Sharon G. Flake, Coretta Scott King Book award-winning author of The Skin Iím In, has done it again, penned another hip-hope legend in the urban youth vernacular ††that will keep† you turning the pages.† Pinned is part coming-of-age, part romance told in alternating voices by Autumn, a female champion wrestler in an otherwise all-boys league, and Adonis, a bright teenager without legs and wrestling team manager. Autumn holds a huge crush on a disinterested Adonis.
I tell Adonis how much I miss him when he not at practice.†Pulling up my pant leg, I say for him to look.
ìAt what, Autumn?î
ìCheck out my muscles.î
I got beautiful legs. †Nice muscles.† Smooth brown skin.† Iím hoping heís noticingóbut not the brush burn I got on the mat at practice.
He presses the button again.† Iím rehearsing in my head what I came to ask.† Wanna to go to the movies this weekend?† No.† thatís not right.† Adonis , you seen that movie they been advertising?† The one where the guyís head gets chopped off.† Wanna see it with me?† Crap.† That ainít right, either.†
I canít help it.† He is the smartest, cutest boy ever.
ìYouíre talking to yourself.† Muttering.î† Then he starts talking to the elevator.† ìIím in a hurry.† Come on.î† Holding down the button, he looks at the floor instead of me.
I lean against the wall, one foot up, thinking.†I love smart boys.
Determined to penetrate the defensive wall that Adonis has constructed, Autumn impervious to the world around her pursues her would-be love.†While the two seem to share little in common besides wrestling, both face personal challenges. †Autumn struggles to reads, while Adonis experiences difficulty understanding the limitations of others.†In Pinned, Flake, like she does in all earlier works, reveals a mastery of† language, youth development, and urban culture, leaves you begging for more, and scores.