Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Book Review - Black Girls Must Have It All by Jayne Allen




Black Girls Must Have It All by Jayne Allen is the final book in the Black Girls Must Die Exhausted trilogy. Tabitha Brown gives birth to a beautiful baby girl after being told in the previous book that she might not be able to have biological children. She is trying to juggle the demands of being a new parent, the needs of a newborn baby, her friends, her job, and her love life.

After experiencing a stressful year, Tabitha decides that this would be her year to achieve her goals and obtain the life she had always wanted. She plans on getting her career, home, and love life in order. Except, the demands of motherhood are draining and Tabitha feels that she barely has time nor energy to do anything.

Tabitha loves her daughter and finds motherhood fulfilling but she wants more from her life. When her beloved coworker mentions that she is planning to retire from the news studio, Tabitha is worried that she might return from maternity leave to a hostile work environment. Just before Tabitha takes her leave, she basically sets all of her ships on fire by going against the wishes of her producer. When she hears news that the station is planning to hire an outside candidate to fill her friend’s role, Tabby is afraid that she might lose her chance to the weekday anchor position that she has worked so hard for.  Tabitha is worried that she might also lose or not maintain her current position of the weekend anchor.  

She normally turns to her friends for support but they seem to be having their own issues to deal with and her relationship with her friends have been frayed since she became a mother. Alexis, her best friend, is still struggling with her marriage with her cheating husband, Rob. Her other friend, Laila, is trying to launch her own business after being fired from her last job.

Her relationship with Marc has also hit a standstill. She isn’t sure what she wants from their relationship anymore. In the previous books, she wanted to get married and settle down with him and start a family. After Marc gives her an ultimatum about their current relationship, she isn’t sure what she wants to do. To make matters worse, his overbearing and controlling mother comes to visit and has something to say about everything, including her ability to mother her daughter.

Tabitha is trying to navigate her life but finds herself failing in every aspect. She feels lonely and isolated from her family especially right now when she needs them the most. Tabitha knows that her friends and family will help her if she asks for it, but will Tabitha finally put herself first and ask for help?

I read the second book in the series and I was able to follow along with the story. However, I feel that the books should be read in order as it will help illuminate character nuances, relationships, and side story lines. This book addresses the cliffhangers that were left hanging from the previous book and wraps up most of the pending problems in the end.

I felt that the book didn’t flow as smoothly as the previous book in the series and was choppy in some places. I felt that this book was missing something, like the spark the previous book had.  The ending made me feel that Tabby still doesn’t know what she wants from Marc and her relationship with him.  The ending of the series felt underwhelming as I was expecting a lot more to happen but it didn’t. If you liked the other two books in the series then you might enjoy this book.


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