Authors: L. Divine
“The teen drama is center-court Compton, with enough plots and sub-plots to fill a few episodes of any reality show.”
Drama High: Courtin’ Jayd
“Abundant, juicy drama.”
Drama High: Holidaze
“You’ll definitely feel for Jayd Jackson, the bold sixteen-year-old Compton, California, junior at the center of keep-it-real Drama High stories.”
Drama High: Jayd’s Legacy
“Edged with comedy and a provoking street-savvy plot line, Compton native and Drama High author L. Divine writes a fascinating story capturing the voice of young black America.”
“Filled with all the elements that make for a good book—young love, non-stop drama and a taste of the supernatural—it is sure to please.”
—THE RAWSISTAZ REVIEWERS on
Drama High: The Fight
“If you grew up on a steady diet of saccharine-
novels and think there aren’t enough books specifically for African American teens, you’re in luck.”
Prince George’s Sentinel
Drama High: The Fight
“Through a healthy mix of book smarts, life experiences, and down-to-earth flavor, L. Divine has crafted a well-nuanced coming-of-age tale for African-American youth.”
The Atlanta Voice
Drama High: The Fight
Also by L. Divine
KEEP IT MOVIN’
COLD AS ICE
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
DAFINA BOOKS are published by
Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018
Copyright © 2011 by L. Divine
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.
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First Kensington Trade Paperback Printing: February 2011
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This volume is dedicated to my readers. Every time I visit a new city or have a signing at home I am amazed by how much Jayd’s drama reaches you all. Thank you for sharing the journey with my characters and me.
I would also like to say a special thank you to my dear friend and fellow writer Tina McElroy Ansa, who has on countless occasions reassured me that I’m on the right path. Thank you, sis, for reminding me to respect my process and follow my spirit.
And, as always, thank you to my publisher, Dafina / Kensington, for allowing my pen to flow freely.
Odu Ogbe Ogunda 31:1
An uncontrolled temper does not create
anything for anyone.
Patience is the father of good character.
A person who is patient will become the
master of all things.
She will reach a ripe old age.
He will live a healthy life.
And she will enjoy life thoroughly
Like a person tasting honey.
—As interpreted by Maulana Karenga
When I read about several of the Haitian earthquake survivors building shelters on top of their dilapidated homes and bartering whatever resources they had to survive, I was struck by the urge to live and to keep moving forward no matter the conditions. They are a spiritual inspiration, indeed.
I would also like to acknowledge all of the hardworking folks out there who never give up and who always choose the positive side of life no matter what your current circumstances may be. One of my favorite quotes from the HBO show
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
is, “Don’t worry about me: I’m made from strong stuff.” I can relate to Jill Scott’s character because I’m made from that same “stuff” and so are most of the people I know.
With this being my thirteenth novel in five years, writing each manuscript is more challenging than the next. As with all rewards, there’s plenty of hard work and tears that go into each page. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I wasn’t going to make it to the end; how many times I would get two-thirds of the way through a novel and want to scream from physical pain and mental exhaustion. But it is also at that point that I see the other side of the mountain I’ve been climbing, and my spirit feels good. The tears turn into smiles, and I can see the last page in the horizon. Truly I’ve had many, many meltdowns, and each and every single time my mama, my children, and my faith bring me through. Thank you to the Creator for not only providing me with internal strength but also for surrounding me with people who love and support me through the entire journey.
A sassy seventeen-year-old from Compton, California, who comes from a long line of Louisiana conjure women. She is the only one in her lineage born with brown eyes and a caul. Her grandmother appropriately named her “Jayd,” which is also the name her grandmother took on in her days as a voodoo queen in New Orleans. Jayd now lives in her mother’s apartment in Inglewood. She visits her grandmother on the weekends in Compton, her former home. Jayd is in all AP classes. She has a tense relationship with her father, whom she sees occasionally, and has never-ending drama in her life, whether at school or home.
When Jayd gets in over her head, her grandmother, Mama, is always there to help her. A full-time conjure woman with magical green eyes and a long list of both clients and haters, Mama also serves as Jayd’s teacher, confidante, and protector.
At thirty-something years old, Lynn Marie would never be mistaken for a mother of a teenager. Jayd’s mom is definitely all that and with her green eyes, she keeps the men guessing. Able to talk to Jayd telepathically, Lynn Marie is always there when Jayd needs her.
The owner of Netta’s Never Nappy Beauty Shop, Netta is Mama’s best friend, business partner, and godsister in their religion. She also serves as a godmother to Jayd, who works part-time at Netta’s Shop.
Mama’s nemesis and Jayd’s nightmare, this next-door neighbor is anything but friendly. She relocated to Compton from Louisiana around the same time Mama did and has been a thorn in Mama’s side ever since. She continuously causes trouble for Mama and Jayd. Esmeralda’s cold blue eyes have powers of their own, although not nearly as powerful as Mama’s.
Rah is Jayd’s first love from junior high school, who has come back into her life when a mutual friend, Nigel, transfers from Rah’s high school (Westingle) to South Bay. He knows everything about her and is her spiritual confidant. Rah lives in Los Angeles but grew up with his grandparents in Compton like Jayd. He loves Jayd fiercely but has a baby-mama who refuses to go away. Rah is a hustler by necessity and a music producer by talent. He takes care of his younger brother, Kamal, and holds the house down while his dad is locked up and his mother strips at a local club.
The word “frenemies” was coined for this former best friend of Jayd’s. Misty has made it her mission to sabotage Jayd any way she can. Living around the corner from Jayd, she has the unique advantage of being an original hater from the neighborhood and at school.
He’s the most popular basketball player on campus, Jayd’s ex-boyfriend, and Misty’s current boyfriend. Ever since he and Jayd broke up, he’s made it his personal mission to persecute her.
One of Jayd’s best friends, Nellie is the prissy princess of the crew. She is also dating Chance, even though it’s Nigel she’s really feeling. Nellie made history at South Bay by becoming the first black Homecoming princess and has let the crown go to her head.
The gangster girl of Jayd’s small crew, she and Nellie are best friends but often at odds with each other, mostly because Nellie secretly wishes she could be more like Mickey. A true hood girl, she loves being from Compton, and her ex-man with no name is a true gangster. Mickey and Nigel have quickly become South Bay High’s newest couple.
A first for Jayd, Jeremy is her white on again, off again boyfriend who also happens to be the most popular cat at South Bay. Rich, tall, and extremely handsome, Jeremy’s witty personality and good conversation keep Jayd on her toes and give Rah a run for his money—literally.
Never using his name, Mickey’s original boyfriend is a troublemaker and always hot on Mickey’s trail. Always in and out of jail, Mickey’s man is notorious in her hood for being a coldhearted gangster, and loves to be in control. He also has a thing for Jayd, but Jayd can’t stand to be anywhere near him.
The quarterback on the block, Nigel is a friend of Jayd’s from junior high and also Rah’s best friend, making Jayd’s world even smaller at South Bay High. Nigel dumped his ex-girlfriend at
Westingle (Tasha) to be with Mickey. Jayd is caught up in the mix as a friend to them both, but her loyalty lies with Nigel because she’s known him longer and he’s always had her back.