I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Cook Up by D. Watkins
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 5/3/2016
Pages: 272 pages
The smartest kid on his block in East Baltimore, D. was certain he would escape the life of drugs, decadence, and violence that had surrounded him since birth. But when his brother Devin is shot-only days after D. receives notice that he's been accepted into Georgetown University-the plans for his life are exploded, and he takes up the mantel of his brother's crack empire. D. succeeds in cultivating the family business, but when he meets a woman unlike any he's known before, his priorities are once more put into question. Equally terrifying and hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking, D.'s story offers a rare glimpse into the mentality of a person who has escaped many hells.
The Cook Up by D. Watkins is a memoir of growing up in the mean streets of Baltimore.
Right from the start, the author draws the reader in by reliving the moments after he was told out his brother was killed. His brother, Devin aka BIP was a well-known drug dealer in the neighborhood, so who would crazy enough to kill him. But reality has a way of slapping us in the face when we aren’t prepared. The moment Dee sees his brother’s lifeless body – his life takes a complete 360.
Devin would always tell his brother to keep his head in those books. Those dreams and aspirations took a back seat when Dee decided to enter the world of drugs. When I started reading this book – I couldn’t help but think of the TV show named The Wire. The words to the theme song, Way Down in The Hole ran through my mind as I flipped through the pages.
When you walk through the garden
you gotta watch your back
I was very appreciative of the author sharing his story, but there were parts of the book where the story wasn’t cohesive. One thing I don’t want to say when reading someone’s memoir is that some parts felt overdramatized because I wasn’t there to witness the events in their life. So I will just say this – I was hoping to connect with the author’s experience on a deeper level, but I didn’t.
The Cook Up is a cautionary tale for people of all ages. The story/ending remains the same – just different characters living out the experience. There’s no Happily Ever After if you stay in the drug world. The money & “fame” is alluring, but it also comes with consequences. If you are lucky to move out of “the game” – Thank GOD for saving you.
Reviewed by: Orsayor