Review: Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams


Alicia D. Williams


“Reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.” —The New York Times

“One of the best books I have ever read…will live in the hearts of readers for the rest of their lives.” —Colby Sharp, founder of Nerdy Book Club

“An emotional, painful, yet still hopeful adolescent journey…one that needed telling.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“I really loved this.” —Sharon M. Draper, author of the New York Times bestseller Out of My Mind

This deeply sensitive and “compelling” (BCCB) debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.

There are ninety-six reasons why thirteen-year-old Genesis dislikes herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list:
-Because her family is always being put out of their house.
-Because her dad has a gambling problem. And maybe a drinking problem too.
-Because Genesis knows this is all her fault.
-Because she wasn’t born looking like Mama.
-Because she is too black.

Genesis is determined to fix her family, and she’s willing to try anything to do so…even if it means harming herself in the process. But when Genesis starts to find a thing or two she actually likes about herself, she discovers that changing her own attitude is the first step in helping change others.


I love this cover so much.


From the cover, you may be able to tell that this book is about a middle school Black girl who deals with colorism.
*prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.
*”colorism within the black community has been a serious emotional and psychological battle”
Definitions from Oxford Languages

Middle school age is a tough age to fit in at school.
Even harder when you’re Genesis and these things are stacked against you:
♦ being on the verge of homelessness
♦ a father who is an alcoholic
♦ being dark-skinned
♦ always changing schools

This book packs a punch. Even though this book is geared towards middle schooler readers I think it’s poignant enough to be read by anyone at any age.

“I remember on that back porch asking dad why he hates me. But I never stopped to ask myself why I hate me.”

“I just want to look in the mirror and be okay with myself.”

Audio book source: Library/Overdrive
Narrator: Alicia D. Williams
Length: 8H 48M

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