Monday, August 05, 2013

Texts from Bennett

As the mother of a 28 year-old son, I've heard my share of rap music. 
 Mostly when he was in
high school and I was driving him back and forth to his various activities.  I'm not a huge fan, and I especially have issues with the misogynistic aspects of the medium.

Now that I'm stalking following him on Facebook, I'm still aware of where his musical tastes lie, and from time to time he made mention of a rapper named Mac Lethal,a white rapper from the Kansas City area.

One day while browsing the new ebooks for review on NetGalley, I saw that Mac had a new book coming out, and I decided that I had to read it.  

Texts from Bennett is the story of Mac, and how he opened his home to his opiate-addicted aunt Lillian, her conspiracy theorist boyfriend Tim, and her 17 year-old gangsta son, Bennett, who claims to be 13% black (he's not).

The story unfolds through Mac's narration, interspersed with texts between Mac and Bennett. As might be expected, the arrival of his family causes no small amount of disruption in Mac's life, especially in his relationship with new girlfriend Harper.   But Mac begins to see another side of his family, and when he learns more about his Aunt Lillian's (and his own mother's) dysfunctional family he begins to appreciate them more.

There's a lot of really offensive language in Texts from Bennett, as well as a lot of drug use.  But if you can get past that, it's really a good story.  Mac learns to see another side of Bennett, and both Mac and Bennett grow from the experience of spending time together.  So while I don't think any friends my age would enjoy reading Texts from Bennett,  I think young adults who share my son's enthusiasm for hip-hop culture would like this book.

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