Monday, April 17, 2017

Lola - by Melissa Scrivner Love

When it comes to feminism, women have a wide range of feelings and dedication regarding it.  Some embrace it so heartily that feminism is the core of everything else they do or think…everything.  Others look at it out of curiosity but are so little affected by feminism’s key issues that they shrug and get on with the rest of their lives, hardly allowing feminism ever to cross their minds again.  And then there are some women, maybe most women, whose attitude about feminism fits somewhere between the two extremes.

Lola, an LA gangbanger, is most definitely a feminist – and she will kill any rival (or even fellow gang member) who fails to take her seriously as head of the South Central “Crenshaw Six,” a small drug gang that controls only a tiny portion of South Central Los Angeles.  Lola may be a feminist, but she is also smart enough to recognize the advantages of flying under the radar of rival gangbangers and the LA cops.  In public, it is Garcia, Lola’s boyfriend, who takes the role of Crenshaw Six leader.  But the gang (all of whom were there when Lola put a bullet between the eyes of her predecessor) understands just how ruthless and ambitious Lola is.  She has big plans for herself and the gang, and as long as everyone she deals with outside her gang underestimates her, she might just pull off those plans.  But when a Mexican cartel comes to the Crenshaw Six with a proposition that is as likely to get them all killed as it is to make them rich, a proposition they are not going to be allowed to refuse, things start getting complicated. 

When things do not go as the cartel instructed, Garcia and the Crenshaw Six have to find a way to make things right.  If they don’t, as supposed girlfriend of the gang’s leader, Lola will have to pay with her life – and hers will be neither a quick nor an easy death if it comes to that.  Lola knows that if her life is to be saved, it is up to her to figure out how to get it done.  In the meantime, while she wrestles with serious threats from the cartel, two rival drug gangs, and her own brother, Lola intends to fight back from the shadows.  But staying in the shadows irks the feminist that Lola is, and when her cover story finally breaks, she begins to have the time of her life – short as that life might turn out to be.

Lola is an interesting character, one who may not be quite as tough or as ruthless as she wants everyone to think she is, but one who will do whatever it takes to protect her gang and her family (well, not so much her mother, as it turns out).  The novel is one that demands a sequel or maybe even a whole series, and it would not surprise me to be binge-watching it on Netflix in a few years. 

I’m giving it four of five stars.


  1. Great review! Good to see you writing again, Sam!

  2. Thanks, Kristine. They won't be very regular but I will get to as many as I can find time for. I'm finding that it's really hard to break old habits.