Wednesday, April 14, 2010


MAN!! I’ve got so many feeling about this book that I seriously don’t know where to start. I kinda feel like a tourettes patient in a canyon of echoes. What I’m about to say I don’t say to be flippant and I’m not joking; if this exact same story was in a hardcover jacket with a different name (not different author) it would be a New York Times Bestseller. This was… an… amazing story! Forget every stupid, narrow-minded, stereotype you’ve hear about “street-lit”. This one will change your mind.

This is also one of those books that will make you mad. No. More like furious. Livid. Setting up a Black man for a crime is one thing, but the things that these David Duke-Opie-moonshine-making-cowards-behind-a-dirty-white-sheet did will make your blood boil like The Obama’s vs. The Clintons! Leo throws up a POWERFUL story of dirt, sex, prison life, gangsta’ loyalty, crooked cops, and scandalous hood rats. Once I.C. gets ID’d, his life becomes one long skid of bad luck. Some of the situations I.C. finds himself in would make Jack Bauer cringe. ‘Innocent’ is one of those books that you savor and digest over time because it’s really, really good.

My one beef: they say “never judge a book by its cover”. That advice could not be more relevant with this book. Now I would be a complete hypocrite if I say that a beautiful woman on the cover doesn’t grab my attention. Hell, I’m MORE apt to look at a book BECAUSE of the cover. But this cover has absolutely nothing to do with this book and, in this case, takes away from the story. ‘Innocent’ has more than enough gruff to stand on its own without the cheese.

My laugh out loud moment: at the end when Leo is giving his shout-outs and he calls out his publisher for being stingy with the dough! In all my many years of reading, I don’t think I’ve EVER read anything that and I literally had a laugh out loud moment in my bookstore! Very good job here Mr. Sullivan.

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