Leslie by Omar Tyree is one of my favorite books. It combines so many elements; drama, murder, action and a heaping dose of commentary on Black social conditions in America. It reads as almost like a movie ,it’s that visually descriptive. I can smell, see and taste the characters and the settings. Set in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans, Leslie is the tale of what can happen when a strong Black girl has had enough. She plays no games effortlessly conveying strength, sight and wisdom that belies her young age. I think it’s easy to read Leslie as a gore-fest but you also have to be mindful of all the social commentary Tyree provides. Things such as hip hop, sex, colorism, class issues and all on a college campus. I loved the parts where Leslie speaks French and the esoteric struggle faced by she and her siblings as the daughter of a Haitian immigrant in New Orleans. It’s easy to cast Leslie off as a villain but like my girl Sula , Leslie is just a Black girl playing the hands she is dealt and challenging the systems that require her subjugation. You add in the bits on Voodou and black spirituality and Leslie is a full New Orleans gumbo. I only wish Mr. Tyree releases a sequel to this book. I always finish wanting more from Miss Leslie.

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