Power & Beauty, an urban love story written by rapper T.I. and "assisted" by David Ritz, is a plodding tale that seemed like it took me forever to get through. It follows 16 year olds who grew up together as siblings after Power's mother, Charlotte, took in Beauty when her mother dies. When Charlotte is killed in a tragic accident, the pair is left to fend for themselves -- and finally act on their long-standing attraction. After that one passionate night, they vow to never speak of it again. They have more important things to worry about anyway, like where to live.
Fortunately, their mother's boss and friend, a hustler named Slim, invites them live with him, where Power relishes the freedom and abundant women. Beauty, on the other hand doesn't trust Slim, and runs as far as she can, leaving Power behind.
For some reason, Power admires the shady man. Slim takes him under his wing and sends him on journeys to become educated in the world of hard knocks. This is the part that is somewhat interesting but drags...
Told in two parts -- mostly in first person by Power, third-person featuring Beauty -- the story could be cut about 50 to 60 pages. I will say I think T.I. tried to write this with gusto (makes me wonder how much Ritz contributed), but I was unsatisfactorily left wondering at the end what was going to happen next, with the conclusion being so abrupt.
It's, of course, headed for a sequel. I can't see myself reading it, though.