Jamila “Jamie” Davis had everything she needed to grow up into a successful young woman. Jamie’s father worked long hours to give her the money and provisions he never had growing up. Her mother saw her potential and encouraged her every step of the way-teaching her to read at age 3, putting her into dance classes at Bernice Johnson’s Dance School and acting classes at The Laurelton Theatre of Performing Arts, and finally helping her get into LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, the school famous from the show Fame. She came from a godly family, attended church every Sunday, and the Holy Spirit was a living, breathing force that her grandmother had taught her to feel. So, what makes a good girl, go bad? That is the ultimate question that Jamila Davis hopes to answer with her memoir She’s All Caught Up!.
For all the prestige of her education and the stability of her home life, Jamie believed there was more to achieve. Growing up in Queens in the late 80’s and early 90’s immersed her into a culture that associated success with power and money, and the belief that it should be obtained at any cost. Always acting older than her age, Jamie admired older girls who had hustling boyfriends that could buy them anything they wanted. She wanted it all, the designer clothes, fast cars, and danger. Ignoring the darker side-teen pregnancy, turf wars, and drug busts-Jamie immersed herself into a world of fast money and dangerous men. Soon, realizing that real power comes from independence, Jamie became her own boss. But her lifestyle came with a risk, and she would eventually have to pay the toll of her actions. All caught up in the fast life, Jamie never realized that she was sacrificing her freedom.
She’s All Caught Up! is Jamila’s warning to other girls who are running down a path of self-destruction. Her memoir is written with an honesty and breadth of detail that is quite compelling. The author doesn’t try to justify her actions or lay blame. Instead she delves into the inner machinations of her mind that led to her decisions. Also, unlike other memoirs that deal with topics like hers, Jamila’s book doesn’t strive to belittle the experiences of others going through similar situations or take scare tactics to push the reader to take a different stand. Instead, Jamila gives an open account of her thoughts and fears while growing up, gently warning the reader that the negative results she has experienced could be the reader’s, while at the same time reminding them that she has felt the same emotions and gone through similar struggles. This is an excellent book for anyone struggle with doing right in life, whether it be something as illegal as drug running or as common dating someone you shouldn’t. She’s All Caught Up! is a quick, entertaining read that is sure to have readers cast a light of inspection on their own lives. I truly enjoyed it, and I hope to have the opportunity to read Jamila Davis’s next book, The Trade Off.