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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Jennifer Paige’s novel Boss unravels with the story of Miah, a young black American woman who lives in a seedy project with her mother, and they survive largely on welfare. She gets pregnant by Mello, a small time street thug, and seems destined to become a young mother with grim prospects in life. She has an abortion, finishes school, and manages to get a decent job while Mello does jail time. Staying in her mother’s house proves to be her undoing and she loses her job. She eventually hooks up with Larry, another shady character, and delivers his son, but the relationship is far from perfect. Then she meets JR who becomes her live-in partner, but things take a turn for the worse when JR has an affair with Jasmine.
Boss by Jennifer Paige paints a vivid picture of life in an urban milieu. The author intricately weaves together the lives of a number of characters and each of them has stories to tell. This is definitely the shady part of urban life where young men and women grow up in an environment where dealing in drugs and living on welfare is the norm rather than the exception. As they live their lives and take the consequences of their actions, this book seems to subtly ask readers not to condemn them completely and focuses instead on their stories and the society that makes them act the way they do. Jennifer Paige knows her subject well and she presents her point in a way that is quite effective.