3 out of 4 stars
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Empress, by Francois, is a fictional story following the life journey of a girl named Paris Empress Jones. She is a 19-year-old Brooklyn girl and a college student, who studies hard and sometimes plays harder. The book unveils her childhood and teenagehood experiences, including her school life. Written in the first-person point of view, it tells about her friends, extended family, relationship, and so forth. In summary, it's a story of love, true friendship, and family ties.
Being coherent, this book is quite engaging. The author moves from one event to another in a flowing manner. Consisting of 217 pages, it's a coming-of-age novel that includes bold adventures and many secrets. I commend the author for her good descriptions of events and surroundings. At some point, while I was reading the story, it seemed so real to me, and I felt like I was reading a memoir. The protagonist just goes on narrating many important things that happened in her life.
Furthermore, the book highlights the challenges of single parenthood and how some single parents succeed or fail in raising their kids appropriately. The story also includes crime but in a slight way.
However, though Empress is a worthwhile read, it comprises some narratives that seem somewhat childish to me. I think that's because of the extremely simple language used and whimsical descriptions included. Besides, I noticed the repetition of some facts. For example, the author mentioned cutting classes and suspension twice, while narrating a particular situation. Readers who can't tolerate the above flaws may not enjoy the book.
What I like most about the novel is the character development. All the characters are well described and intriguing. I like the way the author introduces his characters into the story by revealing their physical characteristics, personalities and then their backgrounds. I could easily relate to the protagonist, Empress, and her friends, as they grew up together. I loved reading about them. As I read, I could visualize what the author told of them, including the adults. The author uses them and their family members to show how the choices people make affect their lives.
In conclusion, I rate Empress 3 out of 4 stars. I didn't rate it lower because it's fascinating and engaging. Besides, I couldn't give it 4 stars because there are several grammar errors and typos, such as wrongly written words and extra spaces. It should be sent for another round of editing. Moreover, it'll be a good read for anyone who loves reading coming-of-age novels.
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