by Raymond Francis
Reviewed by: Delonya Conyers
Tone and Amir are roommates in Philadelphia aka The City of Brotherly Love. However neither Tone nor Amir demonstrate any love for their fellow city residents as they commit robbery after robbery in an effort to pay their bills. From drug dealers to neighborhood stores to everyday people using ATM machines no one is safe. Both boys are 18 with no high school diplomas or any marketable skill necessary to find employment. So they utilize the streets as their payday. Tone was raised by his grandmother due to his mother's drug addiction. While Amir chose to stay behind in Philadelphia in his mom's old apartment after the rest of his family relocated to Atlanta in search of a better life. The death of Tone's grandmother leaves both boys all alone with no parental guidance so after stealing enough money to make ends meet anything extra is usually squandered away on weed and women.
After a robbery goes astray both boys reevaluate their reckless lifestyles however only one of them has the desire to change. While one young man attempts to turn his life around the other one hustles harder in an attempt to nullify the sense of abandonment he feels when his partner in crime leaves him. Both boys will eventually be forced to reap what they sowed because most often when you live by the gun you will also die by the gun. Ripped Dollars by author Raymond Francis is a cautionary tale highlighting the perils of street life. Its only drawback was that at fewer than 150 pages the story was not only short but at times underdeveloped. Unfortunately this underdevelopment caused Ripped Dollars to be an ordinary read instead of an extraordinary read that it had the potential to become.
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