Black Enough
Black Enough is a star-studded anthology edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi that will delve into the closeted thoughts, hidden experiences, and daily struggles of black teens across the country. From a spectrum of backgrounds—urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—Black Enough showcases diversity within diversity.Whether it’s New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds writing about #blackboyjoy or Newbery Honor-winning author Renee Watson talking about black girls at camp in Portland, or emerging author Jay Coles’s story about two cowboys kissing in the south—Black Enough is an essential collection full of captivating coming-of-age stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America.

Black Enough Details

TitleBlack Enough
Author
ReleaseJan 8th, 2019
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN-139780062698742
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Short Stories, Anthologies, Fiction

Black Enough Review

  • Jay Coles
    January 1, 1970
    I'M IN THIS! AHHHHHHH! READ THIS ANTHOLOGY WHEN IT COMES OUT IN JANUARY!
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America is a young adult short-story anthology edited by Ibi Zoboi. In the introduction, Zoboi expresses her vision for this collection. She writes, “What are the cultural threads that connect Black people all over the world to Africa? How have we tried to maintain certain traditions as part of our identity? And as teenagers, do we even care? These are the questions I had in mind when inviting sixteen other Black authors to write about teens Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America is a young adult short-story anthology edited by Ibi Zoboi. In the introduction, Zoboi expresses her vision for this collection. She writes, “What are the cultural threads that connect Black people all over the world to Africa? How have we tried to maintain certain traditions as part of our identity? And as teenagers, do we even care? These are the questions I had in mind when inviting sixteen other Black authors to write about teens examining, rebelling against, embracing, or simply existing within their own idea of Blackness.” This collection showcases the diversity within diversity. It shows teens as camp counselors, geeks, bonding over music, craving good food after an afternoon of swimming, using art as a form of self-expression, and considering colleges. It also shows teens processing grief, sexuality, manipulation versus love, blended families, mental health issues, rape culture, and knowing who you are beneath the code-switching. It offers the talent of 16 different writers who each bring something unique to this anthology. Set all over the United States and with a variety of demographics and identities, these stories present an eclectic picture of teens who are screaming, “This is my story. This is my truth.”Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America will no doubt succeed in Zoboi's goal of encouraging Black teens “to be their free, uninhibited selves without the constraints of being Black, too Black, or not Black enough. They will simply be enough just as they are.” Check it out.
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  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    Black Enough is an anthology of short stories written by Black authors about young Black characters living in the Unites States. It follows characters from many different backgrounds – there are stories about rich Black people, Black immigrants, biracial Black people, queer Black people – with very different living experiences, because as Ibi Zoboi says right from the introduction, there isn’t just one way to be Black.First, I want to say that this review is from a perspective who is neither Bla Black Enough is an anthology of short stories written by Black authors about young Black characters living in the Unites States. It follows characters from many different backgrounds – there are stories about rich Black people, Black immigrants, biracial Black people, queer Black people – with very different living experiences, because as Ibi Zoboi says right from the introduction, there isn’t just one way to be Black.First, I want to say that this review is from a perspective who is neither Black nor American. Some things may be lost on me, or I may be missing the context, and English isn’t even my first language. I often did not understand the American pop culture references here, but as this is a book specifically about American experiences, it won’t affect my rating significantly.Half a Moon by Renée Watson – ★★★★A heartwarming story about family and healing from the point of view of a seventeen-year-old girl working as a teen counselor at Oak Creek Campgrounds. Trigger warning for fat shaming, challenged by the narrative.Black Enough by Varian Johnson – ★★★★A Black boy feels out of place around his friends and the girl he likes because he doesn’t feel like he’s “Black enough” since he doesn’t fit certain stereotypes. It’s a story about community and what it means to be Black that touches also on themes like feminism and police brutality. Really liked it.Warning: Color May Fade by Leah Henderson – ★★★A story about appropriation set at a boarding school; specifically, it involves a white girl trying to profit from a black girl’s artwork by claiming it as her own. It was a bit confusing at the beginning, but I ended up liking it.Black. Nerd. Problems. by Lamar Giles – ★★This was really confusing. Not only because I was probably supposed to at least vaguely know what the characters were talking about – there were so many names of brands, it kind of relied on the pop culture references – but also because I didn’t really get the plot.Out of the Silence by Kekla Magoon – ★★★★This was really well-written and also a difficult read. It’s about a girl who discovers that the girl who made her question her sexuality has died. I liked that we don’t actually know whether the dead girl was queer, because I didn’t need a bury your gays, but it was heartbreaking to read anyway. Really short, beautiful writing, gave me a lot of feelings.The Ingredients by Jason Reynolds – ★★★A summer-y short story following Black boys being happy and being friends and talking about food. Fun, if plotless and too short to get invested in the (many) characters.Oreo by Brandy Colbert – ★★★A story about a girl meeting the cousins she hasn’t seen in years – and she doesn’t know how she feels about them because the last time she saw them, one of them called her an Oreo. It’s a story about family that also talks about gatekeeping and internalized hate for one’s culture.Samson and the Delilahs by Tochi Onyebuchi – ★★★The son of a couple of Nigerian immigrants practices for his debates, discovers metal music, meets a girl and tries to reconnect with his family’s past. While this story was contemporary, it reminded me that I really want to read Beasts Made of Night.Stop Playing by Liara Tamani – ★★★★I really liked this one! Which surprised me because I didn’t love the beginning, but the character development and the girl friendships were so great. Anyway, this is set at a church beach retreat and it involves untrustworthy boys asking for inappropriate selfies.Wild Horses, Wild Hearts by Jay Coles – ★★★½The m/m romance in this one was adorable, but I didn’t love the writing and the ending wasn’t as strong as I hoped it would be. It involves horse racing and a Black boy getting together with his neighbors’ son, whose parents are racist and homophobic.Whoa! by Rita Williams-Garcia – ★★★★½This was… surprising. It’s the only story with a maybe magical element, and it follows a gay Black model as he unexpectedly manages to talk with one of his ancestors, a slave living before the Civil War. It felt so sad and hopeful at the same time, and I loved the writing.Gravity by Tracey Baptiste – ★★★★This was one of the most original stories in the collection, as it takes place in the span of a few seconds. It talks about sexual assault, victim blaming and immigration (the main character is Trinidadian).The Trouble With Drowning by Dhonielle Clayton – ★★★★½A story about light-skinned Black sisters and mental health awareness – or, rather, the lack of it. It was a beautiful story I can’t talk about in-depth without spoilers, but trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[suicide (hide spoiler)].Kissing Sarah Smart by Justina Ireland – ★★★★★I am predictable. Yes, this was my favorite story, and it involved an f/f romance between a biracial Black girl and a white fat girl. It was cute and funny and it also dealt with microaggressions, mental health and homophobia.So, I really need to read Dread Nation.Hackathon Summers by Coe Booth – ★★This one didn’t work for me. It’s about Garry, who is falling in love with a muslim girl, Inaaya, at a hackathon. I couldn’t connect with them in so little space with so many time jumps, I guess.Into the Starlight by Nic Stone – ★★★A story about a girl learning to confront her internalized prejudices and the idea of being “not like [those] other Black people” while falling in love with a boy who also really likes Percy Jackson.The (R)evolution of Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi – ★★★This one follows a girl who was raised in an almost cult-like environment by activists. It had some really powerful parts – about activism failing people because nuance is often forgotten, about the way some people are more interested in advocating for the rights of animals before people (that part about asking for the liberation of “tree people and animal people” while their movement treats women as if their main role is to make babies and acts like gay people don’t exist was… something) – but I didn’t feel strongly about most of this.Overall, I liked this anthology and its messages, even though – as it always happens – not every story worked for me as much as I hoped. I definitely want to read more from some of these authors now. Average rating: ★★★½
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  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    Black Enough, a compendium of seventeen short stories from a plethora of critically-acclaimed authors, is a bit of a mixed bag for me, and as a reader who appreciates and longs for more diversity throughout the book world, I was more than a little excited to dive right into this collection of which the objective was to illustrate the life experiences of many black youngsters. Not only that, but each story is written by some of the most-read black American authors of the last few years. As usual Black Enough, a compendium of seventeen short stories from a plethora of critically-acclaimed authors, is a bit of a mixed bag for me, and as a reader who appreciates and longs for more diversity throughout the book world, I was more than a little excited to dive right into this collection of which the objective was to illustrate the life experiences of many black youngsters. Not only that, but each story is written by some of the most-read black American authors of the last few years. As usual with these selections, there are always ones you enjoy more than others, but I found the quality varied quite heavily between each one. Some of the writing was sterling and immersive, and I found myself swept away in the narrative; others I found very convoluted and non-engaging. I can understand exactly what the intention behind this book was. However, I felt as though this was a solid but unspectacular collection. As you might expect, every story has contents and happenings that make for uncomfortable reading, although I think that's par for the course given the description and intention of the writers and editor. Many thanks to HarperCollins UK, Children's for an ARC.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    So, so many standout authors in this collection of stories of black teens by black authors. Some of the highlights in this collection for me were Renee Watson's "Half a Moon," Kekla Magoon's "Out of the Silence," "Oreo" by Brandy Colbert, "The Ingredients" by Jason Reynolds, "The (Re)volution of Nigeria Jones" by Ibi Zoboi (hello, black girl in a religious cult seeking an escape!), "Into the Starlight" by Nic Stone, and "Whoa!" by Rita Garcia-Williams. I guess that's half the anthology! The piec So, so many standout authors in this collection of stories of black teens by black authors. Some of the highlights in this collection for me were Renee Watson's "Half a Moon," Kekla Magoon's "Out of the Silence," "Oreo" by Brandy Colbert, "The Ingredients" by Jason Reynolds, "The (Re)volution of Nigeria Jones" by Ibi Zoboi (hello, black girl in a religious cult seeking an escape!), "Into the Starlight" by Nic Stone, and "Whoa!" by Rita Garcia-Williams. I guess that's half the anthology! The pieces that didn't resonate with me so strongly were still well-written and engaging. The beauty of an anthology, of course, being that those stories will resonate deeply with other readers.On the whole though? Black teens looking for breadth and depth of their experiences are going to be so happy here, and teens who aren't black -- be they white or other people of color -- will gain so much from how inclusive the voices are here. The reminder that there's not a single story or experience.
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  • Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
    January 1, 1970
    I read Young Adult (YA). Yes, I know. I'm someone's parent and should have left the subgenre behind. But, you know what? I enjoy stories - period - and many of them come from YA.However, there's an issue plaguing YA's publishing - the lack of young adult and teen voices within non-stereotypical stories. Readers often see stories featuring Cis-gendered (those born where their bodies match their gender), straight, white males and females. Sadly, this behavior leads to cliched stories recycled and I read Young Adult (YA). Yes, I know. I'm someone's parent and should have left the subgenre behind. But, you know what? I enjoy stories - period - and many of them come from YA.However, there's an issue plaguing YA's publishing - the lack of young adult and teen voices within non-stereotypical stories. Readers often see stories featuring Cis-gendered (those born where their bodies match their gender), straight, white males and females. Sadly, this behavior leads to cliched stories recycled and one or two perspectives displayed as societal defaults. Few stories offer stories regarding black or biracial teens on either side of the sexuality and class spectrum. Imagine being a kid, teen, or young adult with cherry-picked options. To experience your voice left astray feels maligning. Fortunately, Ibi Zoboi gathered some of YA's best authors to give voice to the voiceless in Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America. This short story anthology showcases a spectrum of young black life in America. Biracial. LGBTQA. Rich. Poor. Middle-class. Urban. Rural. Suburban. American-born. Immigrant.Everyone's represented.From Brandy Colbert's "Oreo", a tale of a young girl's "outsider" status when he visits family. It's a story echoed in "Black Enough" by Varian Johnson, where a young boy ventures into the same territory. In "Kissing Sarah Smart", by Justina Ireland, a biracial and bisexual teen meets another girl while home for the summer and her sexuality blossoms. Grief and Depression permeates the story, "The Trouble with Drowning", written by Dhonielle Clayton. On the other hand, there are light and airy stories included also. "The Ingredients" by Jason Reynolds, ushers a tale of hungry boys and a hot summer's day, whereas "Hackathon Summers" focuses on a boy's coming of age via a computer science event. This anthology welcomes many readers, black and non-black alike, to witness tales of ordinary and, at times, extraordinary, kids and teens figuring themselves out like any other YA book. What makes it special is that these stories deserve equal footing, so often ignored.  Pros: 1. Stories for everyone, no matter the spectrum of life2. LGBTQA representation3. Many stories are fast-paced and engaging4. Real dialogue, believable plots, and characterization Cons: 1. With any short story anthology, not all stories hit glory. There are some clunkers, but they are few in number."Black Enough" - Varian Johnson ☆☆☆☆"Warning: Colour May Fade" - Leah Henderson ☆☆☆☆"Black. Nerd. Problems" - Lamar Giles ☆☆☆"Out of the Silence" - Kekla Magoon ☆☆☆☆"The Ingredients" - Jason Reynolds ☆☆☆☆☆ (Favorite!)"Oreo" - Brandy Colbert ☆☆☆☆☆ (Favorite!)"Samson and the Delilahs" by Tochi Onyebuchi ☆☆☆"Stop Playing" - Liara Tamani ☆☆☆"Wild Horses, Wild Hearts - Jay Coles ☆☆☆☆☆"Whoa!" - Rita Williams ☆☆☆☆☆ (Favorite!)"Gravity" - Tracey Baptiste ☆☆☆☆☆"The Trouble With Drowning" by Dhonielle Clayton ☆☆☆☆☆ (Favorite!)"Kissing Sarah Smart" - Justina Ireland ☆☆☆☆☆ (Favorite!)"Hackathon Summers" - Coe Booth ☆☆☆"Into the Starlight" - Nic Stone ☆☆☆☆☆"The (R)evolution of Nigeria Jones" - Ibi Zoboi ☆☆☆☆☆ (Favorite!)Verdict: ☆☆☆☆½/☆☆☆☆☆. Let's be real. I'm rounding this up to ☆☆☆☆☆. Grab a copy of this book for your personal and/or school libraries.
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  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you HarperCollins for blessing me with an ARC of this lovely book!
  • Jazmen
    January 1, 1970
    I've been black the entirety of my life. I knew I was inherently different just by walking down the streets and doing quick visual comparisons of my skin next to someone's much lighter skin. Or the fact that my hair needed to be straightened to cooperate in the way I needed it to--while everyone else seemed to possess the hair I had to fight for. Or, how I couldn't walk into a store without "covertly" being asked if I needed help--or blatantly followed by security guards that were darker than me I've been black the entirety of my life. I knew I was inherently different just by walking down the streets and doing quick visual comparisons of my skin next to someone's much lighter skin. Or the fact that my hair needed to be straightened to cooperate in the way I needed it to--while everyone else seemed to possess the hair I had to fight for. Or, how I couldn't walk into a store without "covertly" being asked if I needed help--or blatantly followed by security guards that were darker than me. But, I digress. Blackness is apart of who I am, and who I'll always be.Black Enough reminds me of this blackness. It's a reminder of the okayness of being black. It's a road map and a flashing sign for black people, it's a bruh man head nod of understanding.I'm not a huge anthology fan so I'll be honest I picked up this title strictly because it featured a group of Black young adult author's I've grown to admire.Each story takes on the task of telling a story from some section of the black experience--even touching base on things in the simplest of ways, police brutality and, racism as a whole.Each story was unique and put together in a way that made the most sense for what the novel set out to accomplish.I felt seen and heard in a way I wish the world could see and hear all black people. It's not so much that we're different but that we're the same in the ways that relate us--and in ways that matter.I'm not going to review each story because there's quite a few of them and it would take far more time than I believe is fair.As far as negatives, or things I didn't like, there was this underlying hate towards religion or the belief of God--however you choose to define it, that I didn't like. There appeared to be in my honest opinion an undertone of distaste for what's considered Europen religion, Christianity specifically. I'm assuming it was used to further or make a point but it came off a little hateful. Don't @ me.This was a minute thing in the grand scheme of things--as my opinion is mostly positive. As I said, this is blackness personified, at least from the teen perspective, HOWEVER, any adult could relate to these stories. I mean, we all were once teenagers at some point, right? Not to mention all of the things, okay some has happened to one of us at some point.My favorite of the stories was The Ingredients by Jason Reynolds which brought me home to NYC and brought with it the jovial happiness associated with youth--and how unimportant all else seems.Girl Stop Playing by Liara Tamani--I am having a girl crush on Liara Tamani's amazing writing. The girl is good. And her story featuring the "I'm rough and tough with my afro puffs,' young black queen dealing with a boyfriend who doesn't fully understand and appreciate her. It was like a page ripped out of my teenage years--or at least it made me feel like a teen again.Whoa by Rita Williams--Garcia--stumped me initially with its approach. It's an interesting take on meeting a slave in a bucket of steaming water--but it was actually pretty genius, intriguing and well-written.Hackathon Summers by Coe Booth should've been a full-length YA contemp', just saying. Two African-American hackers competing in NYU competitions--and falling for one another in a world not designed to contain their budding romance. It was good and I need more.If I had to conclude or summarize this book in any way it'd be that this was a black book prime for a time where it appears blacks are on the rise in all areas, positively. I hope it touches someone. I hope many black teens across the globe see themselves in any number of these stories--and I hope it reminds them of their experiences and most importantly reminds them that they aren't alone.
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  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    What a time to be a reader of young adult fiction! Something seismic has shifted in publishing. Perhaps the uprising of writers and readers demanding more diversity in publishing, coupled with the astronomical success of Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give, hand in hand with powerhouse writers like Jason Reynolds scooping up one shiny sticker after another, the recent accolades and awards being showered, oh so deservingly so, on books like Elizabeth Avecedo's The Poet X, alongside a grassroots moveme What a time to be a reader of young adult fiction! Something seismic has shifted in publishing. Perhaps the uprising of writers and readers demanding more diversity in publishing, coupled with the astronomical success of Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give, hand in hand with powerhouse writers like Jason Reynolds scooping up one shiny sticker after another, the recent accolades and awards being showered, oh so deservingly so, on books like Elizabeth Avecedo's The Poet X, alongside a grassroots movement among teachers and librarians around the country making courageous choices in their collections and curriculum to disrupt the lockstep teachings of the literary canon by folding in traditionally marginalized voices and experiences. All of these factors, and more, are creating fertile ground for young adult literature in this very auspicious, yet complex moment in our history. On the shoulders of giants, indeed, like Virginia Hamilton and Walter Dean Myers, Ibi Zoboi has collected 17 short stories from some of the most talented, prolific, and lauded Black writers for young adults writing today. Every story reveals a new dimension of being Black in America for young people that dispels stereotypes, biases, and misconceptions around race, gender, sexuality, and class in the hope, as Zoboi writes in her introduction, "that Black Enough will encourage all Black teens to be their free, uninhibited selves without the constraints of being Black, too Black, or not Black enough. They will simply be enough just as they are."This is a beautiful collection of powerfully told stories that deserves a place in every library serving young adults. Most highly recommended.
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Normally I would give my thoughts on each story for an anthology.  But I didn't take good notes this time, so I figured I would just mention some of the standouts for me.  Overall, I thought this was a great book and I liked every single story.Half a Moon by Renee Watson  This story just made me realize how much I enjoy Renee Watson's writing.  This is only the second thing I've read from her, but it was a great start to this anthology.  This story is about a teenage girl who was a camp counselo Normally I would give my thoughts on each story for an anthology.  But I didn't take good notes this time, so I figured I would just mention some of the standouts for me.  Overall, I thought this was a great book and I liked every single story.Half a Moon by Renee Watson  This story just made me realize how much I enjoy Renee Watson's writing.  This is only the second thing I've read from her, but it was a great start to this anthology.  This story is about a teenage girl who was a camp counselor for six grade girls.  This is her last year and she sees her dad's daughter on the bus.  Raven's dad left and she's never spent any time alone with her sister.  Raven tries to avoid her during camp, but then Brooke goes missing after being picked on.  Raven starts to realize that she can't blame Brooke for her father leaving.Shout out to Black Enough by Varian Johnson for mentioning Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.  That made me day.Samson and the Delilahs by Tochi Onyebuchi  While this wasn't my favorite story, there was something that really stood out to me about it.  Sobechi is this perfect boy who does everything right.  Debate/Speech is his whole life.  He does everything to make himself the best and please his parents.  Then Dez moves in next door and introduces Sobechi about metal.  This changes everything for Sobechi.  "He feels like he has been struck by lightening.  Thunder still rings in his ears.  His insides are on fire.  And he wants to do this again."Sobechi loses his voice and it affects his speech.  He has to decide what is more important to him.  What I loved about this is how Sobechi felt about the music.  He didn't play in instrument, but the music made him feel something more.  He felt it inside of him and knew he needed it in his life.  Music is like that for me, too.  I don't play or sing well, but I need music in my life.  It can affect my mood and it has made me who I am.  I don't remember a lot from when I was younger, but I do remember my dad playing music all the time.  I remember listening to classic rock with him.  Bands like Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Fleetwood Mac, etc.  As I got older, I started listening to things that were popular on the radio.  Then I got into alternative and that has stuck with me for over 20 years.  Pop punk is my love though.  I listened to bands like Green Day and Blink 182 early on, but I heard Fall Out Boy for the first time around 2006.  That changed everything for me.  It's like with Sobechi.  I felt it and everything changed.  So this story really spoke to me because of that.Every story in this book was well written and important.  I gave this book 4  1/2 stars, rounded up to 5 on Goodreads.  Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy for review.
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  • rachel
    January 1, 1970
    ✨ Half a Moon by Renée Watson // ★★☆☆☆ “Most times we only see part of a thing, but there’s always more to see, more to know.” 🌻 Trigger warnings for abandonment, fatmisia, and body shaming.✨ Black Enough by Varian Johnson // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Warning: Colour May Fade by Leah Henderson // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Black. Nerd. Problems by Lamar Giles // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Out of the Silence by Kekla Magoon // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ The Ingredients by Jason Reynolds // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Oreo by Brandy Colbert // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Samson and the Delilahs by Tochi Onyebuchi // ✨ Half a Moon by Renée Watson // ★★☆☆☆ “Most times we only see part of a thing, but there’s always more to see, more to know.” 🌻 Trigger warnings for abandonment, fatmisia, and body shaming.✨ Black Enough by Varian Johnson // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Warning: Colour May Fade by Leah Henderson // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Black. Nerd. Problems by Lamar Giles // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Out of the Silence by Kekla Magoon // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ The Ingredients by Jason Reynolds // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Oreo by Brandy Colbert // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Samson and the Delilahs by Tochi Onyebuchi // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Stop Playing by Liara Tamani // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Wild Horses, Wild Hearts by Jay Coles // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Whoa! by Rita Williams // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Gravity by Tracey Baptiste // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ The Trouble With Drowning by Dhonielle Clayton // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Kissing Sarah Smart by Justina Ireland // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Hackaton Summers by Coe Booth // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ Into the Starlight by Nic Stone // ☆☆☆☆☆✨ The (R)evolution of Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi // ☆☆☆☆☆ Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram
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  • Ivy
    January 1, 1970
    I just got this from the library and I cannot WAIT.
  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    Like with any anthology, there are stories that I liked better than others. Unlike most, however, there's nothing that wasn't really great. I've read most of the authors before, but this makes me want to check all of the others out, as well.I especially want to read Pride, because Ibi Zoboi's story was probably my favorite. I did wish all of these were longer---I would've taken a novel about all of these people.This is one of the best anthologies I've ever read. If you've been meaning to read mo Like with any anthology, there are stories that I liked better than others. Unlike most, however, there's nothing that wasn't really great. I've read most of the authors before, but this makes me want to check all of the others out, as well.I especially want to read Pride, because Ibi Zoboi's story was probably my favorite. I did wish all of these were longer---I would've taken a novel about all of these people.This is one of the best anthologies I've ever read. If you've been meaning to read more of them (or more diverse books), put this at the top of the TBR stack. Highly recommended.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    A phenomenal collection of stories from both established authors, as well as up and coming ones. Each story is an individual, a personal look at various upbringings as Black Americans, portraying a variety of issues; how it is to be biracial, to be LGBT, to be a young black woman or a young black man... Some families proud of their culture, some battling internalized racism. Whether you relate to it, or whether it opens up your eyes, it is a beautiful anthology everybody needs to be reading.
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  • Breeny
    January 1, 1970
    Reading Black Enough was like taking a sip of refreshing lemonade. This anthology was so original, in the fact that it was centered around multiple facets of being a Black teen and each story was written by Black authors. So conceptually, I loved it.Half a moon by Renée Watson: 4/5I really liked the idea of having a wilderness camp for Black girls and I liked the sister dynamic between Raven and her younger half-sister, Brooke. Super original, albeit the ending was a bit rushed.Black Enough by V Reading Black Enough was like taking a sip of refreshing lemonade. This anthology was so original, in the fact that it was centered around multiple facets of being a Black teen and each story was written by Black authors. So conceptually, I loved it.Half a moon by Renée Watson: 4/5I really liked the idea of having a wilderness camp for Black girls and I liked the sister dynamic between Raven and her younger half-sister, Brooke. Super original, albeit the ending was a bit rushed.Black Enough by Varian Johnson: 3.5/5All in all, I really this piece. It touched on topics of desensitization and police brutality. The main character, Cameron, feels like he exists in two worlds, and this story is about one way in which he learns to navigate them.Warning: Color May fade by Leah Henderson 5/5LOVED!!! I'm here for Black art and Black artists, and I'm a sucker for prep school settings. And there's an art competition and this story touches on appropriation. And the main character, Nivia, was fully fleshed out and so were the side characters. Just yes.Black. Ned. Problems. By Lamar Giles: 2.5/5This story is set at the mall that Shawn and his friends work at, which I thought felt very realistic and grounded. But I felt that the plot meandered, and the story felt very "slice of life." Except that Shawn's life didn't necessarily hold my attention very strongly.Out of Silence by Kekla Magoon 4/5TRIGGER WARNING: DeathThis story had a slightly whimsical and light feel to it, even though it dealt with very heavy topics. It's about a main character who's processing the death of the girl that made he question her sexuality. I don't think we ever get the main character's name, which gives it that slightly unbounded feeling and I thought which such a cool stylistic choice. All in all, I really enjoyed this piece.The Ingredients by Jason Reynolds: 3.5/5This story didn't really have a plot, it was about Black boys living their lives, and enjoying their summer, and talking about sandwiches. Very much filled with #BlackBoyJoy.Oreo by Brandy Colbert: 5/5LOVEDDDD! I related to this story the most. It had family reunions, feeling like in outsider in both worlds, trying to decide one's future re: college. It just felt so true to life, and I connected to it so deeply. This one might be favorite.Samson and the Delilahs by Tochi Onyebuchi: 3.5/5I felt this story was really unique. Sobechi is a debater and the son of Nigerian immigrants. His neighbor moves in and plays rock, and exposes him to the genre. He realizes that he likes music and it pushes him to learn more about his history. This story didn't evoke super strong feelings for me, but it was an enjoyable read.Girl, Stop Playing by Liara Tamani: 3.5/5I thought this was a really great story about recognizing one's self-worth and it touched on sexting, which is a problem that has grown with the rise of social media and smart phone usage. Really solid story with a really solid message.Wild Horses, Wild Hearts by Jay Cole 4/5Black boys and horse racing, yes! This is a really wonderful m/m story about fighting against hate and being true to own's self.Whoa! by Rita Williams-Garcia: 3.5/5This was a really cool, historical fiction piece. The main character, Danté, has a basin from his great-grandmother and he talk to an enslaved person through it. It took me a while to fully understand what was going on, but once I did I really enjoyed it.Gravity by Tracey Baptiste: 4/5TRIGGER WARNING: sexual assaultThis story was about sexual assault. It takes place in the span of a few minutes and follows the inner thoughts of the protagonist, while also giving her back story before she immigrated to the US. A very impact piece.The Trouble With Drowning by Dhonielle Clayton: 2.5/5TRIGGER WARNING: suicide I really wanted to like this piece, but I couldn't follow it. I got that it was about mental health awareness in the Black community, which is a really important topic, so I'm glad it was included.Kissing Sarah Smart by Justina Ireland: 4/5A cute f/f story about living in the moment and going with the flow. The story also discuses mental health awareness, which is a plus. It's really tight and concise, and a super fun read!Hackathon Summers by Coe Booth: 2.5/5Yes! Give me all the Black STEM nerds. I really enjoyed this book up until the last few sentences. Iyaana, the love interest, is a Black Muslim. She chooses to wear the hijab, possibly the niqab, it's never specified, by the end of the story. But the main character says that her choosing to wear that meant that she didn't choose him. I'm not sure if the author of this story identifies as Muslim, but the ending felt very iffy to me.Into the Starlight by Nic Stone: 4.5/5YESSSSSSS! This story was so cute and all about recognizing internalized oppression and stereotypes. It put such a big smile on my face.The (R)Evolution of Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi: 3/5This was another really unique story. It touched on really important themes, like Black empowerment and extremism. The main character, Nigeria, runs a way for a day to get away from her father, who's the leader of a Black Power Movement. Conceptually, really cool. The story is also about freedom of one's people and freedom of one's self, and the intersection between the two. I think it was a super cool story to end with.
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  • Nikki S
    January 1, 1970
    AMAZING. I liked some more than others, but that's how it always is with anthologies. Real review to come.**EDIT 01/07/19**You can find more of my reviews here at my blog: Take Me Away...When I heard about this new anthology coming out, I was so excited. There's not many anthologies out there, and one that depicts stories of a younger me?! Yeah, before this one it was non-existent. This anthology is full of so many types of stories, from black nerds to black boy joy, its all in here. And its th AMAZING. I liked some more than others, but that's how it always is with anthologies. Real review to come.**EDIT 01/07/19**You can find more of my reviews here at my blog: Take Me Away...When I heard about this new anthology coming out, I was so excited. There's not many anthologies out there, and one that depicts stories of a younger me?! Yeah, before this one it was non-existent. This anthology is full of so many types of stories, from black nerds to black boy joy, its all in here. And its the best thing that's happened this year. I love how the stories are all different but still boils down to the same subject. It's an amazing group of diverse stories, presented by an amazing group of authors. As with all anthologies, I liked some more than the others. For instance, Nic Stone's story is my favorite! And Varin Johnson and Lamar Giles also had stories that were EXACTLY what I needed as a fluffy, black led contemporary romance. I also really the fantasy story from Rita Williams-Garcia. It started out weird, but the the ending of it had me like "WHOA!" (See what I did there? lol) There were others I really enjoyed too, like Justina Ireland's and Justin Reynolds'. There were others I didn't enjoy as much, but I still liked them. They were just different than what I usually like. But with an anthology, that's bound to happen. This book is still most definitely one of the best books I've read. Representation matters, y'all. This book is going to be so great to display on my shelves. Both at home and my library. The cover is striking and the words on the inside are even more powerful. I can't wait for the rest of the world to get this in their hands. Definitely a book that all people need to read.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    I am so happy to have had the chance to read this amazing anthology! With 17 different Black YA writers, this book portrays a multitude of perspectives and voices. From summer camp stories to forbidden romance to struggling with a sibling’s death, Black Enough has something for everyone.Below are some thoughts on my favorite stories in the collection, but you can read my full review here.Black Enough | Varian Johnson | I loved this one! It was a nice mix of funny and serious. It’s about a boy na I am so happy to have had the chance to read this amazing anthology! With 17 different Black YA writers, this book portrays a multitude of perspectives and voices. From summer camp stories to forbidden romance to struggling with a sibling’s death, Black Enough has something for everyone.Below are some thoughts on my favorite stories in the collection, but you can read my full review here.Black Enough | Varian Johnson | I loved this one! It was a nice mix of funny and serious. It’s about a boy named Cam and his internal struggle about being “Black enough,” and it also touches on police brutality. I love the women in this story, especially Cam’s grandma, who does not take crap from anyone.Out of the Silence | Kekla Magoon | Kekla Magoon’s story is amazing. The premise is sad and beautifully done—it’s about a girl whose classmate dies in a car accident, and the piece explores death and questioning your sexuality. My favorite aspect of the story was its unique writing style, as it’s written in second person and addressed to the girl who died. (Warning: fatal car accident)The Trouble with Drowning | Dhonielle Clayton | I was totally confused by this story at first, but it came together at the end, and when it was over I was just like, “wow.” I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that it’s super good! (Warning: death, suicide)Into the Starlight | Nic Stone | “Into the Starlight” is a really cute story that weaves together romance and discussions of class. Also, expect lots to Percy Jackson references! *squeals*If those descriptions intrigued you, don't forget to check out my thoughts on the rest on the rest of the anthology here!I received an ARC of this book for free through a bookstore. This in no way influenced my review.
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  • Tionna Kinglocke-Christian
    January 1, 1970
    4/5 stars When I heard about Black Enough I was beyond excited and thrilled to read a book that not only displayed representation and diversity in the black community but a book that is on a mission as Ibi Zoboi stated to “encourage all Black teens to be their free, uninhibited selves without the constraints of being black, to black or not black enough. They will be enough just the way they are.”Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi was amazing and refreshing book consisting of short stories written 4/5 stars When I heard about Black Enough I was beyond excited and thrilled to read a book that not only displayed representation and diversity in the black community but a book that is on a mission as Ibi Zoboi stated to “encourage all Black teens to be their free, uninhibited selves without the constraints of being black, to black or not black enough. They will be enough just the way they are.”Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi was amazing and refreshing book consisting of short stories written by 17 brilliant African American YA authors. Each story illustrated the lives and perspectives of young black teens coming from different classes, family dynamics, sexuality, cultures and beliefs; as they navigate through live experiences of romance, grief, friendships and family dynamics. There was also some intense issues that occurred in a few stories that hit home of me where the characters are struggling with their identify in their society, questioning their “blackness” and wondering if they’re black enough amongst their peers as well as their family. I believe the authors tackled these situations extremely well. Although each story was enjoyable , the ones that stood out to me and connected to me the most were Half Moon by Renee Watson, Black Enough by Varian Johnson, Warning Color May Fade by Leah Henderson, and Out Of The Silence by Kekla Magoon. I feel that these story’s resonated with me the most when growing up with new family dynamics, learning to speak up and have my own voice, grieving the loss of someone close to me, and understand the issues that people in my community are facing even today. Please if you have the chance read this book it truly is amazing, you will not regret it. Thank you again to the team of HccFrenzy for sending me this ARC.
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  • LaRonda (Flying Paperbacks)
    January 1, 1970
    01/03-- I MANAGED TO FINISH THIS BEFORE MIDNIGHT. YESSSSSSS
  • Carli
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Edelweiss and @balzerandbray for the advance Kindle copy of this 1.8.19 release. All opinions are my own.•⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 for this anthology, which explores what it means to be Black in America. It features short stories from amazing contemporary authors. Each story shines in its own way, and this is something I would highly recommend high school students read. Thanks to Edelweiss and @balzerandbray for the advance Kindle copy of this 1.8.19 release. All opinions are my own.•⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this anthology, which explores what it means to be Black in America. It features short stories from amazing contemporary authors. Each story shines in its own way, and this is something I would highly recommend high school students read.
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  • Savina Tsataros
    January 1, 1970
    Rating Based on content: 3.75 Stars Rating based on entertainment: 2.5 Stars*not black, not American* Many themes are explored throughout this anthology, it includes so many facets and walks of life. Many different experiences however all of which express some similarities. There’s grief, conflict, challenging the ‘norm’, acceptance, pride, ‘finding ones self’, creativity, love, friendship and family. I didn’t love it but there are some great stories woven throughout. Favourites: - Gravity - Tra Rating Based on content: 3.75 Stars Rating based on entertainment: 2.5 Stars*not black, not American* Many themes are explored throughout this anthology, it includes so many facets and walks of life. Many different experiences however all of which express some similarities. There’s grief, conflict, challenging the ‘norm’, acceptance, pride, ‘finding ones self’, creativity, love, friendship and family. I didn’t love it but there are some great stories woven throughout. Favourites: - Gravity - Tracey Baptiste - Samson and the Delilah’s - Tochi Onyebuchi - Wild Horses, Wild Heart - Jay Coles- Stop playing - Liara Tamani- Kissing Sarah Smart - Justina Ireland - Black Enough - Varian Johnson - Into the Starlight - Nic Stone Individual Reviews Half a Moon - Renée Watson 2 stars A story following sisters, sisters with a back story and the order of healing. I liked the setting a lot, but the story was just okay to me, I wish there was a little more healing between Raven and her dad. One thing I did love seeing though was the woman from the cabin sequence where she gave insight into sister hood, the moon never really being halved. Therefore sisters never being separate always an entity, very subtle feminism I think young readers need to read. Black Enough - Varian Johnson 4 Stars This short story explores the code of ‘blackness’ as a youth, experienced through Cameron the protagonist who feels conflicted and intimidated by/within his identity, he doesn’t feel he’s black enough. The moral of the story was great and empowering for young black kids to appreciate their quirks/blackness in whatever shape formation. All the social standards not need apply. Also resistance was a theme that I appreciated seeing, Jess as well as Myron were great characters who showcased what it means to know who you are whilst simultaneously figuring it all out. “Myron was right when he said guys like you instead of guys like us. He may have been a chameleon, but deep down, he knew who he was. He could code switch, but he always knew what was real beneath the clothes and the talk.” Warning:Colour May Fade - Leah Henderson 2 Stars I loved most of this story, the art most of all. Seeking identity or understanding identity through art. The ending was a little underwhelming but it wasn’t bad. I would have loved to see what happened with the street mural, and the friendship between Ryan and Nivia. I did appreciate seeing how privilege works, what it’s like being black processing yourself, as well as how the world works around you. I also appreciated Nivia’s determination to do what she wanted and succeed regardless of what her father wanted. “If tomorrow were your last, would you have told your authentic story? Every time you create art: Tell. Your. Truth.”“In this world, the brown of your skin is rarely a shelter. Here at Caswell, color may fade—for a while anyway, except when it’s needed for brochures or diversity experiments—but out there, it’s front and center always.” Black. Nerd. Problems - Lamar Giles 3 Stars A fun story, It was entertaining to say the least. I enjoyed seeing Shawn come into his nerdy nature, by doing so gaining what he aspired. Out of Silence - Kekla Magoon 1.5 StarsThis story explores grief, queer identity, loss, youth, embracing who you are. I don’t particularly love the way it was written, I would have enjoyed seeing more of the protagonists association with Tessa. It would have developed the stories theme and message in a much clearer and entertaining way in my opinion. The Ingredients- Jason Reynolds 1.5 StarsFor me it wasn’t so much the story that I liked it was more so the atmosphere, I feel it truly captured youth culture. Right down to the cereal bowls at the end of all that talk. Though I did learn things about darker skin (moisturising) that I hadn’t known before hand. It was simplistic but the essence of it was done right. Honestly as a whole I really didn’t love the story especially all that talk about meat, but I did like what the author captured. “in the midst of the buzz of the sun, that which serves as a heat lamp looming over the land of lizards—tough-skinned chameleon kids who blend into the browns and reds of the row homes and the jagged grit of the concrete.”Oreo - Brandy Colbert 3 Stars I enjoyed seeing Joni come into her roots, as much as I liked seeing Junior step out of his. This story was quick, fun and interesting. I loved the family dynamic I think it captured that gorgeous nostalgic family vibe perfectly. Samson and the Delilah’s - Tochi Onyebuchi 4 Stars I loved the distinctly Nigerian voice of this story and the alternative plot, I loved seeing Sobe discover magic through metal music, and Desiree. I loved how Onyebuchi used Sobe’s skill in debate and his own voice and curiosity to gain truth and knowledge of his culture and political history. Really good read ! :) Stop Playing - Liara Tamani 3 Stars This one was important ! Follows youth culture, manipulation in relationships and taking the right type of chances. It was very realistic and I appreciated the outcome. Wild Horses, Wild Heart - Jay Coles 4 Stars I really enjoyed this story, I love anything that’s somewhat western and this story was done just right. Especially the lgbt element which I was actually surprised by (I initially thought the narration was a female). I was glad to see the representation and how everything played out ! Love :) Whoa! - Rita Williams-Garcia 3.75 StarsThis story was super hilarious and original. It was entertaining and important to see. And great for young black youth to make that historical/ancestral connection. I also loved the rep, we had an openly gay protagonist. :) Gravity - Tracey Baptiste 4.75 Stars An important story ! I loved this one, from the way it was told to the plot itself, great story telling with an even better moral. Following what it’s like to be female, to be sexual harassed, assaulted etc, great feminist story ! This is important for everyone ! My favourite story so far. The Trouble With Drowning - Dhonielle Clayton 3 Stars This story explores grief, and suicide in an interesting way. Can’t say I felt gripped by it but it was an insight into the subject.Kissing Sarah Smart - Justina Ireland 4.5 Stars I loved this story, it’s one of my favourite of the anthology. Honestly any female female romance with a bit of resistance is exactly what I need ! I really liked how Sarah challenged the protagonists point of view on sex. I also appreciated seeing Devon’s mothers conflict with divorce. After reading this I’m excited to read Dread Nation ! “I’m wearing short shorts and my Black Lives Matter shirt that Dad threatened to burn when I brought it home. “We aren’t thugs in this family. We respect the police,” he’d said. Like BLM was about respecting authority, not demanding the right to live. But he’s always been more comfortable being the “Good” Black person, as though it’s possible to be better than racism.” Hackathon Summers - Coe Booth 3.25 Stars This was a great story exploring relationships grow with age, seeing people change as time passes. Also feature healing between parents and children. It was very realistic and also enjoyable to read :) also features Muslim religion which is great. Into The Starlight - Nic Stone 4 Stars This story explores stereotypes and assumptions within people we meet and form relationships with, navigating that and choosing an ultimatum for ourselves. I really liked both Kamari and Mak, they’re story was great to read ! :) The (R)evolution of Nigeria Jones - Ibi Zoboi 3 Stars This story challenges the expectations of revolution specifically focusing on race resistance. We follow Nigeria who isn’t content with her upbringing and wants to take her life into her own hands rather than her fathers. I liked where this ended though I must admit it kinda just made me angry, maybe because I am the teen who’s trying to create difference. But Nigeria’s experience is enough just as my own is. It’s great that there is that alternative for people who do just want to do their own thing whilst also having their beliefs, whatever they may be. It also explores bias and prejudice and how we can be bred to believe what is not our own thoughts
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)Black Enough is one of those books you read and know will change someone's life. It's not a far stretch to see the good that this anthology can do. Not only for black teens growing up, stretching into themselves, and seeing their stories. But also for people outside of the community to read about the myriad of different experiences and portrayals. It's a fabulous anthology for rea (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)Black Enough is one of those books you read and know will change someone's life. It's not a far stretch to see the good that this anthology can do. Not only for black teens growing up, stretching into themselves, and seeing their stories. But also for people outside of the community to read about the myriad of different experiences and portrayals. It's a fabulous anthology for reading some of your favorite author's contributions, to finding new authors you have to track down in the future.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    This collection is NOW. It is the world we live in from some of the best voices of fiction. Black Enough would be a welcome addition to any upper level high school or college English class. A book that reaches out to audiences with characters and views that are necessary to be heard.For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2018/12/12/bl...For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog
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  • Alicia Ingram
    January 1, 1970
    Being 'Black Enough' has always been a problem I've faced so it is refreshing to see a collection of stories reflect that struggle/thought process in different and engaging ways. Some stories missed the mark and some left me thinking - would recommend!
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    this looks like an amazing anthology <3
  • LaRonda (Flying Paperbacks)
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an eArc of this book from the Publishers through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review*08/02/18-- This title speaks to me
  • Bonnie
    January 1, 1970
    I got this ARC from a friend of mine who is a book buyer at my local bookstore. She shared it because she knew I would love it. When this book comes out in January I can't stress enough that people should read it. I have already recommended it to many and considered purchasing copies for those I love. This is a beautiful anthology. I couldn't have enjoyed it more than I did. So here are my abbreviated thoughts on all the short stories.Half a Moon - a beautiful tale of sisters. “There is no such I got this ARC from a friend of mine who is a book buyer at my local bookstore. She shared it because she knew I would love it. When this book comes out in January I can't stress enough that people should read it. I have already recommended it to many and considered purchasing copies for those I love. This is a beautiful anthology. I couldn't have enjoyed it more than I did. So here are my abbreviated thoughts on all the short stories.Half a Moon - a beautiful tale of sisters. “There is no such thing as a half sister, just like there is no half of a moon. The whole moon is always there, even if you can’t see it.”Black Enough - a very touching portrait of finding yourself and understanding bigger issues, as a teen and POC. Powerful.Warning: Color May Fade - an interesting take on POC and the art world. It seems fitting that the character appropriating the work is a white blonde elitist.Black. Nerd. Problems. - I really enjoy Lamar Giles' style. He writes and discusses things from an interesting perspective. Out of the Silence - is plain beautifully written. I love all the Queerness in this collection.Oreo - is appealing to me, because I can see so many of the wonderful women I attended college with in it. Samson and the Delilahs - I enjoyed this story, and really liked the first generation American aspects of it. Because being American doesn’t mean your parents are American, or that they see America and what you should be the same way you do.Girl, Stop Playing - Probably one of my favorite stories in this book. I got a bit nervous in the beginning, but the ending made me happy, even when the ending wasn't as wrapped up as I'm sure many people wanted it to be. It seemed a very feminsty story, with lots of strength and female friendship. Wild Horses, Wild Hearts - was probably the most disheartening for me. While I was glad to see the black, gay representation. I also know that the untold ending to that story is, gay conversion therapy, or runaways or something worse. And it breaks my heart, this is of no fault to the writer or the story they are telling, but to the parents and people who exist that are hateful to their children.Whoa! - I’m assuming is supposed to be a reflection of American youth on their families past and the history of slavery. An interesting take but not my favorite story.Gravity - a feminist tale of woah, as one girl faces the destruction of women’s virtue through the selfishness of some men. One of the most powerful tellings for me so far.The Trouble with Drowning - was a discussion of suicide in a unique and powerful way. What happens to those who are left behind. A touch of fantasy to this one. Kissing Sarah Smart- is a cute tale of first experiences and living in the moment, nothing transformering but a cute short story.Hackathon Summers- I really liked this story until the very very end. When Garry decides he didn’t get “picked” because the main woman made a decision that didn’t have anything to do with him...Into the Starlight - any references to Percy Jackson in short stories, wins with me. A classic girl meets boy from the wrong side of the tracks. It's interesting and cute. The (R)Evolution of Nigeria Jones - Is probably my favorite story in the whole book. I learned new things, and felt like it was a general a great perspective. I have grown and lived in racism from a child and I always knew it was bullshit. So this story of someone looking to break their unchosen prejudices, just felt connectable.
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for providing me with a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.I've been working on this book for awhile. Not because I didn't enjoy it, but because it's short stories and I always struggle to get into short stories when there's nothing to pull you back into the book between stories. It was pretty slow going on the first half of the book, but the stories kept getting progressively better (in my humble opinion) and I read through the second Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for providing me with a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.I've been working on this book for awhile. Not because I didn't enjoy it, but because it's short stories and I always struggle to get into short stories when there's nothing to pull you back into the book between stories. It was pretty slow going on the first half of the book, but the stories kept getting progressively better (in my humble opinion) and I read through the second half of the book a lot faster.Overall I think ibi Zoboi did a really good job at collecting a diverse set of stories. They all focus on young people and the many things it means to be Black. I liked that some of the stories were political and some of the stories were just about being a teenager. How some days the odds seemed stacked against you and other days you're just another confused teenager trying to make sense of the world. This book features an all star cast of authors, many of whom I've read some of their other books, and some new-to-me authors that I'd now like to check out! The great thing about a book like this is that there can't really be any bad stories because they are all just different author's interpretations on what it means to be black.That said, there were a few stories that stood out to me more than others and I just wanted to take the time to highlight some of them. I really liked Brandy Colbert's story, Oreo, which is about a black girl who, because of the choices her parents made to live in a white neighbourhood and send their kids to a mostly white school, has been accused by her cousins of being white on the inside (Oreo). It's a story about identity, culture, and longing. She has a tense relationship with her cousin and eventually discovers that they've actually both been misunderstanding one another and realizes how easy it is for two people to both want what the other has. I also liked Liara Tamani's Girl, Stop Playing story, which I thought was so relatable to all teenage girls. It's about a girl who has just broken up with her boyfriend and is determined to get him back, but is confused when she meets a new boy that she kind of likes, and is also jealous of the other girls hanging around her ex. I liked that this addresses issues that a lot of teenage girls feel very self conscious about, while also promoting a healthy body image and the importance of female friendship and support.I loved Jay Coles, Wild Horses, Wild Hearts, which was probably my favourite story in the entire collection, as well as Justina Ireland's Kissing Sarah Smart. They both focus on LGBT relationships, but contrast one another in that Coles' characters face huge opposition from their parents and culture, while Ireland's characters are more or less supported by their family and friends. I also really liked Dhonielle Clayton's, The Trouble with Drowning, and was totally impressed that the author was able to work such a plot twist into a short story! Actually this may have been my favourite... it's a toss up! The Trouble with Drowning is about a young girls struggle to live up to her parents expectations and to excel under the shadow of her twin sister. These are just some of the stories that stood out to me, but there were many others that I enjoyed as well. Like I said, it took me a while to read this one, but I think it's a really important book and I'm glad I took the time to work through it!
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    Huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!Anthologies are always hard to review. As a reader some author's styles or stories will gel better with you than others, and that is totally the case with Black Enough. This is a wonderful collection by a group of talented black authors, each of them with unique perspectives to share on what it means to be "black enough."I have to say some of my favourite stories were "Oreo" by Brandy Colbert (I felt for the heroine in this one, oreo seems lik Huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!Anthologies are always hard to review. As a reader some author's styles or stories will gel better with you than others, and that is totally the case with Black Enough. This is a wonderful collection by a group of talented black authors, each of them with unique perspectives to share on what it means to be "black enough."I have to say some of my favourite stories were "Oreo" by Brandy Colbert (I felt for the heroine in this one, oreo seems like a bit of a cruel term to use, especially for liking musicals!), "Half a Moon" by Renee Watson was a fantastic family oriented story, and "Kissing Sarah Smart"by Justina Ireland was a fantastic look at a young black lesbian learning what it means to capture her sexuality. I also adored "Ingredients" by Jason Reynolds, but I am a sucker for his character banter, and this one had me in stitches because the friendship between the boys was just hilarious and true to life.And this is why anthologies are hard to rate. There are stories in this book I enjoyed, but didn't find as memorable. Despite them not being memorable for me, it doesn't make the collection itself any less valuable, and I know there are going to be so many young black readers who are going to be able to identify with the stories that are represented strongly in this collection. I look forward to sharing this book with the teens in library because I feel like it has so much to teach about race, racism, and what it means to feel marginalized. There is so much truth and value here that I fee like young readers are going to be able to identify issues in these stories and relate.Black Enough is a great collection of stories by a group of amazing authors, and I think if you can get your hands on it, it's definitely worth checking out.
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  • Dawn Abron
    January 1, 1970
    Because there were 17 stories and I only liked 5, I couldn't rate it higher than a three.The stories I gave 5 stars:***** Out of the Silence by Kekla Magoon*****The Ingredients by Jason Reynolds*****T(R)Evolution of Nigeria Jones by Ibi ZoboiAll three stories were nuanced or contained a new voice. I hope Ibi writes a full length novel based on her short story because I became really investing in Nigeria's life.The stories I gave 4 stars:**** Half a Moon by Renee Watson****Black. Nerd. Problems b Because there were 17 stories and I only liked 5, I couldn't rate it higher than a three.The stories I gave 5 stars:***** Out of the Silence by Kekla Magoon*****The Ingredients by Jason Reynolds*****T(R)Evolution of Nigeria Jones by Ibi ZoboiAll three stories were nuanced or contained a new voice. I hope Ibi writes a full length novel based on her short story because I became really investing in Nigeria's life.The stories I gave 4 stars:**** Half a Moon by Renee Watson****Black. Nerd. Problems by Lamar GilesThese stories were good but I didn't like the ending of Half a Moon and Black. Nerd. Problems. had a familiar voice.The rest I gave a 3 or less mostly because the voices and the plot were too familiar. I need to read something new and fresh in every book I read that just didn't happen. A BIG issue I had with the book was that several stories contained possible sexual misconduct. There were at least four stories where one character, without permission, grabbed another character and kissed them. Right now, there is a woman accusing Donald Trump of doing the exact same thing and she's accusing him of sexual misconduct. Authors, please don't tell teens that it's okay to grab and kiss other people without permission. It's not romantic or galant.Although I personally didn't enjoy most of the stories, I do thing it's an important book to have on your library shelves (for all you teen librarians reading this.) It tells stories about Black American teens just living their lives. I think many Black teens will find themselves in some of the characters and I think non-Black teens will learn something new about what it's like to be Black and American in the 21st Century.
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