**4.5-stars rounded up**
The Other Black Girl is a super smart debut and would make a great freaking movie. I really enjoyed this!
It’s hard to categorize what exactly this book is. While it felt like Horror to me, I’ll settle for describing it as Speculative Fiction with a Thriller twist.
Nella Rogers is an editorial assistant at Wagner Books and the only black employee in that position. Wagner was her goal publishing house. She worked damn hard to get where she is and continues to every day.
No matter how hard she works, however, Nella is still subject to daily microaggressions in the workspace. Regardless, she knows she needs to go along to get along, as they say.
When Harlem-born, Hazel, is introduced to her as a new colleague, Nella is shocked. Another black girl?
This could be fun. She’s never had this before. Maybe she’ll finally have someone willing to back her up when she tries to change the status quo a bit.
While Hazel seems nice at first, there’s something about her Nella just doesn’t trust.
Almost as soon as Hazel begins at Wagner, she’s suddenly the office darling, while Nella gets pushed more and more to the sidelines. Why doesn’t Hazel have to put in the same amount of time at the bottom that Nella did?
Nella is confident that she is damn good at what she does. She knows it isn’t that. So, what is it? Why is everyone so smitten with Hazel?
Then Nella begins to receive threatening and mysterious messages telling her she needs to leave Wagner entirely. Is Hazel behind this, or someone else?
Nella begins to investigate Hazel and makes some shocking discoveries that put her entire future in danger.
If that doesn’t have you intrigued, I don’t know what will!
I loved how Harris framed this story. What starts out feeling like a very tame, contemporary analysis of the U.S. publishing industry quickly evolves into something so much more than that.
As the Reader, you go through it with Nella. I felt everything she was feeling: confused, frustrated, scared, desperate and a whole host of other emotions. Is she being paranoid, is she correct? It is a ride!
It’s sinister, ominous, riddled with a sense of dread and I must say, unpredictable. I couldn’t have predicted this ending in a million years.
I would recommend this to everyone, but particularly if you enjoyed Alyssa Cole’s, When No One is Watching, you should for sure pick this up.
It had that same dark tone, laced with biting, relevant social commentary throughout. A stellar debut. Zakiya Dalila Harris is definitely an author to watch!!!