TITLE: The White House
AUTHOR: JaQuavis Coleman
PUBLISHER: Infamous Books / Akashic Books
PUBLICATION DATE: May 27, 2014
COVER DESIGNER: Davida Baldwin
SYNOPSIS: The White House is based on true events, reimagining the dark chronicles of a notorious drug kingpin's death, and the unfortunate events that followed.
The young heroine Draya lives paycheck to paycheck, laboring as a maid in a luxurious white house. One day, in the course of performing her duties, she is presented with an irresistible opportunity for a quick--and risky--payday. What unfolds in the white house changes the course of her life. Kidnapping, murder, and mayhem lead her--and the reader--through a harrowing and twisting plot to an explosive ending that no one sees coming. Look through the eyes of this young woman and glimpse how a life can forever be altered due to an unfortunate series of events--all touched off in a legendary white house.
Infamous Books, curated by Albert "Prodigy" Johnson of the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, is a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books' mission is to connect readers worldwide to crime fiction and street lit authors both familiar and new.
EXTERIOR / COVER DESIGN: The cover of this book is very appealing. It displays a large luxury house and the tagline “One House…One Robbery…One Mistake.” The tagline alone caught my attention because I am a big fan of crime thrillers. The spine and rear cover look very professional as well. The rear cover contains an author bio, as well as the synopsis.
INTERIOR FORMATTING: The interior of this book is attractive. The use of unique fonts and style makes the books interior stand out. Rather than having the common, centered headers, the headers are corned and run both vertical and horizontal. The page numbers are centered at the bottom of each page and are accompanied by a sleek horizontal line, which is a nice touch.
STORY: The main characters in the story were Draya, June, Blink, Mr. & Mrs. Harris and Cassidy (Cass). Draya was a young woman that worked two jobs to make ends meet. One job was a server at a diner, and the other was a part-time house cleaner. Draya cleaned for Mr. and Mrs. Harris, who were a wealthy interracial couple that lived in a large mansion in Lovi, Michigan. Although the Harris couple had only employed Draya for a few months, she did good work, and they trusted her. Draya lived in poverty, as she took care of herself and her little brother, June. June was a young, small-time drug dealer that liked to keep a little cash in his pocket. He was friends with Blink, who was a young man embedded in the streets. Blink was violent and did anything he could to make money, no matter who he had to betray. Later in the story, we are introduced to Cassidy A.K.A. Cass. Cass is a successful drug dealer in the Detroit area. He has a routine of going to the diner at night and having a meal. During his routine trips to the diner, he becomes fond of Draya. Over time, Cash couldn’t take seeing the young beauty and finally asks her out. He does this by paying her boss to give her the night off, and this gesture impresses her. The two spent the night together and begun their relationship.
In the story, Draya ran into financial problems. She was living paycheck to paycheck, and she found out June received a college acceptance letter. Although he was accepted into a college that didn’t change the fact that they couldn’t afford it. Everything changes when Draya walks in on June and Blink counting a large sum of cash. She comes up with the idea of them staging a robbery at the Harris residence while the couple is away. The robbery goes down as planned but goes bad when Mrs. Harris returns. After the robbery, Draya goes on the run. Cass finds out that someone he cares about is involved in the robbery and tries to find answers. Once he gets the answers he is looking for, he seeks vengeance and doesn’t stop until everyone involved suffers.
The Whitehouse is a quick read but still took me on a roller coaster ride on every page. I could easily visualize each scene: in the Harris mansion, around the different Michigan neighborhoods, and in Draya’s apartment building. Between the drama and the action, I couldn’t put the book down. It was so good; I wish it were a full-length novel just so the story could go on.
RATING: FIVE STARS
The Critique Kings
The Critique Kings are Creedom's book reviewers. They consist of a group of avid readers and writers, which include young readers. Reviews are also posted on Amazon, GoodReads and social media.