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One of the hottest new writers in urban fiction, award-winning author Kia DuPree has been hailed for her heart-wrenching storytelling and unforgettable characters. Now she takes you to Washington, D.C.'s most notorious neighborhood, where a young woman has one chance to escape-and too many ways to lose . . .


She gets lost in the fantasy of books and poetry. But in Tinka Hampton's all-too-real world, her mother Nicola has lost her job and is struggling to stop her family's fall into poverty. With her sons turning to drug dealing-and worse-Nicola wants better things for her daughter. Yet the more pressure she puts on Tinka to do everything right, the more she drives her away . . . straight into the arms of Nine, a man as irresistible as he is lethal. Now Nicola must make unimaginable choices that will put Tinka at a dangerous crossroads. Will standing up for her seemingly impossible dreams be her way out-or will they trap her on D.C.'s merciless streets forever?

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