Victim of Circumstances
by Freeway Ricky Ross & Erroll Shepherd
Reviewed by: Alexus Drake
Victim of Circumstances centers around the life of a troubled young boy named who goes by the street name "Rabbit" and his sister, Karen, the products of a dysfunctional home and crack addicted mother. The book opens up with both of the children, being placed in juvenile detention after being set up with drugs from their mother, Denise. The book continues to focus on the sexual abuse, peer pressure from the streets and gang activities that Rabbit endured in order to survive behind bars and on the streets. During a point in his detention, Rabbit escapes from his group home and joins a gang of drug dealers. Soon he becomes a well known dealer on the streets which does not set right with fellow gang members. Eventually he meets a young girl Marie who catches his attention, she is also a fellow coworker of his sister. Rabbit continues to battle within himself doing his wrongs and changing his ways for his sister and Marie. Things take a turn for the worse when he is set up for murder by his fellow gang members and sent to an adult facility.
Marie also is the daughter of Freeway Ricky Ross who is an advocate for youths and takes Rabbit case along with his friend, Big E (which readers obviously know are the authors are the book). along with giving him a book Ross has written called, Controlling Factors. "Controlling Factors" has a character Speedy in it which life is exactly the same as Rabbit's and everyone is shocked by the coincidences including Rabbit, this all happens so fast at the end of the book which was confusing to me. The book concludes with Rabbit and Speedy hanging in limbo along with the reader.
I must say when I started reading the book, I commend the writers on doing an excellent job of depicting street violent, drug abuse and peer pressure. I felt for the characters in the book. As I read further, the synopsis and the plot did not fit as I had envision. At one point Rabbit was 11yrs old, then he was 16 in the following chapters. It appeared to put their name out there the authors added characters with their names sporadically in the book which I felt was a tad distracting. Also the book barely had Rabbit reading the book which I thought the whole plot was centered around. It was mentioned in a few paragraphs that he read the book and everyone was shocked at the similarities. Once again it appeared this information was just put out there. At the end of the book, I was highly disappointed that after reading through and waiting to see what the outcome would be for Rabbit, it just dropped off. The reader is left hanging. A big disappointment to me even though I like the realism throughout the book on street life.
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