The Coldest Winter Ever was my first!
In the Coldest Winter Ever, we follow Winter, the daughter of a Brooklyn drug-dealing empire, from the top of her game all the way down to the bottom after her father gets incarcerated. Winter’s family, status and world literally fell apart as she tries to put the pieces of her life back together.
Title: The Coldest Winter Ever
Author: Sister Souljah
What I'm Drinking: Jasmine Blue Tea
Ideas prior to reading the book: I first read the Coldest Winter Ever in my early teens. It’s gritty, fast paced, sexual, survival of the fittest story line captured my naive attention and gave me a glimpse into the world of a true ghetto girl.
I note The Coldest Winter Ever as one of the first books that made me fall in love with not only reading, but reading about black stories across the diaspora. I recognized many characters in this book as people I observed from afar from my safe, traditional, semi-strict household: fast ass girls with no guidance, smart guys that got caught up in the game and the “woke” black folks trying to make a change in black communities.
It was only right that I reread this book before diving into the sequel Life After Death which was recently released.
First thoughts after reading the book: Rereading the Coldest Winter Ever as an adult was very nostalgic. I found myself chuckling at parts of the books that shocked my system as a native teen, like when Will, the drug dealer, proudly admitted to getting head from both female and male crackheads to prove how important oral sex was to him. Or getting all emotionally invested into the letters between Sister Souljah and Midnight.
I liked how engaging this book was. It’s one of those books that’s hard to put down because you’re so invested in the story and you feel like you are actually on a journey with the characters. I also enjoyed the featured interview of the author and character analysis which dug deeper into the meaning and inspiration behind the book. This part of the book brought to light reflective themes of this story such as the impacts of drugs on the black community, generational cycles, being a product of an environment and the list goes on and on.
Favorite Character: I’m so curious who my favorite character was the first time I read this book because I can’t remember. Rereading it I would have to say Sister Souljah was my favorite character. Like I want to be her friend in real life. I admire people who are passionate about a cause and Sister Souljah’s character was super passionate about uplifting the black community, she was confident, smart and seemed down to earth.
I think that this book is a classic and timeless. I would recommend The Coldest WInter Ever to anyone interested in reading about people trying to survive their circumstances.
- Maya & The Spine Down