Extremely late post…I picked this book for my February #LOPBuddyRead group because the title alone provided enough depth for me. I love picking books that have a deeper meaning to them, and not just surface level ideas. They can create powerful conversations, and in turn, we take a closer look into the lives of others daily. That’s how empathy is created.
Yinka’s Nigerian aunties frequently pray for her delivery from singledom, her work friends think she’s too traditional (she’s saving herself for marriage!), her girlfriends think she needs to get over her ex already, and the men in her life…well, that’s a whole other story. But Yinka herself has always believed that true love will find her when the time is right.
Still, when her cousin gets engaged, Yinka commences Operation Find-A-Date for Rachel’s Wedding. Aided by a spreadsheet and her best friend, Yinka is determined to succeed. Will Yinka find herself a huzband? And what if the thing she really needs to find is herself?
Yinka, like some of the other women in this book, reminded me of myself and some people that I know and love. There were a lot of things that pissed me off about the way she handled certain situations, and the timing of them. I had moments of wanting to throw the book (which we all know I would never!) because I was just so confused and frustrated. I was really in my feelings.
The midnight sky is just as beautiful as the sunrise.
While being so turned off by some of these things, I had to bring myself back down to earth. I had to remember “not everyone learns at the same pace.” A lot of the things she struggled with (body issues and colorism) are serious matters that most of us go through. Especially women of color. Specifically Black women of color. Which is why most people will be upset with this book, and not find an understanding towards it. I myself have face most of the very problematic and concerning choices that Yinka found herself in.
Though I started to seek help as a teen, and learned to love myself unconditionally; Yinka went on a different path, and thats okay. As long as you have a moment of realization, it’s okay to move at your own pace. Unfortunately, a lot of her undoing came from her mother, and her aunties. Women who are supposed to support and uplift you. As i’m writing this I still have to take a moment to say, it’s also not entirely their fault. Yes it can be alarming and frustrating when age plays such a huge part in it. You would expect someone of a certain age to know better, but the reality is, they don’t always.
I think people forget that everyone is going through something. Even the most well dressed, and confident people you know. This is why communication is so important. Had Yinka’s mom and aunties spoken up about their trauma, they could have avoided passing it on to their own daughters.
Women don’t have to get married to be happy or find value in themselves.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about each character. There was a lot of fights within friends and family, but for me it was all about lack of communication and that was the reason for all of the hurt that was done. Non of the characters where inherently bad. Just misunderstood.
Something I loved about this book was Yinka’s journey to self love. She still has a long way to go, but I am so happy she believed in herself enough to actually talk to someone about her struggles, and open up to her family.
I have this belief… this belief that the reason why I’m still single is because… I’m not beautiful enough. You see, for years, I’ve searched for someone who looks like me, with my complexion, my figure, my hair, to be the chosen one. But when I look at all the famous Black me , their wives, their girlfriends, they don’t look like me.
I saw a review that said “not for a teenager” …why not? I understand that the younger audience can interpret things very differently from what they are. They can completely miss what the book is intending for them to see and understand, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t read it. One of the problems in the world today is where you’re getting your learning source from. Social media can’t be it. Majority of the people on there are hiding themselves. People show you what they want you to see. How many people do you think are really showing the ugly unforgivable parts of themselves?
I need to get in touch with who I really am, not try to be the person the world wants me to be.
This is why open conversations, with family and friends, or even people whom you respect as a whole help so much. Anyone younger reading this, will have questions, as they should. These are not easy conversations to be had, but they are extremely important. Learning about your self worth is one of the greatest lessons to learn at a young age. Granted, we know it doesn’t happen like this for everyone, and even when it does, theres still takes some more time to fully understand. We never stop learned. Everyday theres a new challenge. I definitely don’t agree that its not for teenagers. They might need it the most.
Yes, your rich chocolate skin does deserve a seat at the table.