Saturday, 23 July 2011

Book Review: FAM (Rolling in a London Girl Gang) by Chyna

As I was on holiday recently I thought I should bring a book with me to pass the time.  I don't know about you but I am definitely into my True Crime stories and love watching TV programmes such as Prison Break, Banged up Abroad and Ross Kemp on Gangs.

As I was browsing through the True Crime section in Waterstones, Piccadilly Circus, London, I came across a book called FAM (Rolling in a London Girl Gang) by Chyna.  I thought 'why not?!...I need an easy read for the my holiday'.  So, here is the synopsis for the book.

Synopsis:  Chyna was born in the middle of gangland UK.  From a young age she saw people all around her in gangs.  They had the status, the ghetto-fabulous look and the money.  So when girls from a rival school started picking on Chyna and her friends, they decided to take control of their lives and form their own gang.

They called it Nothing to Lose.

Soon Chyna was caught up in a world of tiefing phones, shoplifting and shanks.  she rolled tight with her fam.  They checked for each other and felt unstoppable.  The risk of arrest and beatings was always present, but so were the rewards: fast p's, bare liquor and draw, and the thril of being above the law.

Then boys came into their lives, and Chyna and her friends were attracted to some of gangland's most notorious - and quickly linked with them.  Now Chyna found herself in a very glamorous world with VIP tables at the most exclusive clubs, big p's lavished on bling and champagne.  She was living the highlife as the girlfriend of one of London's most feared gangstas.

The deeper she got into the world, the more she discovered the dark side.  The guns, the vicious drug dealers, the constant threat of prison: Chyna knew she had to find a way out.  But it would be a devastating tragedy - one that ripped apart her world - before Chyna found the courage to leave gangland behind once and for all.

Urban Voice UK Review:  This book has been criticised for glamourising gangland.  I disagree, Chyna manages to portray the flip side to big p's, and designer clothes, with the way you're always looking over your shoulder, you can't trust people, can't sleep at night, not knowing when the boydem (police) are going to get to you next.  It is interesting to get a female perspective on gangs and what exactly drives a female to be a associated with gang culture as females are often referred to as the maternal sex. Overall FAM is an interesting read highlighting certain realities that exist within the UK which at points you don't want to put the book down.
Overall score:  4/5
FAM (Rolling in a London Girl Gang) by Chyna is available to buy from all good bookstores and Amazon: 

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