Review of “Chlorine Sky” by Mahogany L. Browne

Summary: A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend.

She looks me hard in my eyes

& my knees lock into tree trunks

My eyes don’t dance like my heartbeat racing

They stare straight black hot daggers.

I remember things will never be the same.

I remember things.

Since I began reading more, I made the resolve to try and read more books featuring Black characters written by Black authors. 

Unfortunately, I have only really been able to read one this year, but it was one I enjoyed.

I had always been excited to find books that had reflections of me in it because I rarely came across books like that when I was younger. This is especially the case with Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne.

I really liked this verse novel. It explores the main character’s identity and how it’s influenced by those around her. 

Identity plays a huge role in this novel. It’s first seen in how the main character’s real name and a full description of her is never given. Instead, all that we know of her comes from how others view her.

She is described as “black” and “ugly.” Her clothes are hand-me-downs from her older sister, and are always seen as scraps of clothing. 

Even her one passion of basketball stems from her older cousin and is constantly marred by the ugly comments from the boys she dominates on the court. 

Like I mentioned before, her name is never fully given. We get one legit nickname for her from her older cousin, but that’s it.

Everything that happens is realistic from the spreading of rumors to the internal struggle that happens in the main character.

My only issue with the book is that the timeline is confusing, as it’s hard to completely follow as there are jumps between different points of her life. It stopped me from actually delving into the book.

Despite this, I found myself reflecting on it for longer than it took me to read it. I already have plans to read the author’s other book “Vinyl Moon.”

Overall, I gave this book a 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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