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Saved Race: Payton Skky, #3

Review

Saved Race: Payton Skky, #3

African-American teen Payton Skky is back in full force in SAVED RACE, the third book chronicling her misadventures and life lessons. It picks up where SOBER FAITH left off. Payton is anxiously awaiting her high school graduation, but as the commencement festivities kick off, she is quickly distracted by other issues in her life.

While taking a drive with her sleazy yet endearing ex-boyfriend Dakari, Payton encounters racial discrimination on a level previously unknown to her. Dakari is pulled over for speeding and then roughed up by an obviously prejudiced white police officer. Payton is horrified, and the event sets the tone for the rest of her summer.

Payton's problems only get worse when she learns that Pillar, her beautiful bi-racial cousin, will be spending a good deal of the season with the Skky family. Pillar has always rubbed Payton the wrong way --- and she's not sure if a bi-racial teen will easily fit into her close-knit circle of African-American friends. Soon, Payton is wildly jealous of her cousin, thinking she has garnered the attention of the two loves of her life: ex-boyfriends Dakari and Tad.

As the story progresses, Payton's racial struggles continue to affect her everyday life. A shocking incident serves to bring Payton and Pillar closer together, but Payton continues to struggle with anger and resentment resulting from prejudice. The novel comes to a close when Payton moves into her dorm room at the predominately white University of Georgia. She has mixed feelings upon learning that her roommate, Laurel Shadrach, is white. However, they quickly realize that they have something very powerful in common, which finally might break down strong racial barriers --- their love of God.

SAVED RACE is a quick read but most definitely not a light one. No matter from what perspective one reads the book, it is bound to provoke strong emotion. As a white reader, I often resented the fact that most of the few white characters were portrayed in an over-the-top fashion, as prejudiced and close-minded. I was also often annoyed by Payton, as she seemed to be actively looking for even the smallest signs that others were discriminating against her. However, author Stephanie Perry Moore does redeem herself by adding two positive white figures towards the end of the book: Laurel and star football player Jett Phillips.

It must be noted though that this novel is geared primarily towards young African-Americans. I'm sure that had I shared any of Payton's experiences, I would have been able to relate more to her story and better understand her predicaments.

Although feelings about this book ultimately may vary according to race, the story is very powerful, provokes important questions, and calls for personal introspection about underlying racial tension.

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Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby on October 18, 2011

Saved Race: Payton Skky, #3
by Stephanie Perry Moore

  • Publication Date: January 1, 2001
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Lift Every Voice
  • ISBN-10: 0802442382
  • ISBN-13: 9780802442383