The Fight (Drama High #1) by L. Divine

Book Info
Drama High #1: The Fight by L. Divine
©2006 Dafina, New York, NY
ISBN 978-0758216335

Plot Summary
Jayd Jackson is a sixteen-year-old, proud resident of the stereotypically gang affiliated and drive-by shooting ridden Compton, CA. Jayd and about 30 other black teens from her neighborhood are bussed into LA every day to the predominantly white and wealthy South Bay High, aka Drama High. Jayd was dating basketball hottie, KJ, until he dumped her because she refused to give it up to him. With higher hopes of scoring, KJ started dating Trecee, resulting in a situation to make Drama High live up to its name. Motivated by Jayd’s former best friend Misty, Trecee challenges Jayd to a fight in order to prove that KJ is out of bounds. Jayd certainly isn’t looking for a fight and could do without the drama, and now she will discover who’s got her back and finds comfort in some unlikely places, specifically her nice classmate, Jeremy.

Critical Evaluation
Urban lit is a genre that is growing in popularity. I personally want to be able to enjoy and appreciate all genres, and while I can appreciate urban lit as a genre, understand its appeal and the role it plays at getting certain demographics to read, I have a hard time actually enjoying it from the books I have encountered thus far. I hoped The Fight would shine some new light on this genre for me, but as I read the book, I found myself unable to take it at all seriously and it seemed more like a literary version of cheesy and overly dramatic reality television similar to “Jersey Shore.” The series is called “Drama High,” and there is absolutely no shortage of drama. In fact, I found the drama to be exaggerated and overdone. I can see how it might appeal to a teen, but as an adult reading this book, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. I also tend to be very aware of blatant repetition and found myself distracted and annoyed by the author’s repeated use of the euphemism “give up the cookies” for having sex. It was admirable and moral for Jayd to be strong willed against sexual pressure before she is ready, but the slang made it feel kitschy and laughable.

Reader’s Annotation
As one of 30 black students bussed in to a predominantly white and wealthy high school, it’s no surprise that Jayd’s life is full of drama, and it gets even more so when basketball hottie, KJ, dumps her because she won’t give it up. KJ’s new girlfriend decides to challenge Jayd to a fight, to rightfully defend what’s now hers, but Jayd just wants things to be calm and drama-free. Can Jayd escape the drama of Drama High?

Information about the Author
In April of 2001, L. Divine began work on her series of books for young adults appropriately titled “Drama High.”  As a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, L. Divine noticed a rapid decline of literacy among youth.  Her motivation for writing for teenagers was to create material that would simply inspire them to read for pleasure.

When not writing, L. Divine guest lectures and holds workshops for writers and young adults. She is also involved in community activities and serves as a writing expert on various panels. L. Divine served as a Visiting Scholar in the Center for the Study of Women at UCLA and continues to be an active member of academia, researching issues in African Diaspora and Women’s Studies.

L. Divine was raised in Compton, California and has lived all over Los Angeles, as well as in Jamaica, West Indies. She now resides in Atlanta with her young daughter and son.

Visit the author’s website.

Genre
Urban Lit, Chick Lit, Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Ties
Sociology

Booktalking Ideas
Discuss the impacts of sexual and peer pressure.

Reading Level/ Interest Age
14+

Challenge Issues
N/A

Why Included?
I included this book to add variety to my selection and also to take another shot at the genre urban lit. This series was something I often had to order when I worked as a book buyer for a company that served public and school libraries nationwide.

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