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Hood Rat Books In Order

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Publication Order of Hood Rat Books

Seen as a major pioneer of the urban fiction genre, the American writer K’Wan Foye has been massively influential, especially in recent years as more and more discover his work. Creating realistic portrayals of inner city life, as well as addressing modern issues surrounding both race and class. Taking a look at life on the streets, he is one of the most prolific authors of his generation, taking an upfront and direct approach to his subject matter. The series itself features tales from the inner city, or the ‘hood’, and they each revolve around a set protagonist and the struggles they come up against. Whilst there is an ongoing narrative, each individual installment allows a new character to step-up and take the helm, establishing their own arc in the process. With the world they inhabit, this manages to remain a constant throughout, along with the style and the overall tone, which remains gritty and realistic.

Using the lens of social realism these books tend not to shy away from the more grittier aspects of the lifestyle. An outspoken author of the genre, K’Wan Foye has had many interviews surrounding the novels and his immersion into the culture of hip-hop. With more books set to be released in the series, it appears that the legacy of the Hood Rat franchise will live on for some time yet.

Hood Rat

Written on the 31st of October, 2006, this installment was to be the first in the ‘Hood Rat’ series overall, as it was published through the Macmillan publishing house. Setting up both the style and the tone, it manages to immediately capture the essence of what the series is about and where it’s going. Providing both the characters and the narrative, it works well in establishing the world it’s set within, giving the readers a clear idea of what to expect.

Set in the area of Harlem, it instantly dives into a world that may be familiar to some, but not so familiar to others. Clearly evoking a sense of the location and where it’s set, it manages to provide its audience with a strong vision of the area, regardless of who they are. Both atmospheric and ambient, it’s gritty realistic vision of the streets manages to conjure up a strong idea of what it’s like to live there. The characters themselves are also very strong as well, with a rich and varied supporting cast, all managing to resonate with the reader. With a group of different people all circulating within each others spheres of influence, they work at playing off each other well. Their respective stories are also finely crafted, providing the reader with a clear sense of who they are and what they’re about. First there’s Yoshi, who’s an attractive young headstrong woman who takes what she wants, even if it isn’t hers. Then there’s Billy; a former high-school basketball star who is now seeking solace in the arms of other women, as she tries to re-evaluate herself. Finally there’s Reese and Rhonda, two woman who are both dealing with the onset of children; Rhonda is in a relationship whilst Reese isn’t.

Shaking things up in Harlem, these four friends have a bond unlike any other, something which the neighborhood has never quite seen before. Out to stir things up, they’ll cause a scandal unlike any other, a scandal that will cause shock-waves for many years to come, changing the face of the area. What lengths will Yoshi go to get what she wants? Where will their journey take the rest of them? Just who is the hood rat?

Still Hood

Continuing on from the previous novel, this presents a new picture of life on the streets, this time taking place in Brooklyn. Originally published in 2007 on the 2nd of October, this installment came out a year after the first, once again published through the Macmillan publishing label. Taking what worked in the first novel and building upon it, this book manages to capture all the vital elements, such as tone and atmosphere, and develops them even further.

Taking place in the streets of Brooklyn this time, as opposed to Harlem, this moves not just the setting, but the action forwards too. Whilst the ambiance is somewhat similar to the previous novel, allowing the reader a sense of familiarity, it manages to craft a whole new environment and a whole new set of problems. Drawing upon the real world setting of Brooklyn, it manages to craft a highly realistic portrayal of the area in both style and tone. With a rich cast of characters once again, it tells of their struggles dealing with the area, each one with their own specific goals and desires. There’s Dena Jones who will do whatever it takes to get out of the area, including manipulating all those around her, especially the men in her life. Meanwhile True has made it big as an artist with the release of his first album, but then his past comes back to haunt him as somebody wants him dead. Will Dena ever be able to make it out, and can True survive his past? Can Jah and Yoshi ever make it as a couple, or will their relationship be taken out of their hands? Who really is still hood?

The Hood Rat Series

Ever since his breakthrough in 2002 with his début book ‘Gangsta’, K’Wan Foye has been growing from strength-to-strength as an author. This series is no exception as it showcases his talents over the course of a string of novels, each one equally gripping in their realistic portrayals of inner city life. Making his name as a prominent voice of the genre, this is the ideal series when looking for somewhere to start with his work. Running strong throughout, the series manages to build in pace with each title, whilst providing a social message simultaneously. Not afraid to give an opinion is what puts Foye at the top of his game as a writer, creating biting social commentary, as well as engaging narratives. Setting up an offshoot series with the ‘Animal’ franchise continuing on from the fifth installment too, it appears to be a legacy that’s here to stay.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Hood Rat

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