Happy New Year! How have you been? I’ve been doing great, and am excited to start the year with this book review!
Title: Sun Keep Rising by Kristen R. Lee
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: January 24, 2023
Tour Schedule: View here
When rent increases put a teen mom at risk of losing her home, she resorts to a dangerous game to keep her family afloat. But all games have consequences, and this isn’t one she can afford to lose. A gripping story about race, income instability, and the strength it takes to survive from a critically acclaimed author. Kristen R. Lee is a miraculous story weaver-Mahogany L. Browne, author of Vinyl MoonB’onca always knew how to get by. And then her daughter is born. She wouldn’t trade Mia for anything, but there is never enough cash to go around. When their gentrifying Memphis neighborhood results in higher prices and then an eviction notice, B’onca’s already fragile world spirals. Desperate to make things right, B’onca forges a risky plan to help pay the bills. But one wrong move could cost B’onca–and her family–everything. From the celebrated author of Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman comes a compelling story about a teen mom navigating income disparity and racial inequality, and defying challenges to protect those she loves.
Content Warning: Gentrification
Sun Keep Rising is a raw and nuanced look at a problem that teenage girls around the world face, and I loved it! Firstly, the story was fresh, and unlike any other contemporary I’ve read before.
The main character, B’onca, is so relatable. She often struggles to make ends meet for her daughter, and it was heartwarming seeing them interact. However, I did find that there were too many varying plotlines. For such a short book, I wish the author had focused on one or two main issues in B’onca’s life, as the story’s lasting impact would have been greater that way.
Nevertheless, I really loved the writing! It felt authentic, and true to the main character B’onca. The story is also an easy read, and moves pretty fast, which is great for slow readers like me.
Overall, Sun Keep Rising is a refreshing Young Adult novel on what it means to be a single mother. To me, this book would be a great classroom read for highschoolers!
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, or 8/10
About the Author
Kristen R. Lee is a native of Memphis Tennessee, whose love of books stems from her grandmother who was a school teacher. After graduating with a bachelor’s in communication from MTSU, she began to draft her first novel which focuses on systemic racism and Black culture. Growing up in Memphis, a majority Black city, writing stories that reflect her upbringing is what she strives to do. When she’s not writing, you can find her on Twitter sharing memes about not writing.
And that’s a wrap! I hope you all enjoyed this tour stop, because I had so much fun making it. Have a great day!