Grown and Gangsta
Reviewed by: The Pathfinder
Descriptive, raw and in your face is what readers will get out of Grown & Gangsta by Jacki-Q. It is an action pack novel filled with the daily routine and criminal minded lifestyle of a group of brothers and sisters trying to make their way in the world. A close-knit group of friends, loyalty is the credo as they grapple with love, betrayal and brotherhood/sisterhood. The story entails around a group of friends determined to make their mark as rich jetsetters who celebrates the yearly Fourth of July holiday in the Hamptons with money, women and champagne.
Malcolm, Quentin, Monique Tatiana, Iz, and Inch are childhood friends from New Jersey. Their individual lifestyles and what they want to accomplish are based upon a collective outcome for the better. Malcolm is a free spirit intelligent brother who wears two hats; one as a successful Wall Street broker and the other as a criminal mastermind. Quentin aka Q, is also a successful restaurant owner getting over a divorce from a vindictive ex-wife. Iz is a melodramatic kind of fellow and the lover of Monique. Iz is incarcerated throughout the story and becomes more a less a jailhouse writer trying to find himself. Inch is the psychopathic abnormal brother with sever violent and social behavior. Monique is an attractive successful A&R rep for Harlem World Records. Finally, there is Tatiana who shares a love for Inch which only they alone can understand. Jackie-Q, I thought did a wonderful job with the different characters and faced with their own individual indifferences and circumstances they end up making choices that will surprise the readers. The author did a wonderful job as far as keeping the dialogue between the characters while maintaining the storyline.
Grandiosity, scheming, and challenges comes into play as Malcolm tries to convince several of his associates and contacts into investing into a Las Vegas type casino and island resort in the South American country of Columbia. Convinced that every aspect of the detail would go as planned including the laundering of millions of dollars, along with the business savvy of Quentin, Malcolm was unaware of the federal agents who were tracking his every move. An urban Bonnie and Clyde, Inch and Tatiana preyed on drug dealers and others involved in illicit activities early on in their relationship. After their relationship hit a sour note, Tatiana fell in love with NFL Football player Devon Edmonds. Not one to be laughed at or considered a punk, Inch is hell bent on winning Tatiana back.
With Iz imprisonment, Monique is tempted on several occasions to go the distance, but when she’s seen on national TV accepting an award with one of her associates and kissing him on the lips. Iz is traumatized and embarrassed as he watches it on television in the prison dayroom. An abundance of issues grips the lives of each character pitting them on a collision course where distrust, loyalty, forgiveness and love come into play.
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