A Love Hate Thing written by Whitney D. Grandison
Out now from Inkyard Press; 464 pages
About the Author: “A lover of words, Whitney D. Grandison has been writing since as far back as she can remember. Outside of writing, she is a lover of Asian dramas, all things John Hughes, and horror films. She is the author of A Love Hate Thing and The Right Side of Reckless. Whitney currently lives in Akron, Ohio with her two cats, Poe and Hemingway” (Bio taken from author’s website).
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Let’s get into this wonderful read, “A Love Hate Thing” by Whitney D. Grandison! If you’re looking for a book that deals with romance, black-led love, and the struggle of coming from two completely different worlds, then this is the book for you. This story contains swapping perspectives from the main characters Nandy and Tyson. Nandy is headstrong but struggles to accept who she is behind closed doors. Tyson is trying to find a place to call home after moving in with Nandy’s family due to the unfortunate death of his family. Although they were once closer than peas in a pod, time and distance has put a bridge between them that the reader gets to see them cross together. I love how this book realistically conveys what it may look like for a black man to grow up in a low-income and abusive household.
The book also does a great job of showcasing things that the black community cares about. For instance, Tyson has a friend from his old neighborhood come and braid his hair on the porch. To Nandy, the action seems “ghetto” and she’s embarrassed by it, but the love of hair is something that is cherished within the community. As a person of color, I can truly say that I saw myself in the characters and I’m sure others will too. Tyson goes back and forth between wanting to go back to his old home and learning to love the place he’s in now with Nandy’s family. Transitioning to a predominately white school, with the exception of Nandy, is something that causes a lot of tension for him, but, with the help of Nandy`s friends, the readers get to see him thrive in a healthy environment.
Nandy is a character that can be described as an artwork in the making. Although she can be close-minded, she is also someone who knows how to follow her heart, even when it terrifies her. Nandy has to learn how to appreciate who she is and what she has through spending time with Tyson. She begins to learn how to love beyond reputation, looks, and superficial terms. She starts to love what helps her grow and thrive in a majority wealthy and white community as a young black girl.
The romance that blooms between Tyson and Nandy is similar to a boat on the ocean. Sometimes the waves make it hard for them to stand so they rock and fall, and other times the waves are calm and peaceful so they can take in every moment around them. This is a story about overcoming hardship and it’s perfect for young adults because of it. It shows that teenagers struggle through adolescence but with consistent patience, opportunities, and love they can become the best version of themselves. Grandison does a wonderful job of showing that you don’t have to fail because of the start you are given. You can win depending on how you choose to finish.
PRR Writer, Destiny Gilchrist