{Tour Stop} The Wisdom of Hair by Kim Boykin – Review + Giveaway

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15808372 Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: March 5, 2013 by Berkley Trade
Length: 304 pages
Source: (author) review copy

Life can be beautiful, but it takes a little work…

The problem with cutting your own hair is that once you start, you just keep cutting, trying to fix it, and the truth is, some things can never be fixed. The day of my daddy’s funeral, I cut my bangs until they were the length of those little paintbrushes that come with dime-store watercolor sets. I was nine years old. People asked me why I did it, but I was too young then to know I was changing my hair because I wanted to change my life.”

In 1983, on her nineteenth birthday, Zora Adams finally says goodbye to her alcoholic mother and their tiny town in the mountains of South Carolina. Living with a woman who dresses like Judy Garland and brings home a different man each night is not a pretty existence, and Zora is ready for life to be beautiful.

With the help of a beloved teacher, she moves to a coastal town and enrolls in the Davenport School of Beauty. Under the tutelage of Mrs. Cathcart, she learns the art of fixing hair, and becomes fast friends with the lively Sara Jane Farquhar, a natural hair stylist. She also falls hard for handsome young widower Winston Sawyer, who is drowning his grief in bourbon. She couldn’t save Mama, but maybe she can save him.

As Zora practices finger waves, updos, and spit curls, she also comes to learn that few things are permanent in this life—except real love, lasting friendship, and, ultimately… forgiveness.”


Just by reading the title, I know this is one of those books that has a life lesson. This is told in 1st person p.o.v. of 19-year-old Zora Adams who attends a beauty school after leaving her mother. I love how hair has a big significance in the story. Often, the ladies get haircuts or they have customers who wants to change their hairstyles. In my opinion, getting a haircut represents a change in life, or being a new person which what Zora wants, but sometimes, a haircut is simply just a haircut. The Wisdom of Hair was really an entertaining read that will teach you a life lesson. I love the writing style; the pacing was smooth & the setting DID feel like it’s in the 1980’s. I think it’s challenging to write a novel that has a setting in the past because as you’re writing it, you have all these modern culture surrounding you.

The characters, even the supporting characters, were very realistic and relatable. Zora is such an independent and strong woman. Because her father passed away, her mother grieves by drinking and bringing in strange men in their house which Zora has to put up with. When she couldn’t take in any longer, she moves out to an apartment owned by a widow named Winston Sawyer and in the beauty school, she meets Sara Jane Farquhar. I really love Sara’s character. She’s funny and a best friend everyone should have. Her family is super nice as well especially her mother. Mrs. Farquhar treats Zora like her own daughter & wished her mother had done the same thing.

Although the book is about how Zora overcomes the struggle that she faces in life, we also get to read about Sara’s life, especially her love life. That’s definitely one to look out for in the book because it’s just wonderfully executed. There weren’t that many scenes in the beauty school, but more on Zora & Sara’s life. I love how they treat each other like a sister & their stories are really interesting (which is mostly about boys). We also get to see and understand Zora & Winston’s relationship and how it changes her. The ending was very unpredictable; this book has a happy ending you wouldn’t expect. At first it wouldn’t seem like a happy ending, but you’ll realize a simple thing like that IS a happy ending. The Wisdom of Hair is about acceptance, forgiveness, friendship, first love, and second chance. If those concepts interest you then I highly recommend it for you. I think this book not only fit in the young adult category, but in the adult as well.

4 of 5


Kim  BoykinI was born in Augusta, Georgia, but raised in South Carolina in a home with two girly sisters and great parents. So when you read my stuff if there is ever some deranged mama or daddy terrorizing the protagonist, I want to make it clear, it’s not them.
I had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, for some reason, it’s very appealing that the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.
What I did have going for me was two things. One, my grandfather, Bryan Standridge, was an amazing storyteller. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the side of his yard, and people used to come by in droves just to hear him tell stories. He told tales about growing up in rural Georgia and shared his unique take on the world. As a child, I was enthralled, but when I started to write, really write, I realized what a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail he was.
The other major influence on my writing is my ADHDness. Of course when I was a kid, nobody knew what that was. Compared to my older sisters, I knew something was “wrong” with me, so I learned to multitask like crazy and excel at things I did well to make up for things I couldn’t do like math and sitting still.
Today, I’m an empty nester of two kids with a husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes. I write stories about strong southern women because that’s what I know. I’m an accomplished public speaker, which basically means I’m good at talking.
If this doesn’t tell you what you want to know, check out my blog for a few laughs and some good stuff on writing, gardening, food, and, of course, hair.


Prizes: 1 Winner will receive the Kindle pictured above. (WiFi, 6in Display)
4 Winners will get 2 ARCS each, on for them self and one for their hair stylist!

Shipping in the US only, no PO Boxes. Must be 13+ to Enter



2 Responses to “{Tour Stop} The Wisdom of Hair by Kim Boykin – Review + Giveaway”

  1. 1 Cambrie June 20, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    This story sounds so cute! Great review!:)

  2. 2 Kezia D June 20, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    This book sounds like an awesome contemporary with great message 🙂 I love independent heroines too. Great review Leigh! ❤

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Well hello there! Thank you so much for stopping by. Little Book Star is a young adult book blog ran by Leigh, an 18 year old avid reader. This blog consists of book reviews, giveaways, author interviews, and more! Feel free to explore!

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