I received Sex, Love and Fame by Kris Kristofferson with a different title. After several weeks, I was gifted the story before and after the make-over. It was a tad confusing but I thought to myself; I said "Alyssa,"... because I address myself by name. "Alyssa, this could be good. Especially since it's his first novel!" Writing under the name Kris Kristofferson, I was both intrigued and excited to see this new author had to offer.
Sex, Love and Fame carries the nostalgic vibe of the East Coast v. West Coast rap wars- with a lethargic twist. The story is about Jaylen, who's motto should be 'Play dirty or go home!' He's selfish, in love with the wife of the man who owns the label Jaylen blackmailed on to and he steps on anyone he feels is beneath him. He walks a nescient yet advantageous line and doesn't care who he pisses off. Which is why so many want him dead.
I know this is Kristofferson's first book and I promised I wouldn't be heavy on him, but I still have to be honest. So with the start of this review, let's begin with the book's cover.
First, no one's ever going to know who he is! His pen name belongs to a well-known actor and singer so he can't put his name on the cover without being sued. Without a name on the cover, no matter how small, no one's ever going to know who you are, thus diminishing great opportunities of recognition. The cover's got a lot going on, yet not enough. After reading the book, I see why he used the images, but with the setup, it's difficult to tell what's going on. That's a turn-off for many readers since a cover is a sort of One-Liner for the possible reader. It has to hit on the reader like, "What's up baby; look at me!" And it should also give the briefest of summary- whetting the interest. this one causes a little confusion.
Now as for the story, it too was busy and a bit juvenile, in a mature sort of way. The story was a mish mosh of rap, record deals, thug life and sex. It made me think of Death Row Records, Bad Boy Records and the new show Empire. Sadly, I've never been big on hip hop and I don't watch Empire... "gasp!" Because of the pace to the story and how not one person could hold a decent conversation in a profitable business industry was a little upsetting. There was so much name dropping and excessive clothing descriptions. It was a lot of flash but the show was lost.
The characters were set and I appreciated that. I'd have loved more background- one needs to know more about the one they're reading so they can come to care. I also loved that Jaylen knew what he wanted and went for it, but dang... how he did it all was unreal. The only one I really liked was Vanessa but that's probably because she played a small part in it all. But her parts were realistic and relatable. Who hasn't gotten a load of money and spent it all and wondered what happened? Oh, and the fact that everybody saw that dang black van... REPEATEDLY, and continued to ignore it was like, wow!
I won't tell the story but the grit that could have made this book actually tore it down. The pace was way too fast and the story was filled with too much street biz. I found myself browsing from the middle to the end. That doesn't mean the author can't come away from this book with something big the next go-round. I'm actually willing to take a chance on Kristofferson's next book. The first book always teaches a lesson. I think he's got stories to tell, but he needs the proper crew behind him first. Once that happens, his flow will catch readers and fans alike. Right now, you gonna see me rollin' to the next book! 📚
Rating: 👓👓👓/5 specs
*Blood Matters is next.
**eBook provided by author, Kris Kristofferson for an honest review.
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