Book Review: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris.

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So lately I have been getting into thrillers, especially quiet thrillers where the “thrilling” aspect is woven throughout the novel, but only gets revealed at the beginning or t the end, but for the most part it is mainly a characters study. And The Other Black Girl does that.

The Other Black Girl follows 26 year old Nella Rogers, who is the only black editorial assistant at Wagner Publishing. One day, a new assistant starts, who is also black – Hazel. Nella is excited to get to know her new co-worker and become friends, however, she soon receives a note saying, “Leave Wagner Now.” Shocked at such a note she tries to figure out who sent it, and has a sneaking suspicion it is Hazel, but it doesn’t seem possible because she seems kind. Or is there something more sinister going on?

I enjoyed The Other Black Girl, it was both griping and frustrating to read, and I was hooked. I don’t feel like I am in a position to talk about all the nuances regarding race and microaggressions. I will say it was frustrating to see Nella get gaslighted by those around her in different ways, particularly Hazel. It was also frustrating how people were not considerate of Nella’s opinions, or provided a space where she could share openly her concerns about content that can come across as hurtful and insensitive to those in the public community. It also made me think about times I have been dismissive of certain topics, and this book made me realize that I do need to pay more attention to what others are saying.

I found the novel quite sinister because from the beginning you know things are not as they seem, and once Nella got the first note, I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was going on. Without giving too many spoilers, the thing going on behind the scenes was interesting, and I wish we had gotten more information/ back story as to how it came to be.

I liked the characters, Nella was interesting and just seeing her trying to get through each day with the microaggressions and her dream to become an editor. Hazel , I think because I had read the synopsis and already knew something was suspicious about her, was infuriating, especially since somehow readers know she is going to mess Nella around.

I did enjoy the author’s writing style. I liked how she used a framed narrative in each chapter to show the present, and the goes back into the past and sets it up, and then comes back to the present. I also like how the novel comes full circle at the end.

Ugh! There is so much more I could say, but I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who would like to read The Other Black Girl. Overall, it is a quiet thriller that also made me think about my own attitudes when it comes to microaggressions and race. It was also informative about just how cut-throat the publishing world can be. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

One thought on “Book Review: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

  1. Pingback: 20 Books of Summer Challenge Wrap-up | Meanderings of a BookWorm

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