MY MONTICELLO by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

Name: Jin

Grade: 12th

Title: My Monticello

Author: Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

Published in: 2021

Pages: 224

Rating: 4.6 stars

The book, My Monticello, consists of 5 short stories that make up the book: “Control N,” “Virginia is Not Your Home,” “Something Sweet on Our Tongues,” “Buying a House Ahead of the Apocalypse,” “The King of Xandria,” and “My Monticello.” The short stories are each told from a different perspective and resonate with the theme of racism, inheritance, and community. They show the African-American community’s experiences through different lenses, each story having a powerful meaning.

This is a strong and powerful book; the fluidity and strength in each story leave the reader with a feeling that this is not just fiction. There is one specific story that can be quite controversial due to different people having different opinions on it, which is the first story in the book, “Control N.” I personally think this story is the best one out of all of them. Throughout the story, there are hints of where the author is leading the reader, but the ending may be surprising for people. Regardless, the point that the main character in the story was trying to make gets proven.

There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book except for a part of the first story, but aside from that, there isn’t much to dislike about this book. This book left me with mixed emotions; it was a mix of empathy but also a feeling of strength; since this book portrays the struggles of the African-American community through powerful stories, I think it can be a bit strong for younger audiences, but each story has a deep meaning to them.

I would recommend this book because I enjoy it when books have a deeper meaning behind them rather than just being a typical story; I like when they leave you with something to think about and learn from. That said, I think people who want a deep story would also enjoy this book.

This book reminded me of the book Native Son by Richard Wright; while it is an entirely different concept, the story is powerful and portrays the struggles of African-American people.

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