Black Girl Unlimited (The Remarkable story of a teenage wizard) by Echo Brown
Format: ARC provided by Fierce Reads
Top 3 Genres: Feminism, Own voice, Coming of age
My rating: Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book: CA • US • FR• Bookdep
Add to: Goodreads
I’m back with another powerful read today, at that is Black Girl Unlimited! Racism, intersectional feminism and a hint of magic, that is what you can expect from this book 😉
Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic . . . everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor. Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything she’s worked for.
Being a woman is hard.. being a black woman even more
This book is carried by an extraordinary and strong voice, probably partially as it is heavily autobiographic (which also breaks my heart a little). We follow the story of Echo, from childhood to her starting college. And it is not a pretty story. It is one full of struggle, of suffering and pains. But also, full of bravery and hope.
This story does not hide what it is to be a woman in a man’s world, to be black in a way too discriminatory world AND to be a black woman above it all. This book says it all so well, how Echo is already prejudiced for her skin color, but also how the men from her own community, black men, treat black women. How they abuse them in many ways. It was written in a way that sounded so true (and I guess that comes with the personal experience of the author). Honestly, there are a lot of triggering topics there, so just be warned before reading the book. But, if you do, it is SO worth it.
But we all got magic inside
When I read the synopsis for this book, I thought there would be a lot of magic like fantasy magic. Then, I thought that being a wizard was a metaphor for the power we women have inside, to survive it all by our secret strength (and I still kind of think it is). And finally, I understood that this book was actually full of magic of all kinds. Yes, there are elements of magic realism and there are magical things happening. Special things, that can change lives. I have never read magic like that, so intricately woven with this inside magic we all can build inside of us, as a human being. Great job Echo Brown!
I think what helped with that was also the non-linear narration of this story. It was very puzzling at first, to go back and forth in time and switching from one experience of Echo to another. But it all made sense pretty quickly and it was like following the flow of Echo’s experiences and realizations. It could have been terrible and a mess but no, it just made the reading of this book even more special and realistic.
In a few words
An incredible read addressing important issues in a unique way, painful but also full of hope, showing how much way too many black women have to go through in life, but how they can rise despite it all!
See you for a cup!
PS: The audiobook is AMAZING and read by the author herself!