Review ~ Busted: A Memoir of Teenage Years by Phianna Rekab


From author Phianna Rekab comes her deeply personal memoir of her teenage years, Busted. Ugly pain and hardship meets good humor as she details her personal story of migrating from the Caribbean and growing up in Brooklyn, New York in the 1980s. Faced with the scourge of rampant sex, drugs, alcohol and other abuses she finds a way out of her poor neighborhood in search of her dream: becoming American.

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My thoughts

Phianna Rekab‘s teenage voice clearly shows through this memoir of those years from her travels from her home in the Caribbean to the dreamland called America. Her voice changes from the child hiding under the table sipping sweet milk to the disillusioned yet still oddly hopeful American immigrant.

Coming to America in the 1980s, Rekab’s family came at a period where you would have thought all of the strife of hard living would have passed, but it never does if you are a non-white. She indicates this through her stories of her family, friends, and herself. She holds the mirror up to everyone – including herself.

It is a familiar tale, unfortunately, but I think it is one that every teenager should read and should be part of a high school reading list because it gives the point of view from her at that age and Rekab’s voice is perfectly shown for that time period.

When I first started reading this book, I had no clue that Rekab had written other books and I thought this writer needs to continue to write; she has a voice that should be heard – and then I looked her up (laugh) and she has been writing. If you have not had a chance to read one of her books, try this one first.

I received this book for free in a Goodreads Giveaway and give my opinion without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Further Details:
Publisher: Self-Published, 9781732880726, 11 November 2018
Settings: Caribbean, and Brooklyn, NY, US; Pages: 164

Editor’s Note: previously published on PRW on 31 January 2019. Edited with updated content & PR standard formatting on 4 May 2020.


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