Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
A Haitian American teenager unlocks her vodou power in this joyful romance by Rigaud (Simone Breaks All the Rules). Cicely Destin is excited to celebrate her 15th birthday, which falls on the same weekend as Brooklyn's West Indian Day Parade. At the event, her mother's estranged vodouista sister, Tati Mimose, invites Cicely and her best friend, Renee, to meet Papash, the girls' favorite rapper, whom Tati Mimose is interviewing for her podcast. Everything about the outing is planned to the letter, including what time Cicely is due back at her parents' carnival food booth, but her schedule is derailed when a spirit possesses Tati Mimose after a tarot reading gone wrong. With the help of Renee and her classmate--and crush--Kwame, Cicely embarks on a borough-wide hunt to gather the ceremonial items required to cast out the ghost in time for Tati Mimose's interview. Rigaud develops a fast-paced love letter to Brooklyn and Caribbean American culture via a courageous and resolute cast who, through varying interpersonal struggles, explore the meaning of vodou while reckoning with internalized shame about their heritage. Ages 12--up. (Aug.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A sophomore with a lot on her mind must come to terms with the Vodou in her blood. Cicely Destin turns 15 on Labor Day this year, which, as a Haitian American girl from Brooklyn, also coincides with her favorite annual event, the West Indian Day Parade. Things have been especially difficult since her Grandma Rose passed away, taking with her the last civil connection between Cicely's mother and Tati Mimose, her beloved aunt who is a Vodouista. Cicely's mother doesn't appreciate the taboo magical influence her sister has had on Cicely's life ever since a particularly scary incident when Cicely was 9. But this year Cicely has high hopes for her birthday, including time spent with her best friend soaking up the parade, meeting her favorite rapper (by way of Tati Mimose's rising social media fame), and maybe even getting close to a cute boy from school. Tati Mimose's getting possessed by an especially eccentric spirit during a botched tarot reading is unexpected and supernaturally stressful but doesn't make the uniquely Brooklyn Caribbean celebrations of the day any less pleasurable for Cicely. Rigaud explores many elements of Haitian and Afro-Caribbean culture thoughtfully and with an admirable vulnerability as Cicely adventures down Eastern Parkway navigating stigma and magic, devils and allies, family legacies and shame en route to a rich, magical sort of self-discovery. Steeped in the magic of first kisses, family bonds, and joyful community. (author's note) (Fiction. 12-17) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.