Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans is a collection of short stories whose characters are all lonely (but not alone), confused, and misunderstood. Here is a portion of the synopsis from Goodreads:
Striking in their emotional immediacy, the stories in Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self are based in a world where inequality is reality but where the insecurities of adolescence and young adulthood, and the tensions within family and the community, are sometimes the biggest complicating forces in one’s sense of identity and the choices one makes.
I gave it 3/5 stars. What I didn’t like was I wanted the stories to go on!! All of the stories ended with a dramatic cliffhanger. It kind of pissed me off in the way that you get pissed when your favorite TV show shows ends with a ‘to be continued’ and you have to wait an entire week to find out what happen; except with these stories I’ll never know what happened.
Each story does a great job in covering family relationships, friendships, love life, and sexuality from the prospective of Black Americans. There’s not much else I can say, because the Goodreads synopsis above says what I want to say. The first story, “Virgins” is great; it follows two teenage girls who are best friends–one boy crazy and the other attempting (and failing) to be the voice of reason,–as they tackle boys, sex, and the emotions that follow.. The next few stories are pretty good, but after “Someone Ought to Tell Her There’s Nowhere to Go,” the stories become ‘eh.’ They were good stories, but I wasn’t as sucked in and intrigued as I was with the others. Danielle ends the book with a bang in the story “Robert E. Lee is Dead.” I have to say this story was my favorite.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and it pulled me out of a reading slump. I like Danielle Evan’s writing style, I can’t wait to read an actually novel by her. If she wanted to turn each of these eight stories into a book she could, and I would read each of them.