Title: My Life Is All I Have
Author: V. Anthony Rivers
Website of Author: www.vanthonyrivers.com
Website of Publisher: www.streborbooks.com
Genre: Fiction / Street Life
Publication date: June 2006
Length: 312 pages
A powerful, gritty story written from the heart.
Money always seems so much to you when you haven’t got any; of course you’ll deny it to the bitter end, as did Leesha Annette Tyler. Since her childhood she always noticed the girls at school whose new clothes changed every week, and were nothing like those seen down her end of the town, even if she could afford them. So when she hit upon the idea of pursing her dream, and escaping the ghetto she’d become tired of, Leesha decides that the only way to get what she wants and to make a new life, is to rob a bank.
Meanwhile, as she contemplates how to do this, she looks back on the time of her life where she met Scottie ‘Blaze’ Frankin. He’s a nice guy, and although he has been involved in some gang related incidents he is trying to stay away from all that and only doing what is absolutely necessary in order to make money and survive. Scottie, who is older than her, takes it upon himself to look out for Leesha as a big brother would. Over time their relationship, although platonic, strengthens to the point that they are always there for each other. No matter what. This is a blessing in disguise, because Leesha’s home life is pretty hard, and although she has her Grandma (Grammy) who she loves and respects very much, she doesn’t know her father, and her mother is too preoccupied with her latest, alcoholic, out-of-work boyfriend to bother about what she is up to.
When Leesha finds herself an admirer, Treyvon , a public school boy with a talent for drawing, she’s unsure what she really wants. She likes the attention, but is not sure if she really cares for him as her boyfriend. He is an artist with a rare talent, and in the back of her mind thinks Trey should be going places, making a name for himself, not wasting his time with her. Trey, on the other hand is smitten, and will do anything for Leesha, even if it means laying down his life for the woman he loves. Can love change everything, before it’s too late to try?
This is a vivid portrayal of life in the ghetto, and I’m not sure if the author has a similar background or not, but he certainly knows how to write about living on the wrong side of L.A. I felt I really understood Leesha, and the issues she had to deal with. I cared about what happened to her, and how the things in her life affected her, both the good and bad. In fact, I’m not ashamed to say, I was so wrapped up in this book, I even shed a tear at the end! I haven’t read many books that can do that. It’s a very moving and powerful book. As you can tell, this is a very character orientated story, and one that I won’t forget in a hurry. I’m so pleased I had the opportunity to try out a book by an author of whom I had only heard of, but never read any of his work before. It’s gritty, and there’s a lot of street talk and gang related aspects that really set the scene, yet at the same time, this book is full of emotion, and tender in places – it’s a contrast, which not only works but makes it a pleasure to read. I loved hearing how Leesha coped with the various other characters, Grammy, her mum, her dad, Scottie, Trey and Luther. The way V. Anthony Rivers developed the plot that tied all the characters together, made a fantastic read.
When this reader shut the book, she couldn’t help thinking about how the choices people make, and the lessons we learn when we own up to our mistakes, really do have an impact, and the ability to change our lives forever. It’s a very thought provoking book, and now I’m hooked on the talent of V. Anthony Rivers! Y’all gotta read this – it’s bumpin’!
About the Author:
V. Anthony Rivers is the author of Daughter by Spirit and Everybody Got Issues. Both are published by Strebor Books International. He’s also featured in several anthologies; Sistergirls.com, Love Is Never Painless and Truth Be Told. He is steadily writing and has short stories and other novels in the works. He hopes to write more novels in the future that bring to light the rich history of our ancestry as well as the stories which feature today’s contemporary lifestyles. He gets his biggest joy out of combining elements from the present and past to tell a story that moves you in ways you never thought possible.
V. Anthony Rivers was born in Los Angeles, California but stays very connected to his Texas roots where both sides of his family originate. He currently resides in Van Nuys, California.