Love On a Two Way Street by J.L. King
Review by Jacquelyn Sirianni, Fall 2011
For my intern book pick of the month I chose a book titled Love On a Two Way Street by J.L. King. The book is a fictional novel written in easy to read and easy to follow styles. The common theme of the book is bisexuality. The content of the book begins with the main character “Juice” growing up on the streets and vividly describes several hardships he has had to endure, with the help of his childhood friend and cousin Bones. One day the two African American kids do the unthinkable and vow for it to remain a secret only they know about. The book then skips ahead to more of a present day feel. Juice has now made it big as an entertainment and song producer. Juice and Bones are living different lives than that of their childhood. J.L. King slowly starts to introduce other characters to portray the roles of mostly higher class African Americans, who have seemed to beat the odds of the stereotypical lives they were to lead.
The book Love On a Two Way Street encapsulates all the ideas that society places on whether a person can rise above and become successful; money, power, respect, class, gender, race, and sexuality. Sexuality plays a large role into J.L. King’s novel he does a pretty accurate portrayal of feelings and emotions from all aspects one can imagine when dealing with sexuality. Throughout the book Juice is seen as a icon for wealth and power; however there is a twist. Juice is bisexual. He uses equally strong, powerful men (as his sexual partners) to gain more wealth and to climb the social ladder. Then Juice falls for a new recording artist Brianna, and his thoughts become complex. Juice treats each person in his life differently and it is interesting to see how each person reacts to his sexuality and how each person plays a role into his life. Some of these people are supportive and others see it as a false sense of sexuality. J.L. King also uses mystery to keep his readers guessing what Juice’s next move will be and keeping strong ties to just what anyone will do to obtain power.
J.L. King does a very good job at making his heterosexual readers imagine what it would be like to be out of the heterosexual “norm” upon which society has placed many strong unwritten rules. The book is not only just about sexuality but as an African American male being of lower class and a minority. He really puts things into perspective for the reader showing what power and wealth can do to someone when they come from the completely opposite end of the societal spectrum. Wealth and power corrupt Juice and turn him into a person that seems to have a sense of feeling and many ulterior motives. His attraction to and romance to Brianna allows him to be in touch with his more sensitive side and forget about a world of wealthy power hungry people.