Read The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah Online


The stunning national bestseller now features an illuminating discussion with Sister Souljah -- her secret thoughts on creating the story that has sold more than one million copies worldwide and introduced readers everywhere to the real ghetto experience. Here are answers to the questions fans everywhere have been asking; the meanings and inspirations behind such memorableThe stunning national bestseller now features an illuminating discussion with Sister Souljah -- her secret thoughts on creating the story that has sold more than one million copies worldwide and introduced readers everywhere to the real ghetto experience. Here are answers to the questions fans everywhere have been asking; the meanings and inspirations behind such memorable characters as Winter, Midnight, and Santiaga; and insights into why and how Souljah conceived of one of the most powerful novels of our time....

Title : The Coldest Winter Ever
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416521693
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 544 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Coldest Winter Ever Reviews

  • Diane
    2019-03-12 11:16

    Lovely read! A classic,ruthless,blunt with lots of cliffhangers in the storyline and is exceptionally written. I encourage everyone to read this book (paperback!)

  • Jahmilla2010
    2019-03-03 10:24

    Winter Santiaga is a spoiled, materialistic, troubled teenager. Throughout the novel, she is constantly trying to "stay on top". She grows up in the ghetto with a father who is a drug kingpin. Her father spoils her rotten and her mother feeds into this. They finally move out of the ghetto and into a rich, suburban area. Winter feels isolated and needs to go back to the ghetto and brag to her friends and complete strangers. Winter also sees no problem with spending a few hundred dollars on an outfit and other luxuries. This mentality brings her to the destructive point in her life. She uses her good looks and her game to manipulate everyone (including her immediate family) into getting what she wants. The book mainly discusses her problems with spending money on ridiculous items and how she never realizes the problem with it. Winter never sees her downfall until the very end. And in the end it also shows how history repeats itself or how life is a cycle when Winter's sister has fallen into the same trap." She is the girl many young girls want to be in life. You know, a video-hoe in the making. When tragedy strikes her family, her pops is locked up, and no one else is willing to help. A girl, who is accustomed to the "best", has to figure out how to live a life without it, as though she never had any more than anyone else.I loved the book. Everything that was said and done was shockingly real. I wouldn't be surprised if it someone's real life story. If there are young girls out there who are misguided by all of the glitz and glitter of the drug game, this is an excellent story to set them straight.

  • karen
    2019-03-22 11:17

    David has insinuated that this novel is in some way comparable to Hitler or Mariah Carey, which I think is unfair. This book has been responsible neither for the attempted extinction of a race of people, nor for Glitter and dog-whistle mimicry. It is not a book that is going to stay in my heart for a long period of time, but one does care about the characters, and she writes vividly and is never boring. And that is enough for three stars, considering this was not a book I chose to read myself, so I had no real expectations. If you are a fan of The Wire, (and why wouldn't you be, since it is the best non-Bluth television show to have been put on the air since Manimal) this will mostly be old hat to you. But if you are wicked sheltered and don't know that drugs are bad and destroy communities, check this out, because like The Wire, it shows all aspects: the users, the dealers, the way communities are divided as people die, are jailed, and betray each other. I don't think there is (still) a lot of literature about women caught up in all of this, so even though it is chock full of early nineties slang, it is still a relevant book, but probably more appropriate for teen girls than David. (How are my capitals so far, do you approve??)I loved that Sister Souljah was a character in her own book, as the voice of reason and the angel of the projects, saving lives and making a difference and showing the alternative path to a life of crime... And I know that she really is an activist and does do a lot of work for urban communities, but it just comes across as arrogant, doesn't it?? That the author is also in the book, with all the answers while the characters around her flounder if they do not heed her advice. I kind of want other celebrities to write novels in which they give practical advice like this. Like if Keith Richards wrote a novel, dispensing advice about how to pickle your insides so you live forever, or Britney Spears cautioned her characters, "Hey, maybe wear some panties before you go outside, it's windy". Sage advice from celebrity pens.All in all, it was in no way as painful as reading those romance novels, and the scene in the abortion clinic waiting room was effective and depressing.Oh, and also this:

  • Zanna
    2019-02-21 13:30

    I would be rating this book more highly if I hadn't read the explanatory notes at the back! It had me struggling to drop off at night as I couldn't wait to find out what Winter would do next to recover from the disintegration of her life as the over-indulged daughter of a very rich Brooklyn drug dealer. Despite being almost a caricature of materialism and self-interest, Winter is so inventive and sharp I found it impossible not to root for her through most of her exploits, though she hurt many people terribly along the way. The tale is transparently cautionary, but boldly told entirely from the viewpoint of the sinner.Sinner is the right word: Souljah's position is one of religious morality, as became clearer in the endnotes. Knowing sanctimony wouldn't entice readers, she took a smarter tack. There is little overt moralising and certainly no misplaced institutional sympathy. This in the voice of Souljah herself, who appears as herself in the book:Drugs is a government game… A way to rob us of our best black men, our army. Everyone who plays the game loses. Then they get you right back where we started, in slavery! Then they get to say "This time you did it to yourself."Quite.I did find it much too easy to forget that Winter is a rape victim: telling the story from her viewpoint meant that her hypersexualisation was naturalized somewhat. Sure, teenagers may have raging libidos and maybe I'm the one being sanctimonious, but… were all the sex scenes and descriptions of teenage black girls' bodies needed?I was impressed with one scene in particular. Winter, at sixteen, is an expert self-stylist, clad in designer fashion, expensive accessories, and fancy feminine underwear, with 'good hair', well-kept hands and feet, no make up on her flawless skin (just lipstick). Her mother has taught her that 'beauty is a full time occupation'. I've heard feminists describe the standards of appearance women are expected to meet as 'the patriarchal fuckability test' (though discussions around this often lack recognition of the way black women are dehumanised and othered by the construction of femininity, female desirability and beauty standards) and when such a test literally happens in the book, it's a dramatic demonstration of how Winter's personal standards of self-presentation are maintained by white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.I also thought that the book was making a nuanced critique of the way hypermasculinity for young black males is reinforced: not only do we see so many of them behaving in accordance with the stereotype, we also have Winter's voice defining male requirements and brutally, poignantly enforcing them where she has the power to. Her real crush is a different matter: Midnight is above the game, self-contained, disciplined, and apparently not interested in Winter, who firmly believes she is irresistable. Yet Midnight makes some severe, aridly misogynistic remarks, so I figured Souljah had in mind a mutually redemptive meeting of souls for them.I was wrong though; in the endnotes Souljah reveals that Midnight is her ideal of masculinity and 'the heart of the novel'. There's a disturbing section after her notes written from his viewpoint in which he says 'homosexuality never existed in my country' which underlines a homophobic comment from Souljah within the novel, and another horribly erasing remark in the notes about black men being led astray from 'natural sexuality and gender'. I think my heart would be broken if I were a queer black man who'd enjoyed the book up to that point. He also says 'my father taught me women are 100% emotion' so their advice and opinions should be ignored. In short, some seriously indigestible matter at the end thoroughly spoiled the meal for me.

  • Lynecia
    2019-03-03 08:26

    This is the ultimate "hood lit" novel, but Souljah does it with such style, not amateurism.

  • Autumn
    2019-02-23 06:29

    Oooo, Winter Santiaga is so mean! Yet, so likeable. She's a total Scarlett O'Hara character.Also, way to drop some crazy metafiction in there, Sister Souljah! And feminism. This book is a classic in the making. It's probably the next A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

  • Maritza
    2019-03-01 07:13

    I loved this book because it was very real...not that I know anything about the ghetto, but it kept my interest because it was written from a real life perspective. I was always yelling at the main character in the book for being a complete idiot, but that's why I loved it too.

  • Bookishrealm
    2019-03-13 07:13

    Oh boy I completely devoured this book. It was so much better than I expected. It takes real life situations and makes them accessible to everyone. I didn't like Winter as a character but boyyy is her story like so many other young women who get caught up in an endless cycle of trying to keep up with a lifestyle that's not realistic especially when it's funded by drug money. I definitely will be checking out the next book in this series even though it's not necessarily a direct sequel.

  • 3Fatima
    2019-03-16 14:14

    Overrated that’s what I first thought when I finished reading the Coldest Winter Ever by sister souljah. I thought the book was a let down for all the people thinking they are going to read the greatest novel in urban literature. I could not stand the naive ness of the character’s Winter, Ricky Santiaga and her mother. I believe she made it seem like all black people from the hood didn’t know any better. It was a stupid idea for her to add her own self in the story. Sister Souljah was mentioned through out the whole book. Lastly, the only thing I liked about the book was the character midnight. He was the only smart one that made me want the story to be more about him. “ That’s the shit that makes me want to kick my own as for letting this happen.” Winter’s father Ricky did not look out for his family when stuff got rough. His mistress on the side was living lavishly while his daughter was running wild, his other kids in foster care and his wife-smoking crack. Any man in there right mind would make sure home is taking care of first. He didn’t prepare the mom for a downfall, as if he thought it would never happen. Winter gave African American women a bad name. she thought she could just get by in life with her looks and sexual appeal. She didn’t attend school she made school a last priority and only attended to show off a new outfit. The mother who should have been the backbone of the family let everything fall apart just because her husband wasn’t in the picture anymore. “ So what else did souljah say?” Through out the long dragging book Sister Souljah decided to add her own self into the story, that just upset me even more. She made her and midnight has a relationship, which I thought was stupid. Then she seemed very judgmental and wanted everything to go her way. She wanted to be this spoke person for women maybe that’s why she made the character winter seem so naïve to make her self seem better. I really didn’t like how she made every somewhat decent man in the book wanted her but she wouldn’t give him the time of the day, that just started to irritate me. She was so afro centric that it seem as though she thought everybody from America was bad, killing off there race. “ Yo shorty-tough, two more days, that’s it. Then you’ll be back home. Try to sty cool, you know?” The way the character midnight acted made me like the story even more. I liked the way that he talked with such dominance and controlled things. He seemed like he kept to himself and kept his circle tight of close friends. He was the only one that made a change in his life. He was even man enough to take Ricky’s children adopt and take care of them. That made me like his character even more. The mystery he had with him was so intriguing that it made me want to actually get to know him. Next time sister souljah decide to write a book I think she shouldn’t make her characters so dumb founded that loses the reader and makes them not want to finish the book. She does not need to add her self in a fictional book if she wants to tell her story then she should write a biography.

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-03-18 10:10

    I like to read outside of my comfort zone. But this far out I probably needed a bathysphere. And now I got the bends.Imagine you're reading On Cheshil Beach by Ian McEwan, and after the famous wedding night scene a friend of Florence told her that her and Edward should really go and see this highly recommended marriage guidance councellor, so they decide to give it a shot, and it turns out to be a guy called Ian McEwan, who is this lovely wise person who they instantly trust. And he dispenses his wisdom to them. And their lives are better. Then imagine Ian McEwan writes an 80 page commentary on his novel and includes it as an appendix, pointing out for less perspicacious readers who represents what and the moral inferences you should be – er – inferring as you read. Would we be telling Ian McEwan that he had an ego the size of the Titanic and clearly just as fragile? And that he had zero trust in his readers? And that he'll never win the Booker Prize again? Yes, I think so.So all of these things are true about The Coldest Winter Ever but as well as being true they're completely irrelevant. When Sister Souljah writes herself into her own novel as a character and then explains point by point what her novel means and what all the characters represent in the appendix at the back, your jaw drops and you realise you're not in Kansas anymore. (When I say Kansas, I don't mean literally Kansas, you see, I mean we're not having the usual novel-as-art reading experience. Did you understand that's what I meant? Good, let's hurry on then.)So this book is Moll Flanders meets The Wire. Street-smart young hussy has to hustle like crazy when her entire family is taken into custody because her daddy is a drug baron, and she's left high & dry with no dough and nowhere to stay. Much hilarity ensues, life lessons are learned. And when Sister Souljah is around, boy, those lessons are LEARNED and there will be QUESTIONS AFTERWARDS.I DIDN'T KNOW WHO SISTER SOULJAH WAS BUT NOW I DOI did some googling and holy shit! Where have I been all this time? Don't I read the papers? SS turns out to be an amazing and extremely formidable intellect who is not just a novelist but a major social activist, former hip hop artist (which is where the daft name came from, she's really Lisa Williamson), film producer, lecturer, and all round 24-hour opinionator about race relations in America, as for instance in the following well known quote"I have never met a good white person."In 1992 she was interviewed after the LA riots in April 1992 :SS : Black people from the underclass and the so-called lower class do not respect the institutions of white America, which is why you can cart as many black people out on the television as you want to tell people in the lower and underclass that that was stupid, but they don't care what you say. You don't care about THEIR lives, haven't added anything to the quality of their lives, haven't affectuated anything for the quality of their lives, and then expect them to respond to your opinions which mean absolutely nothing? Why would they?Q: But even the people themselves who were perpetrating thatviolence, did they think it was wise? Was that wise, reasonedaction?A: Yeah, it was wise. I mean, if black people kill blackpeople every day, why not have a week and kill white people? Youunderstand what I'm saying? In other words, white people, thisgovernment, and that mayor were well aware of the fact that blackpeople were dying every day in Los Angeles under gang violence.So if you're a gang member and you would normally be killingsomebody, why not kill a white person?No surprise, this got her into so much trouble and I can imagine invitation lists were quickly examined and if her name was found on them a big bold line was drawn through it. Vilified by all and sundry, she made her one and only album, 360 Degrees of Power, later the same year, which contains this track – MTV banned it and I can kind of see why! finally!I found this one youtube clip of her in some towering rant, as usual, and you have to check it out. I don't think I've ever heard a public speaker so articulately reducing a room full of the great and the good to trembling awestruck silence. This woman is truly amazing.

  • Shanae
    2019-02-22 09:28

    *Updated review *Now I remember why I started to explore books by Black authors. I tried to remember what made me enjoy reading so much and, after rereading The Coldest Winter Ever, now I've got it. I always enjoyed reading but there was a time when books seemed to come alive for me and it is marked by Sister Souljah's first novel. I grew up in the suburbs and know nothing of life in New York, the drug game, etc. But I've always felt The Coldest Winter Ever. I learned the importance of connecting with my Black brothers and sisters; I learned that unity and selflessness are essential to my progress, they're what make me useful to the Black community; and I learned that my life is in my hands - I can choose to be Winter or Sister Souljah - a product of my environment or one who changes my environment for the better. I'm not sure Sister Souljah meant for The Coldest Winter to be such a dynamic literary work, as I know it has impacted the lives of MANY young Black men and women who felt shut out of literature. I appreciate her writing. I read a lot of urban lit and I truly believe that every urban lit writer has tried to recreate Winter's character, yet none have come close. While I haven't been so enthused by her Midnight series, it, too, served a significant literary purpose and her work continues to grow, touching the lives of young Blacks. I still encourage everyone to read The Coldest Winter Ever and be changed, have your mind opened and receive a true account of the calculated post slavery denigration of the Black male and the destruction of the Black family with the drug trade. Sister Souljah's The Coldest Winter Ever is insightful, educational and entertaining. *Initial review *An amazing literary work...while the novel is set in an urbane environment, I think everyone has much to learn from the characters in this novel.

  • Khashayar Mohammadi
    2019-02-27 14:13

    I might have enjoyed the book more if she had not written herself into the novel as a free-spirited woman, helping children who have "Lost their way" without playing any significant part in the narrative other than boisterously portraying how much she's above all these women. Only a narcissist can write herself into her own novel as a "Deus Ex-Machina".All that set aside; even Swann's way does not have a 80 page appendix explaining its intricacies. I do not see the point of an 80 page (once again 80 PAGES; a quarter of the actual book's length!) appendix explaining the meaning behind each and every page. I gotta admit I enjoyed the book, but ego emanated from each and every pore. I like the book but I have grown to despise the author.

  • Tanya Urban Fantasy Freak
    2019-02-28 08:28

    I read this book back in my early twenties, Like one reviewer states Winter is like Scarlett O'hara - a mean bitch but you can't help but to root for her! She's vain, spoiled, selfish and will do anything to make it - But I have to respect her survival skills. Winter is the beautiful first born daughter of a drug kingpin in Brooklyn, She's treated like a ghetto princess. Of course you know what usually happens with drug kingpins - the father goes to jail and all their bank accounts & valuable property is seized. Winter's younger siblings are put in foster homes of course Winter is too foine, fiesty & fabulous to be put in foster care so she runs aways. The rest of the novel is basically Winter trying to hook up with Hood Royalty - aka rappers, drug dealers any brotha enough with money to float her extravagant lifestyle that she was accustomed to. I had hoped she would see the error of her ways before she ended up in jail, but "C'est la vie" - That's Life. If you are fascinated by hood life and the fools that partake in it you should read this book.p.s. As a geeky black woman with a middle class upbringing I never liked girls like Winter and they have never liked me either lol. I think she would have classified me as a 'stuck up college bitch' that is fat & boring like Sterling's cuckolded girlfriend Judy (or should I say Cuckquean? lol)

  • Airin
    2019-03-07 09:25

    This book is one of those deals where the historical impact of a novel forces you to separate the socio-cultural relevance from the actual literal content to objectively criticize it. As a result, it also makes criticizing it more difficult than is apparent at first glance. Souljah's book has been heralded as a "classic" and she herself, in the appendix, states that she wanted to write a book that was "the best novel I ever read in my lifetime." The key here is that she does not say "the best piece of literature". And these two can be very mutually exclusive.In TCWE, Souljah tells the story of Winter Santiaga, daughter of a wealthy drug kingpin from Brooklyn. The novel recaps the events of her life mostly after her father's drug empire falls apart and forces her to adapt to her new life, void of all the material luxuries she has grown to view as the value of good life. In the appendix, Souljah says she wanted her depiction of young black girls to be "realistic", which results in a vain and spoiled person, materialistic to an almost absurd degree and incapable of any sort of self-reflection to the point of outright stupidity. Many of her fellow females are the same: boasting of being "bad bitches" but falling apart whenever they do not have men to provide for them. This is contrasted most strikingly with the author's direct self insert, a character also named Sister Souljah, who tries to educate the community and help people find more worthwhile meanings for their lives. Winter is one of the people who comes in contact with Souljah's influence, but fails to take heed of her advice and help. You can guess the outcome.Had someone described the premise of the book to me like the paragraph above, I would have been skeptical. I tried to hold off judgment right until the last pages of the novel, yet I am highly skeptical still. In part, this is because as an author, Souljah goes against many of the glaring no-no's usually associated with mediocre literature: her characters are, almost without exception, completely one-dimensional and incapable of change, which makes them seem more caricatures than real people. To make things even more black and white, she places herself in the story as a beacon of truth and enlightenment, described as someone with whom all men fall in love with, even if she does not so much as open her legs for them. These include Winter's great love Midnight, who on several occasions commends Sister Souljah's insight and lambasts Winter as a stupid, materialistic girl. The only things stopping Sister Souljah from being a (excuse my fandom lingo) direct Mary-Sue is her real-life involvement in the same issues she describes in the book, but nonetheless her portrayal comes off as nothing short of humorous and egotistical.If it weren't enough to insert herself "talking to the crowd" in the novel, Souljah has included an appendix featuring explanations on how to interpret the book. I find it interesting that although there are several feminist themes present, we get a very limited view on what a "good" woman is; in her appendix Souljah even states something along the lines of "you can choose to be Natalie who is famous for sucking dick, or you can be Rashida who has had it tough but tries to help other people." Although Sister Souljah supposedly does not judge, a lot of the underlying messages teeter close to slut-shaming, implying that for all of Winter's insistence that she is in control of her sexuality, her carefree and lustful approach to sex is nonetheless somewhat deviant. This makes Souljah's message conflicted: in a novel that so harshly underlines finding your own way and being true to yourself as the building blocks of a healthy, balanced life, why is that path ultimately so narrow? I also have issues with the book's subtle implications of homosexuality as aberrant (such as Sister Souljah's supposedly tolerant character confiding in Winter that she avoids dating performers since many can "look all man, dress all man and surround themselves with women, but turn out to be bi"). I know much of this goes with the target audience (and the issues with masculinity and homosexuality specifically in the Hip Hop culture Souljah describes), but it does not make it any more tolerable.The novel's simplified tone ultimately reads a lot like a young adult literature, and I understand a lot of the material is intended as a wake-up call for youth blinded by ideas of grandeur and easy money. I am not disputing that many of the messages are important, and have apparently struck close to home with many who have had it rough in the community. I know in many ways I am far from the target audience for a book like TCWE, and therefore acknowledge that a lot of the true merit lies outside its actual literal value. Here's the thing: I wanted to like this book way more than I did. Many people have brought up The Wire in context of this book, as the two share similar subject matters and approach many of the same issues facing the African American community in the States when it comes to drug trade. Many people would be quick to point out here that regardless of research or assistance, shows like The Wire are entertainment produced by white people, and thus Souljah's novel is a more "authentic" portrayal of the community -- I am not here to dispute or agree with that, since I cannot have personal experiences on it. What I do have an opinion on, though, is the level of ambivalence in these two works, which works in The Wire's favour but not in Souljah's. Which ultimately becomes the novel's greatest downfall from a literary perspective.Sister Souljah wants to send a message, and with that she succeeds. However, as a reader, I need to make my own interpretations, no matter how self-evident. Souljah's subject material is important, but her manner of narrative presents only two ways of approaching it: the right and the wrong. Of her characters, only that of the Sudan-born Midnight comes close to any sort of ambivalence, as he is both a proud and honest man and a drug dealer. Even then, Souljah's "moral compass" (as she describes herself in the appendix regarding the story) leaves no room for grey areas when it comes to preaching people about the consequences of their choices. And that's the thing, really: simply put, the whole novel is preachy as hell. There's no other way of going about it. And if there's something I find hard to deal with, it's preachy literature, since it renders real issues into after school specials and real people into caricatures. I acknowledge that at times, this approach might work best when reaching out to young people or helping adults find catharsis in their own similar experiences, but in terms of creating a more universally approachable piece of fiction, TCWE manages to be thought-provoking only on a surface level. Souljah's prose is entertaining and page turner-y at its best, and when it comes to educating oneself on the actual subject matter of the novel or street literature in general (or if one is looking to compare and contrast their personal experiences with that of Winter's, which many readers have done according to Souljah), TCWE does have its merits. Personally though? I would recommend non-fiction.

  • Hayden
    2019-03-17 09:13

    I am a little embarrassed that I hadn't read this one before--it was published about 10 years ago but it still seems to be THE book by which all urban fiction is judged. And I can see why.It's compulsively readable. Winter Santiago is the teenaged daughter of the man who controls the Brooklyn drug trade. She grew up in luxury, and no less obsessed with fashion labels and image than any Gossip Girl. But when her father's business collapses, she is determined to make use of her pretty face (and her business sense) to get in on some new hustle. Sister Souljah, the author, appears as a character in the novel, offering a different point of view and a different set of solutions to Winter's problems--none of which interest Winter very much.Spoilers below! Beware, mateys!The book is really a simple morality tale--Winter refuses to accept any consequences for her actions, or any help from the few chararacters who mean well by her, and so she meets a bad end. The problem, if you consider it a problem, is that the parts of the book about Sister Souljah (the preachier parts) are by far the least engrossing. Maybe I'm completely wrong, and teens are reading this for the valuable lesson Winter learns by being hauled off to jail in the end. But I suspect they read it for the sex, drugs, and hustling she engages in along the way. Because that is the most interesting part.Plus, the reader never sees Winter change. In the last few pages of the book, we check back in with her after a few years in jail. She certainly has regrets, but we don't get to watch her make those changes, and she can't even bring herself to warn her younger sister, who is heading down the exact same path. Words didn't work on her--why would they work on anybody? Which is kind of a bummer for Souljah, since words are what she's working with. There is also some lingering homophobia and anti-AIDs/blaming the victim stuff going on, but it is a 10-year-old book, and that landscape has changed this past decade.

  • Camille
    2019-03-24 13:31

    Now I remember why this is my all time fav!My opinion of Souljah dwindled after reading the three books that followed this in the series. (Two of the Midnight books and Porsche's book) I found her writing style to be all over the place and heavily laced with personal and sometimes offensive opinions. Re-reading this story made me fall in love with the characters and the author all over again. What I love about this novel over the others is while the opinions are still there, it is not as blatant as in the Midnight books. With the ongoing popularity this story has generated over the past decade, I'm surprised it hasn't been picked up for the big screen yet.

  • Nikita
    2019-03-02 06:26

    Took me 65 pg to get in to it.... But so worth it!!

  • Mo
    2019-03-03 12:21

    I could not put this book down, no matter what was going on around me. This world was far from my world, yet it was so real. How long does it take to learn a lesson?

  • Tiffany
    2019-02-27 13:36

    I just finished reading the Coldest Winter Ever and to my amazement I was displeased with the ending but I understand the message clearly. I can not get the sting of how she captured the essence of how clothes, hair, jewelry, houses, and cars are just materialistic dust. Winter is the prime example of everything I've seen and have promised myself never to become. That means working long hours and spending way too much time angry over a B I might receive for a paper. I want better for my child and unlike the characters in this book I will give her more the RIGHT WAY. It is waaayyyyy to easy to open my legs for what I want to some high roller who probably has AIDS or isn't worth the space he's taking up. The hard part is resisting the easy way out and keep striving even when you feel like giving up. This book was definitely not what I expected! It puts a pain that you can't erase in your gut. It's sad that the world has to be such a cold, superficial, and cut throat place. BUT that's the way it is, you can be on top today but if the foundation your standing on isn't built on solid ground you can sink in the very place you started to build. ~I will continue to build a solid foundation even if it takes me a while to find the soil and even harder to finally carry the building tools~

  • Chandra
    2019-03-08 10:27

    The book definitely moves along quickly and makes you wanna know what happens next. However, in order for me to like a book I either have to like the character or at least feel sympathy for the character. I neither liked nor felt sorry for Winter. She got everything she deserved and the end really didn’t state whether she really learned from her mistakes...and some of what happened to her — there was no reasoning behind it. She got an abortion, so what? She didn’t learn anything. She got to live with Sista Souljah, so what? She didn’t learn anything. She found out what prison her father was in after all these years. So what, she never went to visit him, and didn’t see him until her mom’s funeral. She was reunite,d in a way, with Midnight, the man she truly loved. So what? They barely spoke at the funeral. And then all her friends ended up in jail...the end just seemed really abrupt and I didn’t understand what the whole point of her going through all that stuff was...I’m used to the characters being more developed. Sista Soulja wrote the character of Winter in a very superficial manner. We never got to see what Winter was really thinking...we just saw her react. Or perhaps she didn’t think enough and that was her problem, but I can’t say.

  • Tip Reads
    2019-03-13 11:13

    I really enjoyed this book. I can't wait to read the rest in the series. I just Winter would've chose a better decisions but hey when your back is up against the wall, you'll do anything by any means to survive. Read this book. Its worth it.

  • Tracy
    2019-03-22 12:09

    Read this years ago (it is THE book that made me want to be a writer) and loved it. Reading it again with my Teens Book Club.

  • Tish
    2019-03-15 11:25

    I've read this book almost 5 years ago but I remember loving it. This book is the book that originally got me hooked onto the urban/street lit genre. My first urban book. And oooh did I love me some midnight... Definitely a must read!

  • Me'Tova Hollingsworth
    2019-02-23 11:11

    Finally done. The only problem I had with this book was that it was mad long. Other than that the story was banging, and it went hard from out the gate, so I had to give it five stars.

  • Monique
    2019-03-06 13:27

    Yeah yeah I know this book is old like 1999 and for the record yes I have read it before but after reading both Midnight books and then seeing her highly anticipated sequel A Deeper Love Inside: the Porsche Santiaga story I realized I needed a refresher as I don't remember all the details on Porsche or I didn't even remember all the backstory you get on I reread this hood classic and was just as mesmerized and intrigued by this sordid and real tale as I was when I first read it oh so many moons ago...Okay so an overly done tale of a pampered princess whose life is turned upside down with only herself to keep it centered back on her but of course-- though this was the first of its kind so gets its respect. This story sets the standard of what now passes for hood princess literature--worlds where girls are beautiful and spoiled, judgmental and silly and the men do all to maintain their money, power and reputation to get said shallow women in the mean street game they are all a part of...You meet Winter Santiaga, a scheming and greedy fifteen year old who looks up to her diva gorgeous mom though she too was only about herself, maintaining her beauty and catering to her doting, indulgent, protective and powerful drug kingpin father ..So understandably when their father is locked up with no release in sight Winter's mom being the weak and dependent woman she is and without her looks to keep her afloat quickly hits a downhill spiral leaving Winter's sisters Porsche, Mercedes and Lexus to become wards of the state and leaving Winter alone to get by with nothing but her street smarts ..which would be enough but with her materialistic and selfish choices she stayed in trouble and off balance the entire novel letting thousands of dollars pass through her hands with nothing to show for it but fly clothes that she uses to impress, intimidate and influence others to give her what she wants before she takes it..Winter is remorseless, calculating, cruel and flighty but you can't help but understand her twisted logic and root for her to find herself as honestly you can meet twelve girls just like her, with the same entitled and ignorant mentality everyday that will surely be the downfall of our communities: girls and boys with nothing in their heads but sexist and power-seeking rap lyrics and the fast get-money flashy lifestyle of drugs and guns that lead to nothing but fatherless homes, jailed loved ones and drug abuse and addiction more times than not..In this social commentary aspect I absolutely feel Sister Souljah's message here and it reads loud and clear without the addition of her as a character saying these same poignant things LOL; however it was not a distraction as she was insightful and positive and always tried to help Winter but instead ended up getting her AIDS charity organization robbed by the cold ass girl intent on doing everyone wrong while working to make herself win..With the symbolism and thoughts of each character you are transported to the grimy underbelly of the dangerous streets, the well dressed players and the desperate need for all of it to change and have the way we live altered to think for all and not for one..I also truly enjoyed the character analysis section at the back of the book that I don't remember focusing on that gave great depth to each person and situation--honestly I had to give this book the awe-inspiring five stars as this is definitely a book all can relate to, all can learn from and all can be entertained by for a while (didn't realize its actually like 430 pages small type----very respectable length touché) and though it was written in 1999 it is still so relevant, so memorable and so sorely needed and maybe some parts should also be required reading (skip gratuitous sex scenes and description of erect nipples LOL sorry had to :))..But seriously as its written from her teenage years to her twenties we never see her grow or waver in her desire to be somebody without legitimate work despite having nothing to lose at one girl should aspire to be Winter. Her life should be viewed as a cautionary tale or at least it should be.., she was vain, irresponsible and short sighted when she thought she was holding it down however in reality she could never stand on her own,--she leaned and expected help way too much for me LOL, always some man had to help her come up, and yo you should never aspire to that..I will always appreciate Sister Souljah for this one, it will be around to school young ladies hopefully for years to come...made me a forever TCWE fan forever, classic.

  • Selena
    2019-03-24 14:24

    she took us on a roller coasterr ride! she was magnificent

  • Eva Leger
    2019-02-26 07:29

    Wow- I was worried this wouldn't live up to all the hype that I've heard. As soon as anyone hears this name of this book all I hear are GREAT things so needless to say I was scared to start because I didn't want to be let down. I can't believe how the book grabbed me from page one. Now I see why everyone is upset she took so much time off from writing. She should be writing as much as possible. I don't know where to start. I wish the book hadn't ended in a way because I absolutely LOVED reading about Winter. Midnight is a little mysterious in the book so when he shows up again I didn't know how I felt. The ending is great in my opinion although I guess I kind of wanted a happy ending but what does that teach us? I loved how the author made Winter so likeable even with her being so spoiled and self-involved. I love just about everything this book has to offer and I can see myself reading it again in the future. I plan on reading No Disrespect also sometime soon just to see what Souljah did with that one. Definitely recommended!

  • African Americans on the Move Book Club
    2019-02-28 07:30

    AAMBC Book Review, May 26, 2008 You can't say your a true book reader, if you havent read this book by sister souljah. One of the best street novels you would ever want to get your hands on. Winter Santiago is a spoiled brat and when her world is turned into a full 360 she has to find a way to survive. If you think you can use your body to get you what you want, your are in dullison. But Winter thought she could. When it is all said and done Winter is in a place that she never thought she would be. But with a father as a drug lord and her mother no where to be found, you can pretty much see where her life is headed. Learn from the life of Winter Santiago, this is a brilliant book.

  • Taylor
    2019-02-25 14:12

    Gosh, this took me forever to read. But in the end I enjoyed it. Some places the story was slow paced, and I was turned off by the ignorant main character, Winter. But overrall, Souljah did a fantastic job weaving a story about about the ghetto, the struggle, and the hustle of New York. The characters all had interesting, distinctive, unique personalities, and there are many places in the story, you will find yourself relating to. The book leaves a lot of things unresolved, and that always bothers me. I also thought the ending was rushed. Souljah introduced several characters and several conflicts, but didn't quite allow everything to fully resolve. Regardless, this story is eye opening and completely honest.

  • Jessica Savage
    2019-02-24 07:19

    This book was surprisingly amazing! It evoked thoughts for me that were endless. I read this book a long time ago and I still remember things about it and think about it. It made me realize that it is very easy to think your way of life is "normal," but it showed that what may be an outlandish way of living to me may be "normal" to someone else. Everyone grows up differently with different experiences. Also fascinating to me was the way that people can follow in their parents footsteps no matter how much they or their parents may not want them to. This concept really made me think while reading this book, and still does.