Diamond Life

by Aliya S. King

In general, just like movies, book sequels can be tricky. By the time they come out, you have either forgotten about the characters or just don’t care any more. For me, the former is true. My brain can only hold so much and sometimes it purges information without me realizing it. However, I was able to step into Diamond Life as if I had just finished Platinum the day before.

The hype surrounding Cleo Wright’s explosive memoir has died down and the players involved have (mostly) survived and get back to the business of their lives. And while Alex Maxwell’s career has taken off after ghostwriting Cleo’s book, her husband Birdie’s debut album is taking him to superstar status affecting their relationship. Rapper Z, who battled drug addiction in Platinum, is in recovery and doing his best to mentor his son Zander as he navigates the music industry and the domestic troubles with his also up and coming singer girlfriend, Bunny. Jake, the record label owner who unites them all, spends his time in an alcohol-induced daze as he deals with the death of his wife Kipenzi.

This was one of the most gratifying sequels I’ve read in a long time. As usual, King’s real life access to the world of hip-hop provides lots of behind the scenes stories that keep a book like this interesting. A lot of reviews of her books suggest that readers will have fun trying to guess the people that her characters are based on. That may be fun, but this well-rounded cast can also stand on their own. Make sure to take a copy of this to the beach with you this summer.

(I actually did guess who the character of Lily is based on 🙂

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