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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

3.6 out of 5
5 Stars
11 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
13 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
6 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
9 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
1 reviews have 1 stars

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All Book Reviews

  • Very disappointing

    The Other Black Girl was definitely a book of two halves for me. The majority of the book is a slow paced, realistic thriller set in a publishing house with a real sense of unease running through it. After years of trying to promote diversity in her workplace, Nella struggles when a new black girl is hired who doesn’t seem to share the same ideals as her but is also winning over the bosses and undermining Nella at every opportunity. I really liked the portrayal of black issues that are at the forefront of this part of the book; the dilemma of trying to speak up that one of the companies best-selling authors has created a harmful stereotype of black culture within their writing was really interesting and I liked how realistic Nella felt. As this part of the book is so long you also start to see the plot from all sides, it was an interesting balance between how much gas-lighting and undermining was going on from Hazel but also how much could be just jealousy from Nella about someone else coming in and taking her ‘position’ within the company. Nella comes across as a bit unhinged at times which cast her reliability into question nicely. By around 80% of the book, I was still very unsure where the story was going and not much had actually happened. There’d been a few warning notes at Nella’s desk demanding that she leave her job but I really think this section could have been edited down considerably. There were also a few chapters written in other perspectives but these were confusing, I didn’t really understand how they related to the story and as the plot was so slow and they didn’t move it on at all I found myself very frustrated with them. At 80% we suddenly get a massive genre change and the whole book takes on a bit of a sci-fi tilt. This was immensely jarring and because the previous parts of the book had been so realistic it just felt a bit ridiculous. By 91% I felt like the plot had finally gotten going but this didn’t really give the book anywhere to go once the reveal had been made. The change came from nowhere and hadn’t really been set up or alluded to in the previous half of the book and so there was nothing to grasp on to. I really think the hair-care party which sparked the change should have come at 50% of the novel and then the rest of it focussed on fleshing the idea out and showing the reader the motivations behind what was happening. All we got in regards to that was a monologue from one character right towards the end which just seem to portray them as a straight-up evil, without any light or shade. It would have been great to get a few more hints earlier in the story as to what was specifically going on as well. The twist at the end felt very predictable once you knew what was going on and I’m still left with a lot more questions than the ending answered. Overall, The Other Black Girl is a slow-paced read with a jarring plot and genre twist that came way too late in the story to do anything with. Thank you to NetGalley & Bloomsbury Publishing for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Spirited, Potent Read!

    So very different and, at times, a bit strange and unsettling! Nella Rogers works in publishing at Wagner Books where she feels very much the token black girl. She’s fed up with never really feeling a part of things so when the other black girl turns up in the cubicle next to hers, Nella is delighted. Just as a friendship begins to bloom, there is a succession of things which leave Hazel as everyone’s best friend and Nella as public enemy number one. Then Nella begins to receive little notes telling her to leave Wagner; is Hazel really going to be that obvious in her take-over, or is there more to this than meets the eye? Who knew the world of publishing could be so cutthroat? Everyone I deal with is always so nice! There are more than one narrators in this book, and for quite some time I didn’t know what the connection was. On several occasions I was reading on assuming I was still with one person when I suddenly realised it was someone else now. It’s really hard to put this one aside; it’s a compelling read and one where I was almost afraid to miss a word in case it altered something and I missed it! For a long time I wasn’t really sure what was going on, then it got even more complicated and by the end I was left wondering what happened to some of the characters. From time to time I had the chilling feeling of glimpses of The Handmaid’s Tale and the Stepford Wives. Weird and sinister with an almost futuristic feel to it, it was strangely enjoyable. I thought I had hair problems – I shall look at anyone with black hair with a new admiration from now on! A spirited, potent read and one I’m sure will make this author one to note for future. For me, I’m happy to give this one 4*.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Terrifying, mesmerizing psychological horror

    Having worked in publishing, I was immediately drawn to this book. However, it us applicable outside of publishing. A skillfully written, realistic, memorable, and extremely unnnerving mix of fiction and non-fiction. Highly recommended.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The other black girl

    Selected the book as it received a favourable review in a magazine. It was not for me, the characters were not fully formed and confusing, although the essential story was thought provoking and important. Not for me. Others will like it, so look for more opinions than mine.

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    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Endemic of our time

    I dislike the unidimensional ascription of one's problem to the pigmentation in their skin

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    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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