Uptown Dreams by Kelli LondonBy Jennifer Coissiere • Feb 4th, 2012 • Category: Book Review 2012 • Email This Post • Print This Post
Four teenagers, with very different backgrounds aiming for the stars have one thing in common, they all attend Harlem Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), a very prestigious school. These students have obstacles they will need to overcome in order to be able to achieve their ultimate goals. Uptown Dreams by Kelli London is a journey for these four young adults dreaming big.
La-La is a songstress with beautiful long hair. Her mother enrolls her into CAPA, because it is the way for them to have riches and get out of the hood. However, La-La wishes she could make her sister, Remy, well again. When she arrives at CAPA, La-La comes face-to-face with the one person she cannot stand, Nakeeda, a girl who believes her voice is the best between the two. When La-La stops being afraid of Nakeeda and challenges her to a sing-off, everyone is interested to see who wins. The loser will lose more than just the title of the best singer. Who will take the prize?
Ziggy wants nothing more than to be a choreographer, but in his family a man who dances means he is gay. Ziggy is far from being gay; he loves girls too much. He has his eyes on La-La. While he is trying to get to know her a little better, Ziggy is always thinking of ways to stay in CAPA without his family finding out. He has to come up with his own tuition. The vending table that he owns and is operated by his brother is not bringing in as much as it used to. What will he do to continue to expound his craft?
Reese is an accomplished musician. There are not many instruments that she cannot play. Her mother is the director of CAPA; her mission is to get Reese ready for Juilliard. However, Reese really wants to produce music, but CAPA does not offer a program allowing her to build her skills in that area. Reese sneaks behind her parents’ backs to do what she believes is the greatest part of music. How far will she go to get her name out to the music industry?
Jamaica-Kincaid is a dreadlock wearing, rich, white girl who ran away from her private school to be apart of the CAPA student body. She is broke as she tries to make it on her own in New York. With the help of her older sister, Jamaica-Kincaid was able to get an apartment, but that is as far as her help went. Jamaica-Kincaid bought her silence with the money her parents sent to her. She dreams of being a famous actress and there is not anything she would not do to pursue this dream. However, when her parents want to visit her at school, Jamaica-Kincaid has to think quick. What will she do to keep her secret?
Ms. London really knows how to encourage teenagers to dream big. Uptown Dream was exciting and entertaining to read. I cannot remember being so creative with my way of thinking when I was growing up. I had a difficult time believing some of the things that took place within the story. For example, how was it possible Jamaica-Kincaid was able to runaway from private school without her parents knowing? The story was still a good read, even with all my wondering; and that might be the parent in me. I recommend Uptown Dreams to readers of young-adult fiction and those who appreciate the arts.
The publisher provided a copy of this book for review purposes.
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Jennifer Coissiere is an aspiring author, a mother, and a wife. She has been reading books as far back as her memory will allow her to remember. She has always used books as an escape from her everyday life. Her passion for words became evident to her English teacher in the eighth grade. Since then Jennifer has been writing non-stop, but it was not until 2006 when she finally realized her passion. She reviews books because she truly loves reading, and wants to spread the word to more than just the people she knows.
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