This is the kind of book that makes rooting for the underdog easy. In the first few chapters, however, it's somewhat difficult to discern between the characters' dialects and a slurred storyline. Once Kendra Michelle Thomas turns 18 and escapes the threat of a juvenile detention facility, the pace becomes more fluid, the dialogue more polished and her challenges more dynamic.

Twenty-five-year-old Kendra is determined to become a famous singer, and her insecure boyfriend welcomes her downfall when her record deal collapses. Her mother, meanwhile, replaces alcohol with gambling and helps squander Kendra's signing advance.

Desperate, Kendra debases herself with a record company executive. But despite her efforts to salvage her contract, her career is still shelved in favor of a younger, tone-deaf diva who knows how to work the industry. After she fails at a 9-to-5 job, Kendra's family fully supports her second stab at becoming a chart-topping recording artist. (Dafina, Sep., 304 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed by: 
Robin R. Pendleton