Book Review: Unzipped: An Urban Erotic Tale
Publication Date: Mar 23, 2010
List Price: $15.00
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Imprint: One World/Ballantine
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
Borrow from Library
Book Reviewed by Thumper
One of my favorite urban authors, Noire, is back with a new novel, Unzipped.
In case you don't know, I love LOVE Noire's books! Noire has reached the
ultimate plateau of authors, when a new Noire book cross my desk, I will
drop whatever I'm reading in order to get up in Noire's book. When Unzipped
crossed my desk, I did my little off beat version of the Cabbage Patch,
dropped the novel in my bag so that I could start reading it at work the
next day. I liked Unzipped even though I had a few issues with the novel. I
did not LOVE it like I LOVED Noire's earlier novels, Thug-A-Licious or
G-Spot. Unzipped is a nice read. Well, I guess Noire can't hit it out of the
park, all the time?
Pearl Baines, a new FBI agent, just received the most devastating news of her young life; her entire family had been executed. Pearl's father, Irish Baines, was an ex-con, ex-gangsta who turned his life around and established a youth center to make a difference in the lives of young black boys in his Harlem neighborhood. Irish and his wife, Zeta, had twin daughters, Pearl and Diamond. The twins got pregnant and had daughters of their own when they were 14 years old. After the birth of their daughters, Sasha and Chante'; Pearl and Diamond's lives went in different directions. While Pearl went to college and later to the FBI Academy, Diamond lived the life of the streets; this choice will ultimately lead to the destruction of the Baines family. While grieving for her murdered family, Pearl vows to get justice and do whatever it takes to get it.
By the time I finished reading Unzipped, I liked it, but trust me, and it did not start off that way. I almost did not finish the novel. I had a major problem with the novel, the layout. The novel began with the torture of the Baines family and their death. The story then moved to the history of all of the principal characters. For instance, the character Mookie Mason, the criminal kingpin responsible for the hits on the Baines family; Noire goes all off into Mookie's past, how he came to be, his upbringing, etc. I did not care one wit about Mookie, nor how or why he turned out the way he did. At the last 2/5 of the book, the focus returned to Pearl enacting her plan of retribution. I hated this format! I done got my mouth fixed for a good old fashion revenge/retribution story; I then get all of this other junk. Not only was the mood, tone and pacing of the story destroyed, it was a major waste of time.
With the exception of my only complaint of Unzipped, I loved the novel when Noire returned the spotlight back to Pearl and her revenge plan. The novel got razor sharp and moved with the speed of sound. The change in direction was so welcoming and exciting; it was enough to switch my negative opinion of the book into a positively glowing one. In today's market, no one does it like Noire. I hope that the first half of Unzipped is a misstep and not a sign of things to come because I don't think I could take it. Overall, I would recommend Unzipped. Now, I have to settle in for the long wait until Noire's next novel.