Book Review: Words Unspoken by Tajma Brown

Every 90’s baby remembers that edge of your seat, bated breath, love coma-inducing final scene from the Black romance cult classic film Love Jones.

Y’all know which one I am talking about. When Nina Mosely (Nia Long) met Darius Lovehall (Larenz “Forever Fine” Tate) under a Chicago bridge in the pouring rain offering excuses as to why their relationship could not work.

Lovehall reassures her with a finalizing, “I love you. That’s urgent like a mother f****r.” Cue heart eyes, release the doves, and turn up The Refugee’s “The Sweetest Thing.” Whew, okay my bad…back to the point.

As I was saying, it was that moment in cinematic history that made little ol’ me believe that love, more specifically Black love, was not something of mere myths and fantasies. Which are the same emotions evoked while I was reading the intimate novella Words Unspoken by Tajma Brown

This page-turner is the tale of lifelong friends Kyla Reese and Harlan Avery. These two have been besties since before their inception; on some ‘their dad’s were best friends first and they didn’t have any other choice’ type stuff.

Brown kicks things off by showing the relationship between the main characters during the summer before their freshman year of high school. Immediately, the dynamic of the two puts me on alert that Kyla and Harlan are going to have me on a rollercoaster of emotions like my name was Vivian Green. 

Once Brown sets the stage for us, the book fast-forwards to present-day Kyla and Harlan. With 25 years of friendship in their pockets, the pair are now roommates and still tighter than a fresh sew-in. They hang out constantly, bring each other lunch, have movie nights to take in their favorite film (cue Love Jones), and all the good things that bestie boos are supposed to do.

I must admit, even the smallest gestures between Harlan and Kyla made me feel as though I was a third wheel intruding in on their personal time.  

Brown certainly gave us a strong story that can be placed into the friends-to-lovers genre. While the book was short, the characters and the plot gave it a strong leg to stand on.

Was the plot predictable?

I would have to say yes. However, Words Unspoken was very much endearing and well worth the read. Don’t believe me? Get to know Kyla and Harlan for yourself and see how these two will have you remembering love.



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