Amazing plot but just a little meh and a very slow read.
So, you know, I’m probably going to be massively outnumbered on my thoughts of this, but this book just wasn’t my friend. Here’s what you’re in for:
✨ One 26-year-old Nella who’s the only Black person in the office
✨ A LOT of microaggressions
✨ The Other Black Girl comes in and rocks the boat massively
✨ A weird mystery that you most definitely will not see coming
Nella is fed up and tired. After shouldering the weight of white guilt on her shoulders during her publishing career, she just wants people to listen to her and take her god damn feedback – especially when they outright ask for it. Diversity town halls have slowly diminished into cancellation and that promotion constantly just seems out of reach.
And then one day she smells it – cocoa butter. There’s another Black girl (Hazel) on the floor and she’s here for a job interview. After bonding over hair routines, Hazel quickly shoots past her to become the popular one in the office leaving Nella in the dust.
Before long, notes start to appear on her desk telling her to leave Wagners. A freaked-the-fuck-out Nella is now on a mission to find out WTF is going on.
I LOVED the premises of this book and it’s massively important to get these stories (even if the end takes a wild twist) out there. However, it’s a very, very, VERY sloooooooOooOoooOOw read and really doesn’t get going until the final 20%. With my attention span being in the gutter, it was a bit of a struggle bus to read and took me far too long to get through.
It also felt like a toe-dip into the thriller world. Literally mega confused when what I thought was an office story went a little whack at the end. I’m so on board with things going a little tits up, yet the tension wasn’t quite there for me. I’m not saying I expect fisty-cuffs at dawn type shit but just needed a bit more to fall in love with it.
The concept of this book is amazing, original and will 100% be EVERYWHERE this summer. It just missed the mark a bit for me. I really hope Zakiya goes full thriller next time.
The Other Black Girl is living on shelves right now.