Title: Flirting With Disaster
Author: Tracy Brown
Print Length: 104 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (November 5, 2013)
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Sold by: Macmillan
Tracy Brown is not a Self-Published Author but I am writing this review because I think the message in this read is so important. So let’s get into it:
Flirting With Disaster is a novella about a young black woman named Chloe Webster and her relationship habits. Chloe and her family are not rich, but sisters Chloe and Willow have everything they need from their single mother Rachel Webster. Chloe is a young twenty year old pursuing a degree in Journalism at Hunter College and enjoying the freedom living at home is affording her. She does not have to pay bills or get a job and be held down by adult responsibilities. Chloe’s mother, Rachel, is a hard working bank clerk at Midtown Manhattan and can afford her daughters this luxury. Though the author does not reveal Rachel’s age, I imagine her as someone who had her daughters young but who is hip to the workings of the streets and works hard to give her daughters everything they need. Rachel doesn’t want them dating drug dealer boyfriends who shower them with designer clothes and expensive gifts. Rachel teaches her girls that just because they live in the hood does not mean they have to act like hood rats. For this reason, Rachel showers them herself. While watching their grades like a hawk, she gives them monthly shopping sprees and bi-weekly hair appointments. As a result, while Chloe is a beautiful young woman pursuing a career, she is also conceited and naive. Everything I am sure her mother strives hard to teach her not to be.
The story opens with Chloe leaving the St. George bus terminal and hurrying to catch The Staten Island Ferry to Lower Manhattan. Finally finding a seat and catching her breath she catches the eye of Trey, a handsome young man dressed just enticing enough for someone like Chloe to notice. Fresh black Nikes, blue jeans, and a Coogi polo shirt. Trey has that laid back, neatly groomed low hair cut, T.I. style that Chloe likes. After all, what a man has on his feet is all too important to her. After exchanging some flattering words, Chloe decides to let Trey wine, dine, and spend on her. Without giving up the goodies, Chloe keeps Jason on the side for her physical needs while Trey showers her with everything she thinks is worthy of a man: expensive gifts, dinners and everything else physically attractive to a twenty-year old who is used to getting what she wants. But all that glitters ain’t gold and all that looks good is far from it.
Trey has lots of secrets and housed between his good looks and expensive gifts is a very troubled man. In fact, Trey noticed Chloe because of something much more disturbing than her good looks. Growing up in a troubled home, Chloe reminds Trey of his mother who walked out on him years ago and left him with his abusive father. Distracted by the physical attractions of what makes for a good man, Chloe is blinded to other attributes that should come into question. What is Trey’s last name? What’s Trey’s family like? What kind of people has he dated in the past and why have those relationships ended? Where is his family? Where do they live? What kind of people are they? These are questions women should ask themselves when dating any man. These are also questions Chloe does not have the answers to. Warned by both her mother and sister that something is not right about this man, Chloe ignores their concerns and continues to spend Trey’s money and play with his mind. Chloe is having fun flirting with disaster. She will learn the hard way that there is much more to a man than his shoe size, his wallet, and his physical appearance.
One of the criticisms of this book is that it was too short. I do not think so. In fact, I think it was just as long as it needed to be. The message does not, in my opinion, require lots of Chapters to get across and is not difficult to understand. Lots of young people look for and are attracted to men like Trey. They are sucked in by the name brand designer clothing, the job that pays well, and the expensive gifts. But it is not just young people, it is society itself. We teach our daughters that a man with no money is not worth their time. We also encourage our daughters to be with men who could financially provide for them and to ignore everything else. Forget that he must be mentally stable, genuinely kind, and spiritually insightful. Forget that he must be loving and compassionate. While a man has a responsibility to provide for his family, there is also so much more that men provide. They provide protection, spiritual guidance, and discipline for our children just to name a few.
I think all young people should read this book. The lesson is priceless. Find Flirting With Disaster on Amazon.