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Dare Paperback – December 11, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Abiola Abrams is best known as the host of BET's The Best Shorts. Her first novel, Dare, is a Faustian tale set in the world of hip hop. Abrams has a keen ear for dialog, and though almost outrageous at times, her characters are believable and often fascinating. Dare may end up in several nooks of your bookstore, filed under "chick lit," "African American literature," or even in the burgeoning "street lit" genre. Don't be fooled by the labels, this is a promising and enjoyable debut." -- David Gutowski, Large Hearted Boy

"Abiola Abrams' debut is like a breath of fresh air for young fiction and the depiction of women in hip hop. Finally, the world will see the conflicted struggles of ladies in the rap biz in a way that women in hip hop have known and understood for years." -- Raqiyah Mays, Writer/Radio Personality on Hot 97 & 98.7 Kiss FM

"Abrams uses the mystery, bling and oft times violence of the hip-hop world, the rapper's delight, if you will, as a backdrop for a strangely twisted coming of age story. Sometimes lovers, both old and new, don't know what to make of a caterpillar's transformation into a butterfly. Neither do friends, for that matter. But what happens when a woman looks around, finds herself hiding in a corner, and coaxes herself out to play? Now that's the stuff good books are made of. Taking a DARE doesn't get any more enlightening than this." -- The Rawsistaz Reviewers

"DARE is the first novel by Abiola Abrams, who is also a filmmaker and a pretty dynamic sister. The book is a hip-hop retelling of Faust, but as Abrams acutely describes, it's about "finding love and finding yourself." I thought this book was dope for several reasons. Including: 1) It represents what great hip-hop fiction can be: smart, edgy, hip-hop inspired, but not just hip-hop, empowering, and provocative. 2) It's a great story about living life, not just existing, and makes you think about your own journey thus far. 3) It's fun and entertaining." -- AOL Black Voices

"Filmmaker Abiola Abrams blends literary and hip hop sensibilities for a daring debut." -- Upscale Magazine

From the Author

Thank you so much to all of the wonderful readers, book clubs, magazines, book stores, radio shows and students who have embraced my debut novel Dare. I wanted to present this audience with something unique, poetic, well-written, and different than the fiction that we are used to. Someone asked me if readers were ready for a fun, smart and satirical adventure about friendship, drama and love that happens to be set in the world of hip hop; a story, as one Amazon reader put it, that is not about "gangstas, pimps, hustlers or hos," and the answer is a resounding yes! Thank you readers, for showing with your many enthusiastic letters that crashed my site that Dare is the book you were waiting for, and that their are many different kinds of books to serve our audience, and all are valid and necessary.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (December 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416541667
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416541660
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,749,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Abiola Abrams, the author of "The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love," is not your mother's self-esteem guru. You've seen The Bombshell Whisperer's self-love and relationship laser coaching on networks from MTV to The CW and read her positive advice in columns from Essence to Match.com. Abiola wrote her debut novel Dare (Simon & Schuster), about a woman learning to love herself, while she was a BET host. Her award-winning art films and videos examine taboo social issues. As a journalist focusing on women's empowerment Abiola has spun her 'femergetic' magic as a writer, broadcaster and producer. The personal development coach and speaker is the founder of an award-winning blog and web TV series.

Here is a link to The Sacred Bombshell Self-Love Meditations on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Bombshell-Self-Love-Meditations/dp/B00R6T2BBY/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1423604672&sr=1-1&keywords=Abiola+Abrams

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on April 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maya and Athena have been sisters of the heart since gradeschool days, but they're nothing alike. Maya's a Masters degree level sociologist, a poet, and a political activist. Athena's a cheerleader, a rapper wannabe, and though Maya loves her--she thinks her roommate's 'easy'.

But love is thicker than disagreements and the bonds of sisterhood are strong between these two sister-friends. When Athena's Mom becomes ill and Athena cannot make the rapper audition of a lifetime, Maya comes and does Athena's audition.

When Maya's audacity causes her to win, Athena convinces her to take a sabbatical from her job and continue the ruse until they can get things straightened out and get Athena her chance to shine.

Maya thinks she's crazy, til Athena DARES her. Now, these two women aren't children, but Maya can't refuse that dare.

"Dare" is a beautifully written book by a woman whose soul is full of light and who obviously wants to brighten up her reader's lives, too. You not only get a heart-rending tale of a strong woman's life, you get life lesson's as well. Abiola Abrams has filled "Dare" with personal dares that will change your life if you open yourself up to them--one of these is a "Beauty Day". No, this isn't pampering at the spa, it's noticing and acknowledging beauty everywhere.

Ms. Abrams writes with the rhymic beauty of both a musician and a poet. Her imagery is strong with color and sensory impressions. Scenes from "Dare" will bring tears to your eyes and leave you laughing and cheering.

You don't have to love rap or hip hop to love this book. You do need poetry in your soul and be willing to open up and learn--because Maya does have some amazing insights into life in general.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miles Maker on December 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Sociologist Maya Hope is re-united with Hip Hop culture when she reluctantly agrees to stand-in for her best friend Athena at a nationwide talent search for the next emcee. After confronting Hip Hop mogul "Shell" at the audition, Maya is rewarded for having "cojonés" with a recording contract from the hottest Rap label in the industry, Camp Hustla. Athena dares Maya to accept the offer and sign the deal with the intention of making the switch in a few weeks--but their song and dance gets remixed when Maya morphs in the limelight from would-be fan to famous. Her swagger subdued, Athena is reduced to mere hype-man status, while Maya succumbs to willing victim in her own social experiment. Tension builds when Maya's ex-fiancé Rob is introduced as her new manager, proving once again that revenge is the best therapy when your ex-man faces the next man.

Maya clashes with superficial celebrities, deceitful insiders, the media machine and her own self-esteem on a sordid Hip Hop tour of self-discovery from the female perspective. The truths among the lies in the Rap game have never been disclosed so insightfully--with thought-provoking portrayals and captivating narrative. Abrams' breakaway debut novel is a chart-topping, champagne popping, heel-clicking adventure you wouldn't Dare ignore!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shelia M Goss on January 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
Ms Abrams does a wonderful job of portraying the behind the scenes world of hip-hop in between the pages of Dare. With two unforgetable characters and non-stop drama, DARE is an easy and fun read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dana Holland on January 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I don't think that I have ever written a review before but this book was completely different from what I expected. Picture a librarian, spoken word poet type woman falling into the grimy world of hip hop!! I really enjoyed reading Dare. It was a fun and fantastic wild ride. At first I was a little unsure of the affirmations, then I realized that this was because Maya was unsure and as the character became more clear, so did we. The characters were interesting-- I was busy trying to guess who was based on whom?

Eventually what got me though, was the heart of the book. I really felt for the characters and their ordeals. Very well written too. I loved the poetry and rhymes. Maya was a true survivor!!! Hot! And the Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and Maya Angelou hidden references-- double hot!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms_tmorris on January 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really liked this book. It shows women over coming self esteem issues while dealing with the problems in hip hop. There are affirmations that help women in particular love themseleves better. We always think that the other women have it easier because they have certain features deemed attractive by the media but that doesn't make them happy/confident. As for the characters in the book they are relatable and real, especially Thug. He reminds me of Tupac!
We need to Dare ourselves to live better lives/have fun, so that we don't look back at our past with regret.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D.J. Frazier VINE VOICE on March 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Abiola Abrams' debut novel, Dare, is a spin on a German tale in which Faustus, based on magician and alchemist Dr. Johann George Faust, made a pact with the devil. Fittingly so, Maya and Athena lived in Faustus, Ohio; a fictional city where the only thing thriving was hip-hop.

Maya and Athena were friends and roommates, but were total opposites. Maya was a sociology nut who enjoyed activism, writing poetry, conducting trivial experiments dealing with human condition and tendencies, and battling demons that kept her from being at peace in life. Athena, an ex-cheerleader, was all about how she could make her next dollar or meet her next bedmate. Since none of her get-rich-quick schemes panned out, she returned to her love of rap. However, Maya had beef with hip-hop.

Athena was set to audition for Shell the Boy Wonder, but circumstances made her ask Maya to stand in for her. Though Maya was apprehensive, she knew all of Athena's rhymes and decided she had to be there in her friend's time of need. She nailed the audition and Maya, as we knew her, ceased to exist. Reborn as Jezebel, she coerced herself to embrace this new endeavor under the guise of another sociological experiment until the truth could be revealed. This truth would put the real rapper on the pedestal she deserved, but when the ugliness of fortune and fame arose, would Maya be able to make a successful transition? Or would the lifestyle hand her the successful existence, tranquility, and love she sought while she was a simple civilian?

Abrams' has written a great, thought-provoking debut novel. Her writing is fresh and witty and her characters are lively and engaging. Dare's plot is strong and without question, realistic.
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