Book Reviews

When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris Book Review [nic, I’m bringing you home]


When you look like us – brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades – people think you’re trouble. No one looks twice at a missing black girl from the projects because she must’ve brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister, Nicole, got too caught up with her boyfriend – a drug dealer – and his friends.

But she’s been gone too long now.

If I hadn’t hung up on her that night, she’d be spending time with our grandma. If I was a better brother, she’d be finishing senior year instead of being another name on a missing persons list. It’s time to step up and do what the Newport News police department won’t.

Nic, I’m bringing you home.



I was fully expecting this to be a five star read, but I was disappointed by how much the story dragged on, with Jay doing little to nothing to find his sister until he had help. While the setting and story was dark and realistic, I felt that the end veered away from this, and wasn’t at all believable.

Jay is a hard character for me to like. I appreciated the stress he was under, being a black kid from a lower class neighbourhood, trying to look after his Gran. However, when Nic went missing I really felt that he didn’t do anything, until Riley, a girl he fancied, took interest in finding her and he really just tagged along.

I also struggled to understand why Jay was so reluctant to tell the people closest to him that Nic was missing, especially his friend and girlfriend, who likely thought that Jay was hooking up with other girls behind her back. Instead he just asked people who may know info vague questions and gave up quickly.

Overall, an interesting but frustrating story. I liked the realistic setting and look into Jay’s life as a young black teen very much, but when we did finally get to the end and found our answers, I thought it did verge into the ridiculous. I did like that it showed how much Jay had grown over the course of the story.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to check out these reviews:

A Court Of Coffee And Books reviewed it
Readioactive Books Rated it 5/5


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