When TI announced he was writing a book, I knew I would be the first person in line to get it. I’m a huge fan of his music, reality show, and anything else he puts his hands on. When I first started reading Power & Beauty, I expected the writing style to reflect TI’s persona as a rapper. Let’s just say, I was in for a rude awakening. There were points in the story, which sounded like TI, “the rapper,” but the majority of the story seemed to have possibly been written in the voice of his co-author. While I was expecting one thing and got another, overall, I still enjoyed the book and purchased the sequel, Trouble and Triumph prior to finishing Power and Beauty.
The novel details the coming of age of Power (real name Paul) and Beauty, after their mother, Charlotte, is killed in an explosion. Although, they are not biologically related, they view each other as brother and sister despite the undeniable love they share. After their mother’s death, they are taken in by the ruthless Slim, a local businessman in Atlanta. Slim is crooked and although Power takes a liking to him, Beauty can see through him like glass. She even leaves Atlanta because of him, leaving Power behind.
The tagline of the book, a love story of life on the streets, in my opinion, is used incorrectly. The book is a love story, but not on the streets. Although Power goes through situations somewhat similar to stories found in street fiction, I wouldn’t put the book in this category. For example, one of the main turning points in the story is when Power drops out of high school because he didn’t win class president. (Yes, you read correctly, he drops out of high school because he didn’t win class president). His disappointment over the loss leads Slim to send him to New York to get schooled by the best players in the game.
Beauty, the female protagonist of the book, goes on her own journey, hitting the fashion world in New York and even making her way to Japan. She starts from the bottom and even takes a job as a sales associate at Claire’s. In this position, she has the potential to become the youngest store manager in the company’s history, however, she is never granted the position. She ends up taking a job at a department store, which puts her in New York, the same city as Power.
The highlight of the novel is the different people they come across during their journey. Each person leaves a lasting impression and is somehow connected to the next person who “schools” them. Since the book has a cliffhanger ending, I am anticipating the direction Trouble and Triumph takes. I already envision Power and Beauty crossing paths once again. However, the question is, will they rekindle their forbidden love, or will they face their demise at the hands of Slim? To find out, one must read!