Your Corner Dark
Author: Desmond Hall
Published: January 19, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 12-29, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
American Street meets Long Way Down in this searing and gritty debut novel that takes an unflinching look at the harsh realities of gang life in Jamaica and how far a teen is willing to go for family.
Things can change in a second:
The second Frankie Green gets that scholarship letter, he has his ticket out of Jamaica.
The second his longtime crush, Leah, asks him on a date, he’s in trouble.
The second his father gets shot, suddenly nothing else matters.
And the second Frankie joins his uncle’s gang in exchange for paying for his father’s medical bills, there’s no going back…or is there?
As Frankie does things he never thought he’d be capable of, he’s forced to confront the truth of the family and future he was born into—and the ones he wants to build for himself.
Your Corner Dark is the debut novel by Jamaican native Desmond Hall who gives the reader a whole different perspective of how difficult life on the island can be: Jamaica isn’t just pretty sand and beaches, it has a whole rough side of life to it dealing with the harsh social, political, and economic realities of many who live there.
Frankie is our main character who has just received a full ride to college in the USA! He is ready for this to better himself and then something unexpected happened: Frankie’s father is shot and hospitalized. And the bills are going to be very costly.
Frankie is given an option from his uncle: He will pay Frankie’s father’s medical bills if Frankie joins his gang, which would mean giving up his scholarship and the way he thought his future was going to go. And Frankie’s father would be furious if he joined the gang….
Hall shows us another side of Jamaica with what the natives go through– a very difficult life– and we experience most of that with Frankie and the choices he makes and the repercussions from those choices. This was a hard novel to put down as I had no idea how it was going to end or what was going to happen with Frankie next!
There is a small potential romance that comes in the last portion of the book, but with everything else going on, it was not really necessary for me. There is a lot of violence, and yes, death along with political leanings and poverty in this novel, but you can’t help but to root for Frankie to pull through everything. And I really liked Aunt Jenny as well!
The conversations in the novel are written as how the natives would speak. I did have to get used to it, but it also added to the novel for me.
This book would not have come to my attention if I was not taking part in #Diverseathon2021 this year. I read this for September’s prompt which was a book set in Jamaica. I am glad I came across and read it. I did get Your Corner Dark finished in September, but was just not able to get the review written.
Now since we are in a new month: For October the prompt is: A main character who lives/lived with abuse.
**She will also be having a giveaway: See her Facebook and Instagram pages for information on the giveaway.