Kendra has been living with her Nana for her whole life while her mother Renee has been working toward a doctorate Kendra s mother had her when she was just 14 years old, and Nana wanted to make sure that having a child so early early would not prevent Renee from having a successful life While that goal was met, it did create a rift between Kendra and Renee that left the daughter feeling abandoned and unloved.Nana has done everything she can to shield Kendra from making the same mistakes Renee made She does allow Kendra to have time with her father Kenny and her same aged aunt Adonna, but she is not happy about it particularly the latter Adonna is a good friend, but she exhibits riskier behavior because of her style of dress and the way she obsesses about boys.Adonna has now set her eyes on Nashawn, the superhunky baseball player who seems to keep checking her out The problem is that he also starts flirting with Kendra.When Kendra is starting to feel at her lowest when her mother doesn t come to a theatrical production that Kendra worked hard on the sets for, she finds herself alone with Nashawn While she highlights the need to protect her virginity, they start a racy physical relationship that allows them to have sex in various locations at school and his house When Adonna finds out, it leads to a fight, and everything starts to really fall apart.As with Tyrell, Booth has done a wonderful job with presenting a realistic cast of urban characters They, and the troubles they face are very realistic Unfortunately, the tale results with the moral that if things are tough with your mom and you are feeling all alone, then you should allow the hot guy at school who treats you pretty crappy to use you for sex, though not in the missionary style, while also stealing him from your best friend aunt because in the end it will work out he will prove to be a really nice guy who loves you and treats you well even after you take away the booty calls that seemed to be the sole basis for his interest in you your mom will realize that she needs to step up and get involved with your life your friend aunt will forgive you in time for lying to her why even bother looking at finding happiness in a relationship with the nice guy who is your friend, treats you with respect, and is interested in you The fairy tale ending leaves me feeling a little stunned For me it totally ruins the book I am not usually the type of adult reader that thinks risque behavior should only be included in teen novels to show the horrible consequences, but come on If you want to write a realistic, urban novel for kids while empowering them, don t create a protagonist that debases herself and then allow everything to turn out all right.Tyrell, the troubled character from Booth s earlier novel, makes a cameo in the final chapter of the book, allowing readers to see where life has led him. The Acclaimed Author Of TYRELL Returns To PUSH With A Striking Novel About A Mother And Daughter Who Are Only Fourteen Years Apart, But Need To Learn To Understand Each Other Before It S Too LateKendra S Mom, Renee, Had Her When She Was Only Years Old Renee And Her Mom Made A Deal Renee Could Get An Education, And Kendra Would Live With Her Grandmother But Now Renee S Out Of Grad School And Kendra S In High School And Getting Into Some Trouble Herself Kendra S Grandmother Lays Down The Law It S Time For Renee To Take Care Of Her Daughter Kendra Wants This Badly Even Though Renee Keeps Disappointing Her Being A Mother Isn T Easy, But Being A Daughter Can Be Just As Hard Now It S Up To Kendra And Renee To Make It Work This YA books is about a young, highly intelligent black female, living in NYC, whose mother had her at 14 years of age Kendra lives with he4r grandmother while her mother attends school As the novel opens, her mother has just completed her PhD at Princeton Kendra has held a dream that after her mother completes her schooling, the two of them will live together in harmony that then her mother will want her in her life Her father is also a part of her life, although he has never left the Projects in the Bronx where she and her Grandmother lives But he tries delivering small amounts of money regularly, even if he has to borrow it owning a business even if it does not make enough money to live independently on being there to speak with her everyday her mother is not When Kendra s mother finally gets a job as a university professor but rents a studio apartment where she can connect with her New Jersey policeman boyfriend, Kendra is devastated She acts out sexually in a couple of scenes which are a bit hard to take, especially given the end of the novel.These type of YA novels really make my head swirl While it is evident the children are gifted attending a special high school , there is the element of what some call Black English or ghetto language, seemingly to enhance the inner city setting There are no people of other races involved in this world, despite the fact that no culture exists in a void The sexual acting out is in line with the sociological findings about young people today, yet really out of synch with the culture in which the novel is set, and seems stilted when it is the male who always has a condom despite the supposed letting go of feelings which foster the sexual interactions Emotions are stated, rather than shown, and come across as inserted into the text It is difficult to become absorbed in the charactrs.I would definitely use this book in a discussion for YA librarians in a class setting, but am totally unsure when and how I would recommend it for teens. I stopped reading it in the middle I found it slow moving, and the main character unsympathetic Where are the positive books where teen girls embrace their sexuality and release themselves from the confines of what they ve been taught by society Kendra Williamson is fourteen years old and she attends North Bronx High School for Arts and Communications She loves to draw houses and floor plans a skill that will lead to a promising career in the future She s not focusing a whole lot on future plans, though The main thing that s on her mind, what she wants than anything, is to spend time with her mother, Renee Kendra lives with her Nana, Valerie Renee, who gave birth to Kendra in ninth grade, missed ten years of her daughter s life while she finished high school, then college and then grad school Now she s graduating from Princeton with a PhD and Kendra believes she will finally have a real mother A mother who will be around for than just minutes at a time and will care about the things she cares about A mother who will want her But, sadly, once Renee is back in the Bronx the neglect continues so, desperate for attention, Kendra makes a choice that surprises even her A choice she regrets, but repeats even though she feels so bad about herself after the first time I felt so bad for Kendra The girl goes out there and makes choices she probably wouldn t have made if somebody would have taken the time to talk to her and, most of all, truly love her Her mother obviously loved herself than she loved her daughter Renee was only concerned about what she wanted and didn t give Kendra a second thought I was so glad Kendra s Nana cared enough about her granddaughter to raise her Valerie loved Kendra the best way she knew how, but her way was a bit controlling and smothering And Kendra s dad, Kenny Well, it seemed he was still trying to find his own way in the world The author was not playin when she penned this novel Teenagers are way mature, way knowledgeable these days and Coe Booth did not hold back when she wrote about the sexual experiences of her young characters The things fourteen year old Kendra did really shocked me And Nashawn Webb, the guy she was with, my goodness, this boy knew as much as a grown man I was saddened by that, but the reality is there are young people who are growing up way too fast There is one thing I learned from reading this book that I did not care to know, and there was quite a bit of profanity to overlook, but this was a good story And, like I mentioned before, Coe Booth was not playin So, if you can handle the truth about the choices some young people are making when it comes to sex, you might want to read this book. In the ghetto, if a boy does anal sex on you, it means he s ready for a relationship.This feels like Pride and Prejudice in the PJ s It reads like a generic YA romance but with the trappings of so many early 90 s gangsta movies Kind of The main conflict is that Kendra s mother is back after her post graduate degree, and Kendra s hoping she ll finally take her away from the neighborhood and the strict ass grandmother who s been raising her for sixteen years But the bigger crux of the book is her boy crushes and her sexually acting out as a result of this negligence Kendra s better than that, but the past is repeating herself as she waffles between the nice guy and the bad boy player, as cliche dictates Of course, as far as generic YA romance goes, it ends there Kendra pulls away from sex with the bad boy at the last second, cautious of losing her virginity for disciplinary and moral reasons He doesn t force himself or respect her wishes or grow resentful he s going to need something That devolves into booty calls in the closet after school leading to the butt sex so she can remain chaste.And after all that, the fudge packer confesses affectionate feelings for her And they start going out together Is this a realistic scenario Yes Maturity rides up fast in risky situations Does it send a good message to American youth No, it does not I m not going to say that a writer can t write what he she wants, but I m a believer that books teach you that dragons can be killed This moral seems to be, if you give up the rough enough, love is just around the corner. This is an emotional, difficult read It is so real, it s raw Booth doesn t let up This is chock full of confusion, betrayal, abandonment issues and strained relationships Renee, Kendra s mother, is intelligent,determined and focused When it comes to school, Renee excels Parenting it s a role she s never wanted and she s avoided as long as she can using education as her excuse Kendra, is a typical teen overwhelmed by her budding sexuality, her longing to be wanted and the anger and resentment she feels for the woman she desperately wants to love her.Kendra begins to act out including having sex with a boy she knows her teen aunt has a crush on Her behavior spirals and every family member is forced to deal with what they ve all been avoiding, openly addressing Renee s responsibility and her estranged relationship with Kendra.The pacing, dialogue, scenarios everything rings true to just before the end and that has me scratching my head I know how these stories play out in real life and I can t understand why Booth throws the reader the relief we stopped expecting to get This is my only complaint In real life, Kendra would have spun a lot longer and might not have come out on the other side at least not by a book s end Does anyone think a reader would not forgive the writer for ending in the vein she faithfully held us captive for almost the entire novel Nonetheless, I think this book should be shared with a lot of teens and followed up with discourse I d really like to hear how teens process this work and what they think of the ending. I liked this book because it kept me interested in it What kendra went through in this book was alot for her to handle, but she got through it and stuck it out I didnt like this book because Kendra s grandmother didnt give her any freedom at all She always watched over her 24 7 , like i understand that s ur grand daughter and all but she s like her mother so give her some space The main charcter is a girl named kendra who is living currently with her grandmother because her mother can t take care of her Kendra s best friend Adonna both like the same boy, and the boy knows this so he takes advantage and toys with both of them He has sex with kendra, but goes on dates with Adonna Kendra knows this but Adonna has no clue So throughtout the book Kendra struggles with Adonna, the boy Nashawn , her mother, and grandmother I rate this book as a 5 star book because It was really interesting Everytime I started reading I didnt want to put the book back down because I always got so deep into it I would recommend this book so other teens to read it and enjoy what I have enjoyed reading this book. I think that Coe Booth, the author of the book Kendra, did a very good job getting into the mind of a fourteen year old female going through the process of boys and puberty I loved the way she expresses some issues that families have, especially within the African American community Kendra s mom had her at the age of fourteen but she was passed on to her grandmother while Kendra s mom continued her education Every since then Kendra s grandmother kept a close eye on her and absolutely dreaded the day when Kendra will become interested in boys She feared that Kendra was going to turn out like her mom and there will be another child to watch in that household For Kendra, trouble with boys was definitely calling And as soon as her little secret came out, her whole life went downhill The author made me feel horrible for Kendra and what she was going through because even though I didn t do what she did, I can completely relate to her and what was going through her head This book is awesome and it feels like you grow along with the character as she s growing. If your parents are like really over protective of you and they are always ridding you about your grades and an stuff and to stay focus..then this would be a good book for your Because in this book it is about a girl named kendra and she lives with her grandma Her grandma is like a control freek as soon as she geets out of school she has to come straight home and if she dosent tell her grandmother that she is leaving then she will get very mad But eventually she stops putting up with her grandmas stuff and starts doing what she wants to do she goes out with friends now and is having a good time.Even a boy is starting to like her but if this sounds instreting to you i suggest you read this book.Kendra By Coe Booth.