Monday, July 26, 2010

#BookReview: Platinum - Aliya S. King

If you're old enough to have been reading in the early 80s, you'll remember all of the hubbub over Jackie Collins' Hollywood Wives. Just in case you're not familiar with it, it's the beginning of her steamy series about what goes on in the lives of some of the most rich and famous, but of course, names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Part of the fun in reading her books was trying to figure out who was whom.

With Platinum, Aliya S. King has become the millennium's version of Jackie Collins.  Think Hollywood Wives then replace it with the world of rap.  Think west coast and then replace it with the east coast.  Think scheming and conniving characters, then...think scheming and conniving characters.

Freelance writer Alex Maxwell is engaged to an up and coming rapper.  She's covered some of the biggest names in the industry.  An assignment from Vibe finds her interviewing the wives, fiances and girlfriends of some of the most famous men on the east coast.

Beth Saddlebrook, wife of aging rapper "Z", has been with her husband since she was 15 and he rescued her from her impoverished life in West Virginia.  The mother of four, with another on the way, she's lived a pretty spectacular life.  That's if you don't count the verbal and occasionally physical abuse, along with the cheating and drug use.  As Z's career begins its descent, his behavior becomes more sporadic and Beth is sure he's using again.

Kipenzi Hill is Beth's best friend and a star in her own right.  Working in the industry since she was 3, Kipenzi is more than ready to get out of the game and marry her long time boyfriend Jake.

The elegant Josephine Bennett is married to the hottest producer in the game.  Josephine has everything she ever wanted in Ras.  She's happy with her home and her design business.  She'd be even happier if she was able to conceive.

And finally there's Cleo Wright. Cleo's not married or dating any high powered men.  She merely sleeps with them for blackmail purposes.  Every man that's ever used her is about to have his life disrupted.  She's about to score a big payday with her tell all novel co-written with Alex Maxwell.

What did you like about this book?
This is the perfect beach read.  Though there are some disturbing moments here and there, the story never gets weighed down by them.

What didn't you like about this book?
There's been a lot of speculation on the web about whom the characters in Platinum are based on.  With few exceptions, I didn't like the characters enough to even try to figure it out.

What could the author do to improve this book?
Though I didn't particularly care for some of the characters, I can't help but to think that was the author's intention.  I would still be interested in reading a sequel because King does a great job of leaving the reader in suspense.

Published July 2010

Theme: All I Need by Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige

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