Review: You don't Have a Story: Growing Up Black and Poor in Scottsdale Arizona by Zachary Q. Watson
I enjoy reading stories about people and their lives, I’ve learned that this past year. That being said, I don’t think I could make one of myself—so props to the author.
The author and I are actually around the same age, so I get a lot of the references and I understand some of the things going on without context. I do wish some things weren’t as explained, but I get it, because not everyone would know what these things are or would understand just what it is or does right off the bat.
Definitely pick this book up if you want a different perspective on growing up.
Zachary Watson, a young black kid from Chicago moves to an upscale rich white neighborhood in Scottsdale Arizona with his single mother and older sister. Overwhelmed by anger, racism, and the bullying of his classmates, he spends his formative years trying to prove his detractors wrong and rise above the stereotype labels they place on him. Zachary loses his friend and collaborator to cancer. A journey that forces him to discover more about himself than he ever thought possible.
Growing up Black and Poor in Scottsdale Arizona is Zach’s first literary creation, a memoir that shows the unjust and racist side of modern American society and highlights the struggles that people of color have in growing up in racially biased communities. Through his book, Zach intends to teach self-love, healing, and the art of dealing with prejudiced behaviors to achieve success in life. This memoir follows the memories of Zach's childhood to coming of age in Scottsdale, Arizona, highlighting the trials and tribulations of adolescence and adulthood. It also shows the difficulties and challenges with dating as a African-American male. And due to politics and lack of funds Zach couldn't quite make it as a music artist. A dream he had been chasing ever since he was a kid. Zach also deals with depression, hardships, rejection, and heartbreak. This book is a journey through the life of a young man raised in an all-white world and how he could never quite fit in.
Of late I seem to be picking up books that are supernatural and apocalyptic in nature. This one is one such book. It is a creature feature that ranges from humans to Vampires, Zombies, Elves, Griffins, Minotaur, Gnomes, Fae, and Satyrs. This otherworldly species called Bleeders hover between life and death and more dangerous than Zombie.
My first thought at reading this review is I don’t think this person read all the way through the book, considering Mikey isn’t listed as a main character, but I digress.
Zeke does stand out among other Zombies. I wanted him to be a bit different, not afraid to live the life he wants to live just because he’s fragile. So he was in sports and he worked out and he taught himself how to fight… which is good, since he has a bit of a temper issue.
Cayla and Etem are (supposed to be) his best friends. Etem was a delight to write, and Cayla’s original name was Cady (fun fact) like from Mean Girls.
Keep the reader’s attention past chapter three. If I increase mystery and intrigue, that might help for next time.
I love this genre, but it can be repetitive. That's why I love when the author switches up the standard monsters. Fun and creative story. Kept me interested all the way through..
I’m so glad this reader enjoyed my version of Zombies. I was excited to have an intelligent one! I know I Am Legend was supposed to be more vampirish creatures in the book, but when it came to the movie, I always called them zombies.
I liked those intelligent, terrifying zombies.
I was dying to write a zombie book. I’ve heard zombies are overdone, so I wanted to do something different. I couldn’t get into The Walking Dead or whatever, but iZombie? Give me all of that. Warm Bodies? I actually enjoyed that one. So I made my own Zombies. Ones risen from a magical power surge.
I love my zombies. And I’m so glad this reader enjoyed the book!
When making monsters or reusing ones that are well-known, make them unique—someone’s bound to appreciate it!
Responding to Reviews 1
I wanted to try something out! I don’t get very many reviews on my books, but I like to read them to see how I can improve and what things people really enjoyed about the books.
I’ll try to do as many as I can if there’s maybe something to comment on, so you might see your review!
Note: this isn’t to call out reviewers or chastise anyone. This is simply for learning and constructive criticism for myself.
Kind of Silly But Still Interesting
With this three star rating on Amazon’s Italian site, it sounds like they at least kind of enjoyed When Dead Men Bleed.
Taking a step back, I could see where WDMB could be a lot to process at first. You get a rundown of there being an apocalypse and a war in the past, so that could be too much information to chew to some people.
I’ve also recently learned there’s a whole gaggle of people who don’t like when scifi (zombies) and fantasy (everything else) mix, and are really passionate about it. That being said, I absolutely love it, mixing the two together for infinite possibilities.
My books tend to have a bit of everything and normally don’t follow plot lines we’re used to seeing. I try do do what I can to make my books different, and ultimately, I think I’ve done that with WDMB. I love this book and I am so excited for what’s to come. Maybe beef, pork, and duck aren’t for one person, but I’ve met quite a few people who absolutely love this book.
When approaching big worlds with a lot of creatures, maybe I should make the introduction more bite-sized for my readers. Just jumping in might be too much, even if I really enjoy that approach myself. There has to be a middle ground, and I have to remember the reader isn’t in my head—it’s my job to describe what I see well enough so the reader isn’t run off. It isn’t their job to guess.
This book is truly inspiring. I love reading books like this, books that encourage and inspire success. It's beautifully written. This book came into my life in a rough patch I'd been experiencing, and it helped me get out of a funk. Alongside facts, stats, and tough questions you must ask yourself, you get to hear the word of God and biblical examples and stories, which I am an absolute fan of. All in all, this book will help you find the building blocks for becoming successful in your own eyes, encouraging you all the way. It's truly amazing.
RISING - Empowered To Become is an inspirational guide and practical resource for mastering your mindset and pursuing your goals. This book provides you with the mindset, strategy, and tools you need in order to achieve your full potential. It will open your eyes to a world of possibilities and help you create a path to the life you desire. This book is designed to help you get the most out of your life; You'll feel empowered to become whom you were meant to be.
NANOWRIMO is over!
Congrats to all who participated!
You did your best (even if you really didn't, I'm still proud of you)!
NANOWRIMO is a feat to most people. There are some that can knock it out, no biggie, but either way, we all did our best, even if we didn't. Writing isn't easy a lot of the time, but it's definitely worth it and worth being appreciated for the time and effort you made to make your dreams a reality.
In good news, I was able to complete NANOWRIMO and write 50k words in November! I'm so excited. I have most of WDMB2 done and then I'll be able to edit and release it. I'm so excited for you guys to read it as I carry on the rest of the Dead Men Trilogy.
How was your NANO? Did you participate? How much did you finish? Will you join next year?
Tell me all about it below!
This book is the most entertaining thing I’ve read lately. It’s a superhero origin of Boxman, and my gosh, I enjoyed every second of it. I loved the art and the situations, and it made me laugh that he was so dead-set on his dream that he was like “No, romance can wait.” And the boxes being sentient and turning him into a box man?? This book was hilarious and wonderful, and I really think my little cousin would love this book. I could see him running around, pretending to be Boxman.
I loved this book. It’s a fast, easy read.
From Picker Packer to Superhero, The Boxman! is a fictional superhero comic story about an average guy named Tito who works very hard handling shipping boxes. Tito wants to become a powerful modern-day superhero made of cartoon material with arms and legs. The Boxman is ready to stop the Knock-Off Man at the City of the Boxes. Enjoy some rhymes and fun moments:
This Picker Packer Man
GOT A WONDERFUL PLAN!