after death brings a unique perspective in the art of storytelling. Capturing the time where music was lyrical and had meaning in rap, Let Me Hear a Rhyme was more of a biographical depiction of any lover of this music genre. This could be my story. I know people who have went through personal life battles like Jasmine, Rell, and Quadir. In a recent stop of her tour of this work at Charis Bookstore located in the heart of Decatur, GA, Jackson shared that many parts of this work is her personal story. The genuine narrative is relatable in all genres. Enough to where categorizing Jackson to be a Young Adult Fiction author is coming to past. She is transforming to be a writer for American Literature period. Her depth of writing is a force to be acknowledged.
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  • Kingtchalla83
    January 1, 1970
    Let Me Hear a Rhyme is told in first person with 3 POVs and flashbacks to 1997. I upgraded my book with whispersync and listened to the audio. The audio included four different narrators with distinct voices. At no point did I get confused when the POV switched because of Jackson's talent for characterization.Brooklyn is one of the major characters, including hip-hop. Jackson gives the folks hip-hop 101 lessons and you if don't know...now you know. She tributes Biggie because his death sends a s Let Me Hear a Rhyme is told in first person with 3 POVs and flashbacks to 1997. I upgraded my book with whispersync and listened to the audio. The audio included four different narrators with distinct voices. At no point did I get confused when the POV switched because of Jackson's talent for characterization.Brooklyn is one of the major characters, including hip-hop. Jackson gives the folks hip-hop 101 lessons and you if don't know...now you know. She tributes Biggie because his death sends a shock wave through the Brooklyn community in 1998. Jackson incorporates Biggieism within text and uses his music as a soundtrack for certain scenes. Jackson subverts the usual Black kid shot in the hood trope. Do not expect the expected. All of the characters are written with nuance even the secondary characters. And each character is flawed, but not irredeemable. They all learn valuable life lessons and teach their elders a thing or two, but sometimes adults forget how to dream.Quadir - possess the soul of a writer, is a peacemaker.Jarrell - has untapped business potential with a love of computers and comics.Jasmine - rocks natural hair and a African medallion. She is walking encyclopedia of African American historical facts. Jackson's gems of Black History reminded me of Beverly Jenkins.Her skill at dialogue created an atmosphere for full immersion. All the conversations felt authentic to the era and age of the kids. Jackson brings tension to the text with Stephs death adding a mystery element that unraveled organically and realistically. In addition, to tapping into issues of individual vs community, the commodification of the Black woman's body in hip-hop, othering, poverty, violence and power of knowledge. Oh, and this book is Black af.Will you read? ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.5 stars
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  • Kat (Why Read)
    January 1, 1970
    What happens when talent dies too soon? It is like seeing your invincible heroes defeated. Their biggest fans are left to pick up the pieces, decipher meaning for the unexplainable, and somehow to continue living. Tupac... Biggie... Steph! (Wait! What?) Steph was the greatest of all time, but the World didn’t know it. From legendary to graveyard. But is that how the story ends?Let Me Hear a Rhyme is a story of how three Brooklyn teenagers devise a scheme to give life after death for a slain aspi What happens when talent dies too soon? It is like seeing your invincible heroes defeated. Their biggest fans are left to pick up the pieces, decipher meaning for the unexplainable, and somehow to continue living. Tupac... Biggie... Steph! (Wait! What?) Steph was the greatest of all time, but the World didn’t know it. From legendary to graveyard. But is that how the story ends?Let Me Hear a Rhyme is a story of how three Brooklyn teenagers devise a scheme to give life after death for a slain aspiring rap artist. This contemporary novel and mystery with pop culture elements and a heavy dose of 90s hip hop gave me warm vibes all over. The characters were each dynamic. The point of view switches between each teen giving you a full spectrum of the world. The plot build-up, climax, and resolution had me hooked until the last page. I haven’t binged read a story like that in years. I have heard so much about this author. I tend to shy away from heavy topics until confronted. In an attempt to face my fears, I will beta read this and I am glad I did. I am now officially a fan! My plan now is to backtrack and read the author's previous works.*Many thanks to the publishers, Katherine Tegen Books, for entrusting me with an honest review.Happy Reading!
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  • Chelsea Bashore
    January 1, 1970
    Some stories are not meant for me, meaning I’m not the audience or intent that this was written for. I learned a ton from these Brooklyn kids and am thankful for being allowed into their world and taking a page from their grace and hip hop. As an educator it’s important to surround myself with understanding and experience new books to pass on to my students. This one already has a name on the inside of the book and is ready to move on to that kid. Stories are important ❤ Some stories are not meant for me, meaning I’m not the audience or intent that this was written for. I learned a ton from these Brooklyn kids and am thankful for being allowed into their world and taking a page from their grace and hip hop. As an educator it’s important to surround myself with understanding and experience new books to pass on to my students. This one already has a name on the inside of the book and is ready to move on to that kid. Stories are important ❤️
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  • Shanel
    January 1, 1970
    Welp this is instantly my fav Tiffany D. Jackson book.
  • Chris Roberts
    January 1, 1970
    How I didn't die, but tried, we bum rush the backstreets, chronic beat, while surreptitiously plotting to perpetuate a lie, liars we roll, Machiavelli was real-real bankroll.To an author as velvet being:dull minds don't read well on screen or paper,you exist absurdly, you are barely being.#poemChris Roberts, God Tomorrow
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  • Jamie Canaves
    January 1, 1970
    All of Jackson’s novels have been different from each other, while all still being very much written by her, which I love. This one doesn’t neatly fall into one genre (also a thing I love), but the true brilliance of this novel is how Jackson is able to transport you to a very specific music scene, time, and place in the ’90s. In Brooklyn, 1998, Steph has been murdered in the street with no known cause or assailant. His grieving sister, Jasmine, and two best friends, Quadir and Jarrell, hatch a All of Jackson’s novels have been different from each other, while all still being very much written by her, which I love. This one doesn’t neatly fall into one genre (also a thing I love), but the true brilliance of this novel is how Jackson is able to transport you to a very specific music scene, time, and place in the ’90s. In Brooklyn, 1998, Steph has been murdered in the street with no known cause or assailant. His grieving sister, Jasmine, and two best friends, Quadir and Jarrell, hatch a plan to pretend Steph is still alive and get him the record contract he deserved for his musical talents. Jasmine plans to use the money to hire a P.I., since her mother won’t let her, but they’re immediately in over their heads–not to mention about to have to reckon with their actions. I loved the characters–even a side character had an amazing scene showing off Jackson’s talent for seeing the depths of people and putting it on the page–and watching their journey through grief and discovering you don’t always know everything about everyone, as they carve a spot for themselves in a difficult world. And even though they don’t spend the book Nancy Drew-ing, the mystery runs throughout and unfolds at the end. Jackson continues to be an author whose work I’ll read sight unseen.--from Book Riot's Unusual Suspects newsletter: https://link.bookriot.com/view/56a820...
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)Let Me Hear a Rhyme fills your head with secrets, your ears with music, and your heart with tenderness. I can't figure out which character I loved best in this multiple point of view story. Jasmine and her unwavering desire to speak out, to educate people. Quandir's conflict about his future and the people he's surrounded himself with. And Jarrell and the ways he has to challenge his o (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)Let Me Hear a Rhyme fills your head with secrets, your ears with music, and your heart with tenderness. I can't figure out which character I loved best in this multiple point of view story. Jasmine and her unwavering desire to speak out, to educate people. Quandir's conflict about his future and the people he's surrounded himself with. And Jarrell and the ways he has to challenge his own preconceptions.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Eri
    January 1, 1970
    I personally think Tiffany's books just get better and better. I could not put this book down, the only time i was not reading this book was when i was studying for finals. I appreciated all the hip-hop nods and refrences making me feel all old and nostalgic since i was born in '98. I also liked the mystery element in the story, yes once i got all the clues i figured it out you know but it was still a very enjoyable read. I highlighted so many quotes and passages, so when i do get a finished cop I personally think Tiffany's books just get better and better. I could not put this book down, the only time i was not reading this book was when i was studying for finals. I appreciated all the hip-hop nods and refrences making me feel all old and nostalgic since i was born in '98. I also liked the mystery element in the story, yes once i got all the clues i figured it out you know but it was still a very enjoyable read. I highlighted so many quotes and passages, so when i do get a finished copy to re-read it's going to be tabbed to the nines.I just loved this book and i can't wait for everyone else to read it!
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  • Brenna Clark
    January 1, 1970
    I want to send a huge thank you to Edelweiss for this ARC! I'm a huge fan of Tiffany's, and this was one of my most anticipated reads for this year! I am happy to say that it did not disappoint! I was enthralled by this story driven by music; something that has always been so close to my heart. It's so deeply threaded into this narrative, having original lyrics written by Malik Sharif were so powerful and rich coming from the mind of our deceased artist: Steph.We are greeted by tragedy and its a I want to send a huge thank you to Edelweiss for this ARC! I'm a huge fan of Tiffany's, and this was one of my most anticipated reads for this year! I am happy to say that it did not disappoint! I was enthralled by this story driven by music; something that has always been so close to my heart. It's so deeply threaded into this narrative, having original lyrics written by Malik Sharif were so powerful and rich coming from the mind of our deceased artist: Steph.We are greeted by tragedy and its aftermath. The people closest to it are Quadir (Quady), Jarrell (Rell), and Jasmine (Jazzy Jazz). Quadir and Jarrell are Steph's best friends, and Jasmine his younger sister. Their love of music tied them together and gave them outlets for the different pains in their lives, but no one was as intimate with it as Steph. They find a cache of music he had recorded before he was killed, and instead of only mourning what they have lost, they find a way to honor his memory.What starts off as a 'what if' quickly becomes reality. The trio take Steph's music and start on a journey to make him a posthumous hit. In the middle of their endeavors, Jasmine realizes that since they're hitting the streets trying to spread the word about 'The Architect' (the moniker they chose for Steph) they can also keep an ear out for any leads about Steph's murder, as the police have let the case grow cold.It is a beautiful story of the things that bond us; be it shared interests, death, love, or history. These characters come together in such an inspiring way, and even as things get tough and scary, if one of them blinks an eye, the other is there with a fixed gaze. The feeling of respect and love that we see for Brooklyn and its residents is a driving force unlike any other. There is so much loyalty for this city, one that is most certainly heightened because Tiffany herself is from Brooklyn and writes about it with an open, expressive heart.Something that I love most about all of Tiffany's novels is that her characters have distinct voices that make them come alive. You don't just hear them when they're actually speaking out loud. You hear them all throughout their respective chapters, because Tiffany takes us inside of their minds. The slang, dialect, and personality in each line written makes this story feel so much more personal, and you can almost feel the breath of the protagonists in your ear as if they're sitting right beside you; making sure that you know Steph's story and can pass it on.I loved that this narrative had so many important nuances. We follow the mystery of Steph's death. We see a love story blossom. We float through a river of music and try to stay afloat through the many ups and downs of the industry. We get a peek into the history of not only music, but into the lives of POC in the late 90s. I learned so much about black history from this book, and I believe I am better for it.Thank you, Tiffany, for sharing this story with me. I cannot wait until the world hears it too.
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  • Kimberley
    January 1, 1970
    This is the third book I've read by Tiffany Jackson and, though it wasn't as captivating and gut-wrenching as Monday's Not Coming, it was no less enjoyable.Steph is the victim of gun violence in his native Brooklyn. His friends, Jarrell and Qadir, along with Steph's younger sister, Jasmine, are determined to keep his memory alive --through the music he created.Not unlike his idol, the Notorious B.I.G., Steph had the bars and the ambition to take his hometown to new heights, if only he'd lived lo This is the third book I've read by Tiffany Jackson and, though it wasn't as captivating and gut-wrenching as Monday's Not Coming, it was no less enjoyable.Steph is the victim of gun violence in his native Brooklyn. His friends, Jarrell and Qadir, along with Steph's younger sister, Jasmine, are determined to keep his memory alive --through the music he created.Not unlike his idol, the Notorious B.I.G., Steph had the bars and the ambition to take his hometown to new heights, if only he'd lived long enough to make it happen. The trio set out to make sure the world knows it too feeling there can be life after death for Steph as well. The trio manages to get the demos Steph made before his death into the right hands; leading them to the cusp of making a deal with one of the hottest producers in the music industry. The only problem? Steph is dead and no one knows the demos are actually his. As the truth gets closer to being revealed, the three find there was a lot more to Steph's music than just some hot bars, and the resurfacing of the music he created could lead a lot more to their door than a contract.This book was a nostalgia trip for me. I remember the murders of Tupac and Biggie and I recall the sadness of those who gathered to scratch their heads at the senselessness of such a major loss; having spent the better portion of my childhood summers in Bed-Stuy, I was also intimately familiar with how important it is to have had a figure like Biggie representin' in such a big way.Neighborhood pride is everything when you're fighting to have better in a world that isn't checking for you. So, for me, this book was a trip down memory lane as much as it was a hard truth about the harms of gun violence and the glorification of a "no snitch" culture. I loved the strength of Jasmine. She held her own despite being challenged; that spoke to not only the importance of being an individual, but of how there is no one valid way to be a young woman. Further, the growth of Jarrell from a young man who honored the street code to that of one who begins to question the consequences of always buying into that culture.Overall, the story was one of hope, told through the bittersweet lens of loss, and I can see it resonating well with its intended audience--both young and old. Thank you to Edelweiss+ for the advanced eGalley of this book. Opinion is my own.
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  • ElphaReads
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Edelweiss+ for sending me an ARC of this novel!Tiffany D. Jackson is one of the YA authors that I'm always excited to read new material from. I loved both ALLEGEDLY and MONDAY'S NOT COMING, so when I heard about LET ME HEAR A RHYME I was eager to read it. When I saw it was available on Edelweiss+ I was stoked, and requested it immediately. When I was given an ARC, I rejoiced. And when I finally dove in, I had a very hard time putting it down.In 1990s Brooklyn, Qadir and Jarrell are mou Thanks to Edelweiss+ for sending me an ARC of this novel!Tiffany D. Jackson is one of the YA authors that I'm always excited to read new material from. I loved both ALLEGEDLY and MONDAY'S NOT COMING, so when I heard about LET ME HEAR A RHYME I was eager to read it. When I saw it was available on Edelweiss+ I was stoked, and requested it immediately. When I was given an ARC, I rejoiced. And when I finally dove in, I had a very hard time putting it down.In 1990s Brooklyn, Qadir and Jarrell are mourning the murder of their friend Steph. Steph was a charismatic and creative friend, whose rhymes were powerful and evocative. Qadir and Jarrell, unwilling to let Steph's art be forgotten in his death, decide to promote his music in hopes of making his posthumous star rise. With the help of Steph's younger sister Jasmine, they begin an elaborate plan to promote and sell Steph's music, under the guise him him still being alive and give him the name The Architect. They soon land a potential deal with a local record executive, but keeping the secret of Steph's death may be harder, and more dangerous, than the three ever thought it would be.This book is another home run for Jackson, with it's themes of friendship, gun violence, the power of words and music, and the need to be memorialized after death all coming together to make a powerful narrative. The chapters alternate between perspectives from Qadir, Jasmine, and Jarrell, as well as flashback chapters to see what was happening in Steph's life in the weeks leading up to his murder. Jackson captures the time and place perfectly. As someone who was a young teenager during this time period, I recognized the music references, the news events, and the cultural zeitgeist of the rap scene, specifically the fallout from the deaths of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. I liked all of the characters and felt all of their motivations, and I was invested in all of them. I was also invested in the mystery of what happened to Steph, and thought that the various ways that his loved ones had to process and come to terms with his death were heartbreaking and realistic. This isn't as deep of a mystery as Jackson's previous books are, but the narrative is still intriguing and gripping. I greatly enjoyed LET ME HEAR A RHYME, and I will once again have to sit patiently as I wait for another book from Jackson. If you have been sleeping on her as of now, go and read this. It's great.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    If you were born in the 90s then this book is going to speak to you! Jackson did a fantastic job creating a story that is relevant and relatable to this day and age, but has the influence and references from the 90s. This book is heavily layered with 90s hip hop references and the brings a sense of nostalgia to being a kid growing up in this decade. Jackson jumps right into the middle of a mystery of who killed Steph. In coping with the loss of their best friend and brother, Jasmine, Quadir and If you were born in the 90s then this book is going to speak to you! Jackson did a fantastic job creating a story that is relevant and relatable to this day and age, but has the influence and references from the 90s. This book is heavily layered with 90s hip hop references and the brings a sense of nostalgia to being a kid growing up in this decade. Jackson jumps right into the middle of a mystery of who killed Steph. In coping with the loss of their best friend and brother, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell decide to show the rest of Brooklyn what Steph would have been capable of had he not died. This book really focuses on how to move on after a death of someone close to you, how to go after your dreams and bettering your life. In addition to Jackson's hip hop reference of Biggie, Puff Daddy, Tupac etc, I loved her writing style and her approach at telling the story. There were many different storylines interwoven with the use of multiple POV and the flashback chapters. Each character had their own secrets and as the secrets came to light you start to unravel the story of what actually happened to Steph. The characters each had their own growth and development as well as faced challenges and struggles together. I enjoyed the humor and music that made up a lot of this book. I loved that Jackson had new lyrics written by Maalik "Malik 16" Sharif. Its my favorite when authors take the time to put in touches and details like that instead of just referencing the fact that Steph wrote music and rapped. The lyrics sprinkled throughout the story let you see into who Steph was and what he was trying to do before he was killed. I felt like Jackson covered many different things and did all of them justice. She brought to light the topic of those boys/people that lose their life too soon, especially when there is no real reason behind it. She highlighted the notion of being different and appreciating and accepting those differences. Overall I thought this book was full of nostalgia from the 90s with a great focus on the world of hip hop. It brought to light the struggles that black families face as well as all of the injustices that come from places like the hood. It had dynamic characters that were so personable and had you wanting to know more and feeling like they were your friends. There was so much heart in this book as well as some great friendships. 
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    That you to Edelweiss for providing me with an e-arc, however, it in no way influences my opinion.Let Me Hear a Rhyme is the story of three friends (Jarrell, Quadir, and Jasmine) working to get fame for their deceased friend (Steph, Jasmine's older brother) through his collection of original recorded songs - while keeping the fact of his death a secret. "Steph's" lyrics are peppered throughout the story, written by Malik Sharif, and add realism to the quest for a record deal. They initially plan That you to Edelweiss for providing me with an e-arc, however, it in no way influences my opinion.Let Me Hear a Rhyme is the story of three friends (Jarrell, Quadir, and Jasmine) working to get fame for their deceased friend (Steph, Jasmine's older brother) through his collection of original recorded songs - while keeping the fact of his death a secret. "Steph's" lyrics are peppered throughout the story, written by Malik Sharif, and add realism to the quest for a record deal. They initially plan to use the money earned from selling Steph's mixtapes to hire a detective and solve his murder.There are a number of great issues raised in this book: stress around family finances, safety in your own neighbourhood, police brutality, the ease of getting into the drug trade, questions around who to trust. But, the story suffers from its structure - we read from the perspective of Jarrell, Quadir, Jasmine, and a few summer flashback glimpses leading up to Steph's murder. Jasmine had her own unique voice and perspective, but I didn't find enough differentiation between Jarrell and Quadir's voices/perspectives to flesh them out beyond a few descriptors (Jarrell: Jamaican, overweight, snazzy dresser and Quadir: plays basketball, level-headed, in a comically mismatched relationship). For my purposes, the story would've flowed better just from Jasmine's perspective - especially as any secrets from the boys ended up coming out through her.I was also surprised by the lack of shock at who murdered Steph - usually Jackson's endings throw a surprise wrench at the reader, whereas at the conclusion of this novel I was like yes, this is the logical proceeding of events leading to Steph's murder I expected many pages ago.Jackson sets the scene of the Brevoort neighbourhood of Brooklyn in the late 90s well - I obviously wasn't there at the time, but her writing transports you. My study playlist today has reflected the hip-hop of the era; the symbolism and quality of which is debated endlessly and academically throughout the novel by every character. Let Me Hear a Rhyme is original and atmospheric, but the characterizations and mystery are weaker than Jackson's usual.
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  • Nikki S
    January 1, 1970
    I have lived every book about hip hop this year and this one is no different! Real review to come!**EDIT 05/30/19**You can find more of my reviews here at my blog: Take Me Away... When I saw Jackson had another book coming out I added it without a second thought. I was expecting another mystery with a huge plot twist like her others, but this was a nice change from her normal. It definitely shows her writing talent. Talent was taken too soon. Steph has the best rhymes in Brooklyn, but no one wi I have lived every book about hip hop this year and this one is no different! Real review to come!**EDIT 05/30/19**You can find more of my reviews here at my blog: Take Me Away... When I saw Jackson had another book coming out I added it without a second thought. I was expecting another mystery with a huge plot twist like her others, but this was a nice change from her normal. It definitely shows her writing talent. Talent was taken too soon. Steph has the best rhymes in Brooklyn, but no one will ever know it. Or will they? Rell, Quadir, and Jasmine want to make sure Steph gets what he's owed: a record deal. So they start putting out buzz to the streets with his mixtape. And then things spiral before any of them can catch up. Of course the number one thing about this one that I loved was the music aspect. I've been walking around singing "Juicy" since I started this book. I't something simple, but it shows me how connected I was to this. I usually do like music books, but for it to include hip-hop was an added bonus. And the fact that this was set when hip-hop was legendary (I mean Big and Pac's time) made it even better in my eyes. I made a playlist while I was reading this and I plan to share it soon. This took me back to my childhood and the music I loved while growing up. (I was 10 in 98!) I also loved the 90's setting. This was my time growing up and even though there are so many name drops (of clothing and rappers) they were all things I could recognize. It was interesting to see that portrayed in the book. (Also, does this count as historical fiction? Because if so, this is one of the first that I actually like.) And I can only imagine being in Brooklyn when Biggie was alive. This book took me to NY in the 90's and I thought that was amazing. The only thing about this I didn't care for was the plot. I felt like the "game" they were playing dragged on too long and the "mystery" they were supposed to be solving wasn't even a part of the story. And then when the plot twist finally came, it felt way too rushed. It wasn't what I was expecting based on Jackson's previous books. This book is nothing like her others, but I think that's why I liked it so much. It definitely showed her writing ability and her ability to do cross-overs. Pairing this with her love of Big and hip hop, this certified banger definitely won my heart. I hope this book will bring those who don't know about this music and those that don't like reading in and keep them reading. I would have loved to give this book to some of my friends at this age. It might have kept them out of trouble. This was so different than I thought it would be and it worked so well. Tiffany Jackson is definitely an author to watch and I hope to find she's written more books in this style in the future.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Tiffany D. Jackson has knocked it out of the park yet again with LET ME HEAR A RHYME. When Steph is murdered, Jasmine,Steph's younger sister, and Quadir and Jarrell, Steph's best friends, are left in grief, not knowing what to do. Then, they decide to do the impossible: make Steph a legendary music artist with the tracks he left behind, all while making sure no one knows the artist behind the music is actually dead. As Steph's (known to everyone else as "The Architect") music grows in popularity Tiffany D. Jackson has knocked it out of the park yet again with LET ME HEAR A RHYME. When Steph is murdered, Jasmine,Steph's younger sister, and Quadir and Jarrell, Steph's best friends, are left in grief, not knowing what to do. Then, they decide to do the impossible: make Steph a legendary music artist with the tracks he left behind, all while making sure no one knows the artist behind the music is actually dead. As Steph's (known to everyone else as "The Architect") music grows in popularity, the three friends have to keep working harder and harder to keep his secret...and keep their own. While all of Jackson's novels are unique, readers of ALLEGEDLY and MONDAY'S NOT COMING will recognize her gift for weaving layered mysteries with complex, engaging characters. Jasmine was my favorite this time around, but Quadir and Jarrell also have excellent story lines and development. The chapters switch between the three of them with an occasional flashback to Steph. Voice is one of Jackson's many strengths, and before long, I didn't need the name in the chapter title to tell whose perspective I was following. One worry I sometimes have with YA books set in the 80s or 90s is the nostalgia factor. Sometimes, stories set in either decade feel more of a nostalgic journey for the author rather than a setting with a clear purpose. In this case, with its firm roots in a specific cultural movement, LET ME HEAR A RHYME could not be set in any other timeline and is intentional in every aspect of the setting. It is clearly written for a teen audience that did not grow up in the 90s and offers an excellent cultural representation of black teenhood in the 90s R&B era in Brooklyn. Many teens will find Jasmine's frustration over racism and sexism just as familiar in their own worlds now. Ever since ALLEGEDLY, Jackson has been on my auto-buy authors list, and LET ME HEAR A RHYME proves once more how skilled her craft is.Originally posted at YABC: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti...
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