Our based-on-a-true protagonist AnnMarie is coming up in Far Rockaway, Queens in the 1990s (I think). She's living with her single mother and about to be one herself. I'm not sure yet how I feel about this book. The story is well-told, and AnnMarie is likable and relatable. The author is a close friend of the person the novel is based on. She may (or may not?) get everything right, but she's still a person from a different race and class writing in a Black, urban vernacular presumably not her own.
I had a sort-of fight with a friend recently about whether or not academics should get to write about communities outside their lived experience, or whether such efforts need to be collaborative or at least in close consultation. I feel the same about creative works. It does seem that OtCU is in this third category, but it still feels awkward to me.
Regardless, the plot points are girl gets pregnant, boyfriend does not live up to expectations, girl gets the lead in an indie film, film ends, girl's life goes on except she's a mother now. Typical bildingsroman stuff.