A few years ago two crews were formed. A crew of girls led by Sapphire Light...and a crew of boys...
....... led by Den Gold
This is how our story starts in Notting Hill Carnival: A west side story.
Lets jump in the world of the Red Roses, the Gold Teeth, rivalry and Notting Hill Carnival. The back drop; South London and a feud between to factions that started in their teenage years has carried into adulthood, add in a complicated romance and you have your modern day Romeo and Juliet in this fantastic quick read (only 102 pages)!
Sapphire is a women that has regrets, her past is still haunting her and she condemns the once reckless women she was in her youth. Determined to make a change she no longer associates with the very gang she created the red roses however with trouble brewing among its ranks Sapphire would have to step in to put an end to it once an for all.
Den still a part of the Gold teeth does not want to let the past go and continues rallying his members to take out the Red roses permanently. Holding a personal grudge against Sapphire he wants nothing more then to sink her with the rest of her ship.
And then there is Apollo, never really got involved with the gold teeth, and only stayed because of his sister who was still an active member of the gang. A chance encounter tests his loyalty and eventually even he has the pick a side.
The battlefield- Notting Hill Carnival as both gangs descend onto the party weekend the only thing on their minds is settling the score and only one gang will emerge victorious!
Cadice Carty-Williams does a great job depicting the characters, situations and the 'beef' in such a short amount of pages. Giving you a real feel of a modern South London and a small taste of the school life in Brixton.
I really enjoyed this book, it was fun, the tone and narrative perfectly matched the length of the story and helped create enough of a build up that after it ended let me wanting more.