Recently I received an email from Audibles letting me know that I had six credits so far and I had to use one soon before a new one could be added to my ever growing collection. So off I went in search of an audio book that I could listen to while I’m shuffling folders and papers around my desk for eight hours. As I scrolled through the list of books I saw a familiar cover.
At the end of March I attended Wondercon and was fortunate to be at a panel that discussed books, the writing process, authors, etc. On the screen was a list of books including The Misadventure of Awkward Black Girl. When I saw this book listed in audible I had to check it out.
I must say from the first few pages I knew I was going to fall in love with this book. Right off the bat, Jo-Issa “Issa” Rae Diop talks about people who could not pronounce her name properly. Immediately I laughed aloud. I have an old school first name and my last name is Chisolm, similar to the famous Shirley Chisholm. Clearly, you can see the difference there. My last name is spelled with one H but I’ve seen it spelt with two H’s just like Shirley’s. I say this to say that many times people have actually corrected me on the spelling of my own name. As if I am purposely leaving the extra H off. Issa went through the same trials and it felt good to know I wasn’t alone there.
The pace of the story is very well written. It goes through her life but the areas that I enjoyed the most was chapters that gave readers advice. Things like blacks and asians and why aren’t there more couple’s out there with these two races, the difference between being awkward and nerdy or how about co workers. Knowing different types of coworkers. That made me laugh aloud and as I listened to the list of different coworkers I found myself scanning the office looking for those particular individuals.
Hearing her speak (Yes, Issa-Rae narrates this novel on Audible) about the different artists of the 90’s, the different albums. Made, 112, Brandy, Mya. All of the nostalgia is ripe of the picking as you go through Issa’s life. Simple things like tape decks, cd players and buying 12 cd’s for a penny. You will immediately remember growing up and going through the exact same pace as Issa.
My own past aside, this is a wonderful debut biography that provides readers with an understanding of what it means to grow up and not know what you want to be or where you’re going to go. You start off going through the motion and eventually you may continue to go through the motion until you stop on something that makes you happy to get up in the morning. It may take a hard event to bring you to your goal, as it did with Issa, or it may come naturally but in the end you should trust yourself and follow your dreams. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a must read for laughs, strength and purpose.