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The Rolexxx Club    by Meta Smith order for
Rolexxx Club
by Meta Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)

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*   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Like so many other young women looking for a way to escape their past and achieve their dreams, Desiree (Dez) leaves New York and heads for Miami at the tender age of twenty-one. Her goal is to make some money while working toward attaining her real ambition: becoming a rap star. But life has a way of throwing twists and turns Dez's way, and she soon discovers that making money means doing whatever she has to, no matter how distasteful she might find it at first.

She begins by getting a job at the exclusive Rolexxx Club, a strip club with a reputation for the kind of anything goes attitude that entices a regular stream of high-profile clients. When another stripper takes Dez under her wing, she's introduced to a fast-paced lifestyle that includes sex, drugs, alcohol, and everything in between. But soon, even making money isn't enough. Her innocence is long gone, and she leaves the Rolexxx club behind to get one step closer to her dream. But Dez has made enemies along the way, enemies who will stop at nothing to see her career destroyed just as soon as it happens.

In The Rolexxx Club, Meta Smith gives readers a look at the gritty reality behind so many women's decision to use their bodies to get ahead in the world. Dez is endearing at first. She's na´ve and innocent, two personality traits not often found in the strip club world. But that doesn't last long. As Dez grew accustomed to the seedy lifestyle that promised to make her more and more money, I found myself less and less able to relate to her. Her reasons for doing some of the distasteful things she did weren't developed well enough, and ultimately made her come across as an opportunistic woman lacking morals, values and a sense of self-worth.

At times a page-turning read, The Rolexxx Club is extremely explicit and very dark in parts. The dialogue is gritty, and Smith has chosen to use slang and hip-hop dialect to bring her characters to life. This sometimes slows down the pacing, especially for those of us who aren't familiar with this type of talk in our day-to-day lives. I had to stop, backtrack and re-read entire pages of dialogue when I found myself confused about what just occurred. Those flaws aside, however, The Rolexxx Club makes for an interesting change from your typical beach read this time of year. It offers thought-provoking insights into just how far people will go to achieve their dreams, and despite the difficult subject matter, it ends on an optimistic note that's sure to please.

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