Monday, July 6, 2009

I Hated Chasing Destiny!

Eric Jerome Dickey has written a few of my favorite books. I really dig the Brotha; First thing I dig is how all of his books use characters from all his other books. Dickey is one the best at interconnecting the characters and stories. Second thing, the Brotha does is create an interesting premises. Snazzy Title, Great visual photo, great idea.

But sometimes Dickey leaves me flat. To be fair, I will give you an example. In Milk in my Coffee, that book led you too believe that it was a tale of interracial romance but it kept giving you real, not so subtle, hints that our Female lead was not European American but an Afrikan American. How? By continually mentioning the Woman's Booty three or four gajillion times! Early on in the book I figured that out but it went all the way til the end of the book before it finally confirmed what I figured in the second act.

So over the years I kinda hesitate when grabbing an Eric Jerome Dickey book. But I do like the Brothas books so I grabbed Chasing Destiny!

Quick Peep! Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! If you have not read the book and want to then go read Mista Jaycee's Sex Tape Posts and come back after you read the book!

The book focuses on the love affair between soon to be divorcee Keith and his Girlfriend "Billie/Ducati. Keith is in a very messy divorce with Carmen, a high powered Lawyer who like the Wicked Witch of the East uses all of her powers to make Keith's life miserable. Keith's crime, he wants a divorce! Carmen is determined that she and her hubby will continue to be a family, married til death do them part. And she means til Death do them Part! Caught up in the middle of all this is Keith's 15 year old daughter Destiny. Destiny is book smart and understands that her Parents marriage is dead and done. She understands this even if her Mother and her Grandparents don't!

The book does a great job of illustrating Destiny's confusion and fear. Her Mother is manipulative and mean! Destiny sneaks out and meets up with a few fellas she met in at the Beverly Center. She ends up in a fight, ends up drugged and gang raped. Worse! They filmed it and now they are selling it as part of Hoodrats Part Five all up and down Crenshaw!

Parents Moment to Pause....Shudder and Throw Up!

OK! Pause over! Now back to why I didn't like the book! Billie rides a Ducati and is supposedly a part of the Black Biker scene but Dickey got lazy cause he didn't really flesh out the Black Biker scene. Instead he gave us some eye candy, some Lipstick Lesbian Biker Chicks poppin wheelies at the Starbucks on Crenshaw. That is not the Black Biker scene. Billie instead is just a good looking Woman on a Motorcycle not part of a culture. Dig? EJD said that Billie was part of the scene not just a weekend Biker dig? It's glossed over! Hey Eric! Los Angeles has a long history of Black Motorcycle Clubs that are still active! The Chosen Few, Brothers of the Sun, Royal Aces! You could have talked with them and used them. There are also tons of Female Motor Clubs too. You should have definitely used them!

Billie tells Keith she's pregnant just as he's about to break it off. Why? Cause Wicked Witch Carmen got him by the short and curlies and he don't know what to do. That's why! EJD diverts us with Raheem, a very rich Afro/Latino dude that wants Billie! He buys a Ducati that he can't ride just to get next to her.

Now....I know it's getting crazy but you remember how I mentioned EJD's gift for interconnecting his characters right? Billie's roommate, an over sexed Korean raised by a Black Man, has a lil Bi-racial Sista that's running round with the Producers of Hoodrats Five. Raheem's proud of his niece who attends USC Film school but is completely unaware that she is the real producer of Girl Fights and Hoodrats Five. Raheem's niece, Lupe, rides up Crenshaw Blvd. scoping and stalking young talent for her to films. She lures the unsuspecting teenagers into sex parties or coaxes one of the girls to beat up a girl she may randomly choose on the street. Lupe, got the whole game on lock. She has the equipment, she employs the goon squad to hawk her tapes and scout for talent.

Raheem's niece, Lupe, is a piece of work! She's pimpin everybody! She pimps Destiny! First, she coaxes Q, Vivian's(Billie's roommate) lil Sis (Billie, Vivian and Destiny have no idea they are interconnected) to fight Destiny. Destiny hits her with her purse and ruins her model worthy face. Then Destiny goes to a party where she is drugged and well I told you the rest. (Barf!)

The book dedicates alot of ink to Carmen is stalking Billie, berating her and finally bribing her to take her Baby and leave Keith alone. The book gets lost from Destiny and Billie and Keith's relationship and gets lost in Carmen and Keith drama. In between this we have scenes of Destiny is on a revenge quest for all those involved in drugging and gang raping her. Billie is looking to kill Carmen who she believes tried to run her down and what about Grandpa?

All and all there was no real resolution. All of the characters had this six degrees of separation thing going on but none were connected at the end. The connections were not realized!
That's what I call Lazy writing. You wanted to write a story using the Black Biker culture but you did none of the homework. You wanted to tell a multilayer story, cool! But you didn't tie up the loose ends.

The Mo character gets his whole Southern region blown off! But Destiny is never shown to be implicated. Destiny is shown plotting to eliminate Billie, the problem, but never shown to stand up to her manipulative Mother. Destiny is shown disfiguring Goldie but leaving Lupe, hurt but alive even after she realizes that it is Lupe who is the puppet master. Worse of all I can't feel sorry for Destiny cause she managed to destroy alot of the DVDS.

Ultimately you didn't live up to the title. You didn't really make the focus on Destiny! Sure she was confused, angry, raped and exploited but Keith never really let his daughter know you are the most important person in my life. You are my Child! He never really allowed Billie and Destiny to build any kind of relationship. Destiny's life is wrecked but where is the Justice for her? All the characters ended up hurt in some kinda way but not punished and held accountable for their misdeeds!

Well luckily EJD will write a few hundred more for me to enjoy. Tell me what you think.

BE Prayerful!BE Mindful! BE Careful!


Keli said...

I actually liked the circular writing in Chasing Destiny...


I was not a fan of how it all came together at the end.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, this one has been my least favorite so far, but his most recent books show his growth. Loved the Gideon series.

LaQT said...

I was kept on the edge with this one. I loved the way the stories were interconnected. I will agree that the ending was not pleasing at all. And your right, Destiny wasn't really the focus. But I guess that's kind of the point...maybe. While all the drama was going on Destiny's life/childhood slipped right throught the cracks.

Anonymous said...

Okay okay... I don't know if I want to keep reading.. guessing maybe I might consider reading that book...but you hated it? Wow..well I'll continue to read no need in wasting money!



Mista Jaycee said...

Go! Read the book! Books are great even if you end up hating a book. EJD just choked at the end on this one. Destiny, was a real good character. Carmen was a great character cause she was layered. She wasn't evil all the time. She had valid points that she made to Billie. I think EJD just got caught up with too many different storylines. Destiny's revenge quest was vivid but it didn't end up with anyone really looking out for her. She went to jail! Where is the section of her trail? She blew a fellas equipment off! She blinded, burned and slashed! Where is the wrap up that shows that she was justified?

Why in the Hell would Billie/Ducati keep talking with Raheem after he revealed his knowledge of Carmen? Why was Keith so broken down? Why didn't he stand up for more than just the fact that he'd gotten a raw deal?

So many loose ends! UHHHHHHHGH!

Lil Honey B said...

Oh! I liked this book alot! The ending was a lot more bitter than sweet, but it bees like that a times. EJD is my favorite!!!

Pretty Tira said...

Yesss I love him & his books too! Zane is better though =) good post

asia kismet said...

EJD used to be my guilty pleasure...but after reading pleasure [it think that's what one of the recent ones was called.] i've realized i've just moved on. the relationship i used to have with his writing just isn't there anymore.

Hadassah said...

Oh man I shouldn't have read this cause I have chasing destiny sitting on the book shelf that I bought two years and I haven't read it yet.

Mista Jaycee said...

Go on and read the book. That's the only way we will have fair discourse.

Years ago I read Terry Mcmillan's Waiting to exhale. Wow! What a turd that book was but it has given me hours of informed conversation so it was not a waste.