Monday, February 3, 2014

Random Lit...Fabiola Joseph's The Art of Deceit

Author Bio:
Fabiola Joseph was raised in Silver Spring Maryland while spending most of her summers in Brooklyn New York. While in Middle school, she found her passion for reading and writing and wrote her first book Among Us. She has not stopped writing ever since. She continues to develop new stories and poems at her home in Florida.
Sex, drugs, lies and video tape all dwell in the shadows of hip hop. A world that is glamorous and alluring can blind its participants to certain truths. This euphoric illusion which is full of money, women, and power, can also be deceiving. You start to believe that the fame will last forever. That the people around you are really your friends, and that the scandalous women at your side really love you for the person that you are. Stardom can become dangerous for the naïve souls who rise to success without armor. Tangie, who has mastered The Art Of Deceit slithers her way into the heart of many and into the wallets of even more, her latest victim being Hip Hop’s newest sensation Tay’von-Too Fine- Miller. Tay’von is told by his record label that he needs a better looking woman on his arm because the public will deem his plus size girlfriend unbefitting for a rising star. So he pulls Tangie into his world hoping to use her for her looks, only to get rid of her when he is done. But he has highly underestimated her. Her charm is hypnotic, that of a snake charmer, and as strong as the magic from a voodoo priest. Once she has cast her spell, she is sure to bring any man or woman down to their knees. She rules with a blackened heart and shows no mercy to people like Shamika, the spiteful girlfriend of equally talented but not as successful rapper Black Dialect. Tangie will stop at nothing to secure her lifestyle, even if that means shaking hands with a record label owner who Tay’von has proclaimed a sworn enemy. Carmello wants Tay’von to sign to his record label, and Tangie wants revenge. Together they hatch a plan that will give them both what they want. What will happen when Tay’von, his bodyguard, the sexy R&B tour mate Amira, and Carmello all fall under Tangies spell? Death, debauchery, and deceit, now if only everything would go as planned.
**Contains Spoilers**
Wow!!! Where do I start? Okay, first things first, Tangie is crazy as hell. Like certifiably insane and needs to be committed ASAP. While Fabiola never came straight out and said it, I'm pretty sure Tangie is addicted to sex and money (Dr. Phil would agree with me).
Tangie starts out as a woman with her sights set high, extremely high, and I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the fact that once she got into a position where she had everything she wanted, literally, she still wasn't satified. She wanted more, and more, and even more.
She hooks up with Tay'Von, the #1 rapper in the game, and he spoils her rotten. The minute he leaves to go on tour, she practically rapes his bodyguard (who coincidentally falls in love with her and can't resist her ever again). Now, Tay'Von is definitely no angel; he's doing his dirt while on tour and he even has and old flame that he's either still seeing or has stopped seeing and still sleeps with every now and then.
Fast forward, Tangie goes out on tour with him, with the understanding that she's not allowed to ask any questions about what he's doing or who he's doing it with. She develops a relationship with and falls in love with the R&B singer Amira, and while on tour these two women somehow fool Tay'Von into believing they're just really close friends. Amira ends up killing herself after Tay'Von forbids Tangie from seeing her ever again. In the midst of all of this, Tay'Von (who does just about every drug known to man) smokes a laced blunt with another rapper's girlfriend, Shamika, and in a fit of anger, he basically rapes Tangie, brutally assaults her and leaves her bruised and "bitten." Tangie uses this as her reasoning behind getting back at Shamika.
Fast forward more, Tangie enlists the help of a crooked record exec and on the night before her wedding to Tay'Von (who she marries even though she's slept with just about everyone he works with or refuses to work with) she leaks a sextape of Shamika and her rapper boyfriend, Black, in a very compromising position.
Shamika vows revenge and tries to tell everyone that Tangie set her up, but Tangie has everyone fooled and no one believes Shamika. In the end Shamkia confronts and almost kills Tangie, but Tangie manages to kill her instead. The novel ended under the presumption that Tay'von was dying and so was Tangie, but we're left waitig to see what happens in part 2.
If I could change anything, I would want more background on Tangie. I don't think we will ever be able to understand or explain why people do crazy things, but I would want more from Tangie's environment and upbringing. Also, I felt like there was something missing. you know that feeling where you expect a twist or explanation and never get it? That's how I'm left feeling right now. Not because of how the novel ended, but because it just feels like there should be more.
Either way, I enjoyed the novel and look forward to reading more from this author.
4 Stars

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