Book Reviews of Push

Push
Push
Author: Sapphire
ISBN-13: 9780679766759
ISBN-10: 0679766758
Publication Date: 4/29/1997
Pages: 192
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 273

3.7 stars, based on 273 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

70 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Push on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
Fantastic book meant for the mature reader. This is the story of an illerate girl who is molested by her father and bears two children because of it. It is told from her perspective, including through her broken grammar. The story is one of her growth and change and determination to survive. I liked it a lot because it doesn't go down the road you'd expect where it ends all perfectly with the "rags to riches" type story. This is a very different read! If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, I recommend this.
reviewed Push on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Great book for anyone who likes the gritty reality of some women's lives. It's raw and disturbing but not without hope. Be prepared to be angry, shocked, sad and enlightened. Great writing.
reviewed Push on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Shocking but riveting story of an inner city girl's abuse and education. I read this in one sitting, and months later it still haunts me.
reviewed Push on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
An excellent and powerful read. Precious is an illiterate sixteen year old who suffers abuse at the hands of her father and mother. Through a teacher, she achieves a improved life away from the abuse and learns to read and write. Explicit language involving the abuse, but a very emotional book.
reviewed Push on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a difficult and brutal read but totally worth it and an amazing work.
reviewed Push on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
OMG I loved this book. Couldn't put it down. It's a quick read, and shows the struggles of a young illiterate woman who birthed two of her father's children on her way to making something of herself. Hidden Jem, completely worth reading.
reviewed Push on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I'm a little more with the London reviewer of this novel who said "Why would anyone commit these atrocities to paper?" Don't get me wrong, it was an engrossing story, and written in an interesting fashion (the main character is illiterate, and as the story is told in her voice, it begins fairly difficult to read, and ends much more clearly as she learns to read and write), but I found myself thinking "Good Lord, how much more are they going to throw at this kid?" It would be one thing if it were based on a true story, and would certainly live up to its hype as "A powerful story of hope and redemption", but as it stands as a work of fiction, I found it to be horribly depressing and a pretty offensive indictment of the Harlem African-American culture. (If it is based on a true story, I could find no notation of such.) It isn't that Precious is an unsympathetic character, but I'm going to go ahead and doubt that most people have very much in common with her. The story elicited more horror and disgust than anything else from me.
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Helpful Score: 5
A little difficult to read. Somewhat disturbing, however I highly recommend it!
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Helpful Score: 4
Push was difficult to read because of the subject matter and the way it was written. I believe the author wanted us to think like Precious and the words were written how she spoke. She had a horrendous childhood and her parents were disgusting, vile human beings. Instead of crumbling under the abuse, I really admired how Precious fought to make her life better.
reviewed Push on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Awesome read. It was really gritty and raw and stuck in my head long after I finished it.
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Helpful Score: 3
A book that you will never forget after you have read it.
reviewed Push on
Helpful Score: 3
Certainly puts things in perspective, doesn't it. Precious has seen the worst of the worst and yet she still has hope. Sometimes it takes a book like this to remind the reader how good they really have it. And there are true stories like this- of children being molested and beaten by their parents, being forced to grow up FAR before their time, of being pushed through school illiterate and unsure how to learn- all across this country.
reviewed Push on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This novel is inspiring to say the least. The poetry incorporated by Sapphire shows her versatility as an author and her understanding of the students she taught that were like Precious when she was a teacher. The characters are all brilliantly colorful and the story progresses at a steady pace. Great book all around.
reviewed Push on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Raw,gritty look at one girls life in Harlem. A very in your face look at abuse and what it takes to crawl out from under it. Interesting look at how a helping hand can work. The writer doesn't hold back from allowing you to peek inside the often unbelievably cruel world of some children. This book will make you shake your head and re-think every time you see someone "not quite right". It should be a must read for teachers!
reviewed Push on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
WOW. This was a fast read, but not a "light" read by any means. Definitely a book that will remain with me for a long, long time. Great book!
reviewed Push on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is written in the first-person narrative of a girl who is illiterate. It's very hard to follow, because she obviously doesn't speak or spell correctly. But I got through that. What bothered me the most was that the book just ended with no resolution whatsoever. I'm not necessarily looking for a happy ending in every book I read, but AN ending would be nice. Would not recommend this book to anyone.
reviewed Push on
Helpful Score: 1
I found it difficult to get past the first chapter. Hopefully it gets better after that, but I am not wasting my time to find out!!!
reviewed Push on
Helpful Score: 1
If you can't stand the truth, don't read this book. Although it is a work of fiction, know that there are a lot of young black girls that live this kind of life.
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Helpful Score: 1
Wow - this story blew me away.

You often hear and read about statistics: teenage mothers, incest, abandonment, school drop outs, illiteracy, hopelessness. This book puts all that together in an unforgetable story, and sheds a human light on a difficult topic.

The best part of this book is that Precious overcomes so much through perseverance and through the help and guidance of a caring teacher.

You never know who's life you will touch and change just by being kind and caring to those around us. I found this book sad but very inspirational.
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Helpful Score: 1
Wow.. okay usually I read the book - then see the movie- that is how I like to do things. This time I saw the movie first- which was hard enough to watch. The book is HARD to read because there are much deeper horrors there. The book is written as though Precious is writing in her journal. A VERY deep and thoughful book. It will leave you blown away.
reviewed Push on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I actually saw the movie before I got a chance to read the book. The story itself is very touching. The book itself is a good read if you can get past the way its written, which is in first person narrative. The main character is illiterate which makes the writing a little annoying to read. I was tempted to just give it up but it was a quick read and I was able to eventually ignore the way it was written.
reviewed Push on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is difficult to read because of how broken the writing is - but it would not be the same story if it was not written this way. I seen the movie first and went and bought the book right away. Inspiring yet heartwrenching because I know and have seen people in the situation that Precious shows us she overcame.
reviewed Push on + 215 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a pretty good book, with a very sad story, but I didn't think it was all that great. It's basically like the movie. Precious is an uneducated, racist, bigoted, foul-mouthed, and badly abused teenager who gradually tries to piece her life back together for herself and her children. The book is written as though it were written by her as her journal, and so can be hard to read at times. Really, while you have sympathy for her, you also start to want to smack her for the things she says about people. I understand that the point is to show how her hatred and biases work against her without her being able to see it, but I seriously started getting tired of it. So, yes, I felt sorry for what happened to her, but I don't know I'd be reaching out to help anyone who treated me that way. Which, obviously, is the point the author was trying to make. Precious would get a lot more help and do better if she treated others better.

Anyway, an okay book, but not one you really need to bother with if you already saw the movie, since they're virtually alike.
reviewed Push on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A young girl who never had a normal home life. She has to endure a lot before she has "enough" and sets out on a path of self discovery and along the way meets people in similar circumstances. A very moving story of hope. I highly recommend it.
reviewed Push on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this book was very good. It is an upsetting subject matter and it's not for everyone, but it is a compelling story. You could feel her pain and her fight to make a better life for herself. Precious really tugged at my heart strings. I couldn't put the book down.
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The writing style of this book can be hard to read sometimes as the main character is writing from her perspective and is somewhat illiterate...especially in the beginning. Shocking storyline as you don't expect abuse at this level.
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In this case I had seen the movie before reading the novel. The novel goes into even more depth of the pain. It is excellent reading but difficult to bear.
reviewed Push on
This book was very difficult to read due to the subject matter. Very disturbing in some areas. Nevertheless, I applaud Precious for overcoming the worst to make something out of her life.
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This book was hard to read & yet hard not to. The story of a "young" woman who struggles to overcome a horrific childhood and odds that are stacked against her. A narrative with language definatley meant for an adult reader.
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I imagine this book will become required reading for many college lit classes. It has some great themes and a unique voice. But, even without analyzing it, it's still a great book. It's hard and raw and feels more real than not.

You know what book I would compare it to? The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. That one left a similar impression on me. It's another book with a strong and unique voice and of course, it has sadness. The subject matter is totally different, but it left a huge emotional impression.

That is the strength of Push, for me. The emotional impression is really key. I've read several Jodi Picoult books and while they are well crafted, I have trouble connecting to the characters emotionally. Push allowed me to emotionally connect with Precious. She didn't hide the emotions and I don't believe she focused on them too much, either. It's just a really fascinating book to me.
reviewed Push on + 18 more book reviews
Very disturbing but honest portrait of various forms of child abuse. It was initially hard to follow because it is written in the language of the illiterate main character but got better and she progressed through her literacy classes. The author really pulls you in and you can find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster regarding the abuse the characters in this book endured.
reviewed Push on + 174 more book reviews
The movie "Precious" was great, but it can never beat the tone and heartbreak set forth by the author in this book from which the movie was made. Precious is an illiterate 16-year-old girl who lives in Harlem, and is pregnant for the second time by her father. The abuse that this girl, who no one really ever acknowledges, is so bad that only when Precious meets a new teacher with some radical new ways of teaching and helping her, does she see some hope for her and her children's futures.

The author, Sapphire, makes the abuse so real that I cringed and cried reading this book. Some parts are offensive in nature and language, but it's what really happens to some people every day that shouldn't happen at all. I think it's a must-read.
reviewed Push on
Inspiring book about a girl that was able to overcome all the issue that she has had in the past and move forward. Very good!
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Book sounded like the "same old, same old", except for the ghetto poetry. A story of an obese abused child/teen in the "system", however she climbs out only due to her own perserverance, not any help from social workers til after her gives birth to her second child by her "father". Precious' desire for a higher education to keep her and her babies out of the trap of welfare is beyond admirable. I don't get the "hoopla" over this, unless it's the movie that made it popular and not the book. Contains graphic sexual abuse and language.
reviewed Push on + 7 more book reviews
As a Social Worker I could relate to the story easily. Unfortunately cases like this happen everyday. I've worked with many young people in similar situations. I,too,have been heartbroken by the lack of support for these young people by our system. At least this book has a happy ending & proves what can happen when people care about others. I especially loved how the book showed Precious' progress. It's a great,quick read & will be an eye opener for many. Can't wait to see the movie!
reviewed Push on + 16 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. It is for a mature reader though as it includes very graphic language and content. It was both sad and moving. Enjoyable and quick read.
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The book was pretty good. I had seen the movie "Precious" before getting ahold of the book. The book was pretty consistent with the movie, minus the part of Precious' mother also molesting her, and it went a little futher into the future of Precious life after she found out she had HIV. In the movie, the story ended with her finding out she had HIV. The movie also showed Precious beening reunited with her first child by her father, who has Down Syndrome, where as in the book Mongrol, the child's name, is stated to be in an institution. Overall, the book was good. I did not really feel like it had an ending, and wonder if Sapphire will produce a 2nd book telling the rest of the story.
reviewed Push on + 20 more book reviews
his was a quick read but certainly not an easy read. It really angers me to no end reading what was done to this poor girl. Abuse from so early on from BOTH parents.

I am not sure I liked the style in which it was written, the misspellings was at times hard to read. The language is crude to say the least but fits with the mind of Precious and her surroundings.

The ending was for me abrupt, I was expecting a bit more of tellling how she got to where she is today. I am thankful that she was able to overcome her terrible beginnings and fly like a bird.
reviewed Push on + 4 more book reviews
This book was very intense and I found it disturbing to read through some parts. I'm a total grammar police so the first half of the book was bugging me since the narrator is illiterate and it was written as if the character herself "wrote" it. I don't think I can read this book again or see the movie a second time. Once was enough for me.
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So glad I read the book instead of seeing the movie
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Good book.
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PHENOMENAL! The book can make you sooooo angry at these fictional characters, one can get so pulled into the plot and the character of Precious. This took me only two hours to read, it was one of those books you just cannot put down.
reviewed Push on
Sometimes hard to read, but a really good book.
reviewed Push on + 86 more book reviews
As everyone (I think!) knows, this is the book that the movie Precious is based on. It is an excellent novel, told from the perspective of Precious Jones, an abused teenager who has been kicked out of school because of her pregnancy (this takes place in the mid 80s).

With a deep-seated need to better herself, Precious begins to take classes at an alternative learning center, where she finally (at age 16-17) learns to read.


The life Precious has led is horrific and heartbreaking, but her spirit is amazing. Still, the story is not a happy one, but rather can be considered deeply inspiring.
reviewed Push on
This book had been recommended to me by a friend. The writing is raw and unapologetic, the story required a strong stomach at times. It is hard to think of people doing such horrendous things to each other, we hear about it all the time, but this book brings those things front and center. The ending is not what I thought it would be - very bittersweet. I don't see myself ever reading it again, but Precious's story will be with me forever. Push is a short read, but very well worth it
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better than the movie
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the book was excellent. It was a heartbreaking story, but Precious tried to overcome the odds.
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Incredible story about overcoming obstacles and dealing with the hand you were dealt. Precious' childhood is incredibly heartbreaking but her determination and perseverance are truly inspiring.
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Heartbreaking story about a physically, mentally, verbally and sexually abused girl in the projects. Very enlightening and this book will make you appreciate what you have and remind you to help others--we have no idea what battle they are facing! Neat par to of the book is that it's written in the dialect which the girls speaks.
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Enjoyed the book much more than the movie that was based on it.
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This book was good but very sad. It is hard to imagine the awful things she goes through.
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Powerful...
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This book was definitely interesting to say the least. The thing this poor girl goes through is hard to swallow at times. It's a good read. It took me maybe 2 days to read it and that's only because I was forced to put it down once. lol
reviewed Push on
Great book. It really made me think about welfare in a different light.
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Amazing book! Saw the movie but the book was better.
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I never saw the movie, but what a book . . . just gives you a sinking feeling inside because you know this kind of thing happens every day and people just turn a blind eye. But also wants to make you cheer for Precious and her bravery and perseverance.
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This book was a very emotional read but it was great!!
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Can't wait for the movie, very sad but a good read
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Sad story--someone should of taken her father out behind the barn and "talked" to him, Her mother should of been taken out next. I loved the teacher and the fact that Precious just kept on trying, the book was so depressing i would not of finished it had it not been for the fact that i really wanted to know if Precious makes it on her own. All in all as being a true story it was informative, but not something you'd want to relax with.
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This story is very hard to read because of the sad reality of the protagonist (abuse, illiteracy, incest) but it's well worth your time. Outstanding!
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PUSH, which has recently been turned into an amazing movie called 'Precious', is a brutal, sometimes almost overwhelming, novel by the amazing writer Sapphire. Telling the difficult, yet all-too-real, story of an overweight, illiterate teenager in 1980s Harlem (abused emotionally, physically, and sexually by her mother, and given two babies by her own rapist father), PUSH sheds light on a universal story of suffering, struggle, and finally hope. The novel is written as if Claireece "Precious" Jones herself is speaking and writing it, so it is definitely unconventional and hard-going at times, but worth the effort put into reading it. Even if you've never been through the kind of horror Precious herself has lived through (and I pray you haven't), you will still be able to relate to her and identify with her journey toward self-discovery and conquering. While PUSH may be unflinchingly realistic in its portrayal of abuse and language, this is a must-read for everyone of a mature age.
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Engaging book- hard to read at times.
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Very difficult to get through, but some may really like it.
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Great. Very compelling.
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Very sad and graphic book. I was under the impression that it was written for young adults. In the end the character was inspirational.
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great story telling
reviewed Push on
Good but not as good as I expected.
reviewed Push on
This book was heart wrenching and sad but an eye opener. I enjoyed it immensely.
reviewed Push on
Heartbreaking and darker than the film, a very fast read.
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Disappointed in the book. Too much reptition and story line slow.