Fly Girl Reads: Jouelzy’s Send It On Review
“Send It On's strongest feature is in the writer's ability to connect and thus articulate the experiences of the struggling, ambitious, emotionally insecure and largely undervalued young, black woman.”
“Send It On”, written by online personality Jouelzy, is a collection of short stories that chronicles the trappings of young adulthood for the educated, urban black woman. Fans of Jouelzy will recognize her signature sharp, sarcastic wit but will also be pleasantly surprised by the gentler and more emotionally revealing portions of the book.
It's an important book that is part of a conversation that the majority of the mainstream literature community is not interested in having. There's no question that there should be more books about the struggles of coming of age as young black women out on major bookstores' bookshelves. But that's another post for another time.
The standouts of the book are "Send It On", "Perpendicular Contradictions" and ";". Each short story unveils a different aspect of the author. It's not simply that the short stories speak on issues like rape and mistimed love that characterize them as standouts. Some of the best writing is featured on those pages: clear, concise yet emotional and moving. These are the chapters that you'll remember long after you've put the book away on the shelf.
There are some short stories that do not flow together or feel choppy and incomplete. In any other case, this would have been a major minus against the book but in Jouelzy's case it adds to the aura of sneaking a peak into someone's diary or taking a peek into someone's psyche. That feeling of voyeurism is what carries this book through its choppier bits. Despite this unusual charm, it's clear that the book would have benefited from an editor to soften the hard edges and get rid of some the fluff.
If you're looking for literary excellence, this isn't the book for you but where “Send it On” lacks in literary prowess it makes up in emotional connection. Jouelzy reminds me of Maya Angelou in the sense that the book's true intention and potential are only discovered when it is read aloud by Jouelzy (is it too late to ask for a book tour?).
Send It On is part of a movement in the literary community to fill the void of black female writers and their experiences. In that aspect, this debut effort does exactly what it sets out to do.
Adeola is the founder and content creator of Adeola & Jane (adeolajane.com). A website that commemorates the complexities and diversity of the black/African experience with special interest on the lives of black women expressed through literature, lifestyle and beauty. Connect with Adeola here: Twitter | Instagram | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org