Reviewed by: Delonya Conyers
Hood Rats explores the lives of four childhood friends growing up in Gary Indiana: Cecelia (Cee Cee), Nicole (Nicky), Danesha (Nesha) and LaBrea (Bre). The title in itself is self explanatory so readers will know exactly what type of females all four characters are. Bre proves to be the exception amongst the four friends, she has a job, is childless, not promiscuous and doesn’t drink nor smoke. However she’s guilty by association because as the old adage goes birds of a feather, flock together. And 3 out of 4 of these chicks definitely qualify as birds.
Cee Cee has 3 kids by her drug dealing boyfriend, Dayonte aka Day. They’re together in a relationship that defines dysfunctional as Cee Cee gallivants around with another drug dealer named Tone. Even going so far as to drive through the city in Tone’s expensive ride. Nesha has 3 kids also, all of course by different men. Her youngest son’s father Charles takes care of his responsibility all the while looking down his nose at Nesha’s ghetto lifestyle. Nicky only has one son by Tay whom she truly loved; unfortunately he was killed before Nicky even learned she was pregnant with Ty. Tay’s death sent Nicky into a deep depression fueled with drug use and promiscuous behavior.
Author E.R. McNair has a dilemma befall all four characters. Cee Cee’s love triangle has tragic consequences; Nesha faces a custody battle against Charles for their son, Nicky’s drug addiction takes her down a dark path while Bre’s absentee father re-emerges. Each character is afforded the opportunity to change their personas and in a fifty-fifty split, two of the girls actually get their lives together. While the other two are forced to learn very harsh lessons when the lives that they have been living come back to haunt them.
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