Hey, Whatcha Reading? with Sa’iyda Shabazz

Hey everyone! This month, I asked my friend Sa’iyda Shabazz what she’s been reading this month. Sa’iyda is a writer with Scary Mommy, Romper, and has had bylines in The New York Times, among other places! Check out her Facebook page here or give her a follow on Twitter @xoxSai.

1). What are you currently reading?

I recently finished We Used To Be Friends (2020, Amulet) by Amy Spalding. Now I’m reading Fireworks by Katie Cotugno (2017, HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray). I can’t read more than one book at a time, I don’t have the focus to keep the stories straight.

2) How far along in the books are you?
I finished We Used to be Friends a couple weeks ago, and started Fireworks shortly thereafter. I think I’m about 50 pages in at this point. I don’t get a ton of time to read.

3) What are the books about?
I think WUTBF is kind of self explanatory. It’s about two girls in their senior year of high school. They’ve been best friends since kindergarten, but now their friendship is slowly falling apart. It’s told in alternate timelines, so James’s version goes backwards, while Kat’s goes foreword. Kind of like the musical The Last Five Years.

Fireworks is about two best friends as well. When Olivia goes to try out for a new girl group in Orlando, FL, her best friend Dana tags along. Somehow they both get picked, even though Dana had no intention of auditioning in the first place. As they fight for superstardom (both for different reasons) their friendship starts to shift. It’s set in the 90s, which is my favorite era. 

4) What drew you to these books?
Well, I had a big friendship breakup with my best friend my senior year of high school, so when I first heard the premise, I knew it was something that I was definitely going to be interested in. 

With Fireworks, I’m using it more as research but also pleasure. I’m writing a YA novel about popstars, so this one was recommended to me to see how other people handle the subject. 

5) Who would you recommend this book to?
If you’ve ever had a friendship end, then you’d really benefit from We Used to be Friends. It really hit me right in the feels. I did actually recommend it to a woman who got in touch with me about an article I wrote.

If you love 90s pop culture and pop music nostalgia, then you’d like Fireworks. It definitely has a behind the scenes feel to a very big moment in time.

3 thoughts on “Hey, Whatcha Reading? with Sa’iyda Shabazz

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