Book Review, Diversity


Reviews,, discussions, topicsWell I’ve been holding off on this for a while because I know how hard it is for authors of color get in publishing but I can’t hold back anymore. This has been bothering and I need to get my thoughts out. Still I recommend you read this book and form your own opinions. These are just my thoughts and opinions.

By now you’re working what book I’m going to rip a new one and unfortunately that book is Into the White by Randi White. First off this book rarely had any promote so when I stumbled across it on Goodreads and read the synopsis I was ecstatic to read something I can relate to. Like LaToya the MC, I at one point wished or hope to be white or at least lighter than what I am. Not because I was told I was ugly but it was all I saw growing up. That white was the standard for beauty. Thanks goodness I’m way beyond that phase and love my beautiful Black self.

And that my dear readers is where I have a problem with Into the White. By the end of the book I felt that LaToya didn’t really come to love her blackness. Instead she was like my experience as a white girl wasn’t that great so let me go back to being Black. For those who don’t know Into the Black is about Latoya who prays to Jesus to make her white. So when her prayers comes true, she is filled with joy and thinks her life will be so much better now that she’s blond hair and blue eyes.

Hey, Jesus?…I can’t take this anymore. This filth. This curse. This….race.

I grabbed a handful of skin…then my thigh, followed by my breast.

I’ve done everything that you ever asked of me….So if you ever loved me, please….Please, Lord, anything but black.

As a reader I thought this premise was a good idea. A way for the author to teach about the micro-aggressiveness of racism and the effects it has on Black kids. Instead we got a poorly executed book, filled with clichés and stereotypes. On top of that I found LaToya to be a bit on the immature side. Maybe I was expecting too much. Maybe I set my hopes way too high and that why I found Into the White such a disappointment. I get that this is meant to be a coming of age story. And for a girl to finally be comfortable in her skin but it just didn’t work for me. Most often than not I cringe or sigh in frustration at the depictions of Black people as well as well. For one I will say that not all Black people are ghetto and ratchet and that I skin color is not dirty or filth. The same goes with the white people. They not all racist mean girl Beckys.

Gah, I hoped this book would have been something spectacular bold and groundbreaking. That is not what I got. And although the author address that she was always and odd duck growing up it still doesn’t diminish the fact that Into the White is hurtful and portrays a harmful representation of Black. At least in my opinion. Either, you can read this book and judge for yourself.

P.S. I think the author had good intentions but it all fell flat with on real end in sigh in terms of a satisfying conclusion. It was all cut and dry with no real learn experience or lesson.

As always, thanks for stopping by <3

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  1. I know I was so disappointed with this book. I bought it once I heard what it was about because I’ve had my kids say they wanted to be white or have straight hair etc, and I wanted some great insight here to help them love themselves but yes the book was just not good. I forced myself to finish and the end was okay but I also found Latoya immature. The story just wasn’t good and I was so bummed. I loved the authors TEDtalk she did amazing so I really was looking forward to diving in. The only other reviews I’ve seen were extremely positive.

    I was saddened at times when the racism of that around her showed, like at the store with the sales clerk. But the twins and so many of the characters I didn’t like.

    I’m sorry it wasn’t what you hoped for either. 🙁

    1. First off sorry this book wasn’t the one to help you. Secondly, your children are beautiful just get reinforcing that message.

      Into the Pink has to be one of my most disappointing reads. I believe this book could have been some much more and gave insight on some of the things that happen within Black culture and psyche. Instead it relied on too many stereotypes in my opinion.

      Hopefully another book comes along the way that’s better than this one.

  2. I was very curious about this book and had high hopes. I requested that my library order it so I could read it and now I regret it because I think this book is pretty problematic. When I started reading I was so disappointed right from that opening scene. I didn’t finish it, but I felt like the book lacked nuance and context from the very beginning. I had some of these struggles growing up about wanting straighter hair, etc. but it wasn’t because I thought I was ugly, it was just that I wanted to be like the people on TV. I wish it had set up more about why she hated herself instead of going into the “Jesus turned me white” in the first 10 pages.

    I don’t get offended or bothered by much but this book really bothered me. I just can’t imagine what they were thinking when they published this.

    1. I agree some of the things within this book are very offensive. The notion that being Black equals ugly or that having kinky hair means ugly just took my breath away. Also the whole Jesus thing was took much for me.

      Still there are some that really enjoyed this book and found it enlightening.

    1. Yes this book is a big disappointment and I believe it could have been so much more if it wasn’t plagued with stereotypes and maybe if the MC came to grip with her blackness and realized that she is beautiful and so is her culture. But it was never resolved. Instead, Toya didn’t like being white anymore so she settled for her blackness and that made me uncomfortable.

      Still read Into the White and judge for yourself. Maybe I missed and ah-ha moment that can be opened for discussion.

  3. Oh no. This was on my TBR because, like you, I thought this was a really interesting way to talk about race, especially in a coming-of-age story. I’m seriously considering taking this off my TBR now 🙁

    1. I say if you want to read it go ahead. Just be cautious that it won’t live up to your expectations. I was hoping this would be an insightful coming-of-age story but it just didn’t work for me. Which is a bummer because it’s own voices.

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