Let Me Hear a Rhyme

Tiffany D. Jackson

fiction contemporary young adult
emotional medium-paced

384 pages | first published 2019

In this standalone novel, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he is still alive.

Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.

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emotional 85%
mysterious 50%
inspiring 40%
sad 40%
hopeful 30%
funny 25%
adventurous 20%
reflective 20%
dark 15%
challenging 10%
lighthearted 10%
tense 10%
informative 5%


medium 75%
fast 25%

Strong character development?

Yes: 82% | No: 11% | It's complicated: 5%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 88% | It's complicated: 11%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 94% | N/A: 5%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 62% | It's complicated: 37%

Average rating