Street Dreams by Tama Wise

Street Dreams by Tama WiseStreet Dreams by Tama Wise
Published: Bold Strokes Books (2012), eARC, 264pg
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, GLBTQ

Tyson Rua has more than his fair share of problems growing up in South Auckland. Working a night job to support his mother and helping bring up his two younger brothers is just the half of it. His best friend Rawiri is falling afoul of a broken home, and now Tyson's fallen in love at first sight.

Only thing is, it's another guy.

Living life on the sidelines of the local hip-hop scene, Tyson finds that to succeed in becoming a local graffiti artist or in getting the man of his dreams, he's going to have to get a whole lot more involved. And that means more problems. The least of which is the leader of the local rap crew he's found himself running with. Love, life, and hip-hop never do things by half. (from Goodreads)

The problem (if it can be called a “problem”) with reading so many great books in a short amount of time is that the books that aren’t great but are still good seem even less good than they normally would if they’d were read after a streak of sucky books. Do you know what I mean? Street Dreams isn’t a bad book. I just wasn’t as wowed with it as I wanted to be.

I liked Tyson! He’s got a lot of problems and he doesn’t always know what to do, and sometimes he’s too dependent on a dream of an imaginary savior who’ll fix things for him, but I liked that about him. He’s got faults! I love characters who have faults that they have to work through! I also liked the characters surrounding Tyson– especially the adorable dude who ends up as Tyson’s boyfriend. They all felt like very real people to me, warts and all.

The author

That said, despite the fact that I liked the characters, and the music/art stuff was very interesting (especially since it was centered around local New Zealand artists), for some reason I wasn’t blown away with the book as a whole. It’s a very low-key book, and I think it was overshadowed by the non-low-key books I read immediately before it. That’s not Street Dreams‘ fault, and in fact I feel pretty bad that I don’t love it more, but, well.

It’s not a bad book, remember! In fact, if you want to read more GLBTQ books, or books set in non-US places written by non-US authors, or books with POC characters, then Street Dreams fits perfectly.

Read: January 11-12, 2012

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