Beacon Hills High by Mo’Nique w/ Sherry McGee McCovey
Eboni Imes starts off her middle school graduation on the right foot. Accepted into one of the top ranking high schools, Millwood, with her best girlfriends and starting a romance with the star athlete. Eboni’s dreams seem to be coming true, until she finds out that her family is moving to Los Angeles, where Eboni will have start a new life, make new friends and go through numerous challenges with the rich and the superficial.
I went back and forth on this book. I liked Eboni’s character. She’s a strong girl, but with insecurities. She’s funny and sweet, but also a bit naive and idealistic. The story itself didn’t seem very original, but the contemporary references and terminology make it more approachable for teens.
Eboni and her new friends deal with the school mean girl, Maya Williams, while Eboni tries to figure out her emotions towards Maya’s on-again/off-again boyfriend Gene Hicks, also a star athlete. Mo’Nique brings up the issues of body image, sexuality and self-esteem that teenagers go through at some point of their high school lives.
Nearly each chapter ends with Eboni either sending an e-mail to her best friend in Baltimore, Michelle, or having a conversation with God through a prayer. These talks help Eboni keep her perspective as she tries to stay level-headed and optimistic despite the challenges she comes across.
There is a lot of celebrity name-dropping throughout this book, which makes for a good contemporary read. Kids reading this book now will understand all the musical and TV references, but I question the relevance of all these celebrities twenty years down the line. You have to know who she’s talking about to understand why they are important to the story.
Want to know more about the book? You can read the first 100 pages hereBeacon Hills High by Mo’Nique w/ Sherry McGee McCovey HarperCollins, 2008 ISBN 0061121067 189 pages