The Cook Up by D. Watkins provided a gripping insight to how a person on the right path ends up following a dark and dangerous pathway instead. D. is a young man striving to escape his neighborhood in East Baltimore with an acceptance to Georgetown University. He has seen the life his older brother has as a drug dealer and wants a different life for himself. Then, the death of his brother starts a series of events that leads to him cooking crack in an abandoned building and having a vast crew of dealers and thugs underneath him. After a few years of drug abuse, drug sales and seeing many unnecessary deaths, D. finds a light in his darkness and begins the long road to transformation.
I was fascinated by the life of D. Watkins. The Cook Up was an intriguing and engaging look into a world of violence, greed and addiction. The timeline did cause me some confusion as it jumped around a bit, but that did not detract from the story telling as a whole. There was a surprising amount of emotion in the book; Watkins was able to transfer his feelings into the words. The world of East Baltimore was wrapped in and through the narrative. It was almost a character they way the locations were so prominent.
The Cook Up is the type of memoir I feel is important as it helped open my eyes to the struggles and triumphs of others. D. Watkins did not have an easy life and he was able to rise up and accomplish a great deal. I particularly liked that he did not shy from his past, but rather embraced the lessons of loss and hardship to create his future.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.