IPods in Accra (Piccadilly, 2009; 185) by Sophia Acheampong continues the story of young Makeeda as she searches for her root. In this story, Makeeda is a bit older, is studying to write her GCSE exams and (un)working on her relationship with Nelson. It has all the ingredients of a good chicklit and a YA. The love is not steamy but juvenile, like we all do.
The questions that Makeeda has to find answers to are everyone's problem. Her relationship with Nelson isn't work; meanwhile she has found that there is something between her and her Maths home-tutor, Nick. Now, she must go through all the burdens of breaking up safely with Nelson and work her way into Nick's heart. As if this isn't complicated enough, Nick, himself, is now 'going-out' with an eye-popping belle. The situation is now tensed and her friends, with whom she would have shared her problems, are now also dealing with similar matters, some of them becoming distant as a result.
If combining love and studies was manageable, then her boat was further to be rocked when she reflexively assented to participate in a puberty rites that will take place during her holidays. With no knowledge of what the rite entails and with more derogatory images fed to her by Tanisha and Delphy, Makeeda was beginning to imagine if she should step out or go ahead. However, her curiosity was further piqued by these images, strengthened by her eagerness to learn about her culture. How will Makeeda work her way around this triadic problems?
This story has all the positives from the first one - Growing Yams in London: language, funny, relatable, unforced. One need not to have read the first story to appreciate this. Sophia does well to make this an independent story; however, knowing the first part of the story will make the reader appreciate some of the patching up and break-ups that were going on. My only problem is that the suspense wasn't enough - almost absent. Regardless, Sophia's writing style is lovely and light and suits her chosen audience. Note that those SMS and e-mail mnemonics were not left out. She also strikes a delicate balance in solving that all-important question of 'what is home?' or 'Where is home?' In achieving this, she used tension and the resolution of the tension became the solution.
I really enjoyed this novel. It is recommended.