A Must Read

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Brian Broome’s debut book, Punch Me Up to the Gods, is a memoir that gives the reader an amazing look at Brian’s disfunctional family, being black, being gay, and dealing with addiction. And to think I almost did not read it. I read a First Impression reading in Bookish First which I almost did not do based on the unattractive cover. I am so glad my mother taught me to not judge a book by its cover. In my opinion, the cover is a turn off for this beautiful book.

First, Brian’s father’s way to teach his child is to punch him. I had to stop reading a couple of times and do something else. Interspersed with Brian’s narrative, we find Brian riding a bus and internalizing his life by watching a little boy named Tulan with a father who is constantly on the phone and not paying attention to his son. This journey motif was effective as it took the reader away from some of Brian’s stories of his life coping with home problems, the gay bar scene he was exposed to, and the bullies he came across. I did like that the author takes us back in time and we find out about his father’s life as a child. And, I especially like the chapter where his mom became the.narrator. In reading this book, I cried many times. I laughed. I yelled at the book. I admired the author’s prose. I will probably reread this book again. Thank you Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. The opinions in this review are my own.