Sistah Girls, think you’re in the mood to read a novella? Then, let me tell you about Save Me by Precious Okafor.

Now I know novellas are not everyone’s cup of tea, I can’t count on one hand how many times I have blindly bought an ebook because the plot is ghenghenstic (bombshell), only to realize that my impatience has led me to a short read that I now need more of but can’t have.

The confusion and frustration that follows is no joke. So, to avoid heartbreak, I steer clear. But lately, those short reads are like a kid-sized Capri-Sun, allowing me to get the sugar I need, without feeling too guilty, because of- you guessed it: work, work, work. 

The Plot

Ave Smith is a young girl trying to find the meaning of life. Readers get to dive into her journey and see how her being at this stage of her life affects her relationship with family and friends.

 Mental health, family, friends, and romance are three themes that’s present throughout the story. 

Now, let’s get down to the things that I liked about Okafor’s Save Me…

It’s a Young Adult novella, the characters are young and vibrant, so if YA is your vibe, this is the book for you. 

I believe that Black stories that delve into issues like mental health, help us in so many ways. Ave struggles with depression and it’s addressed early in the book.

More so, Precious gives us a window into the thought pattern that plagues Ave–thus, giving her readers a background with which to understand Ave’s personality.

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As a secondary school teacher, I appreciated seeing the character of Mr. William. You know, that one teacher that seems aloof, but is somehow still caring.

Ave is a hot mess; multiple times, I found myself saying: “What is doing this girl sef, hei God.” And I think that is the whole point, humans are complex, so, Okafor depicts this lucidly.

While we are still on the characters in the book, please tell me what you think about Mia. I’d also like to know what you think about Ave’s whole circle of friends.

I like that there’s romance in the novella. Yeah, I’m the type to think that a liru (little) bit of romance doesn’t hurt nobody. But seriously, I can’t say I don’t feel some type of way about Liam and Ave’s relationship. Nonetheless, Liam is just that mumu (idiot) for love that gets romance lovers.

Let’s not lie, let’s not steal o (truthfully), Ave’s family dynamic issa hmmm. While I was reading, I was like, which kain wahala be this.

Also, I applaud the move to show parental support in the midst of a mental crisis. Loving someone through their flaws, and sometimes catastrophe is no mean feat. 

I more than liked the note on which Okafor ends the story. I believe it shows that the healing process for depression is not a snapshot, it’s more of a continuum. 



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