Book Review: Mama’s Boy by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

I’ll admit that I’m a speed reader, but it’s rare that I finish an entire book in just a few hours. That’s what happened this past weekend when I devoured Mama’s Boy. Deets below!

mamas boyTitle: Mama’s Boy

Author: ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Genre(s): Inspirational Fiction, African-American Fiction


When her son is in trouble, a heartbroken mother finds the courage and faith to save him, in ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s powerful family drama—a novel as timely as today’s headlines.

The breaking TV news rocks Jasper, Texas, to the core: a white police officer is fatally shot in a scuffle with three black youths—and a cellphone video captures Jamal Jones, the sixteen-year-old son of esteemed Reverend Elton Jones, escalating the tragic encounter. Now, as the national spotlight shines on a town already rife with racial tension, Jamal is a murder suspect on the run. And all of Jasper—even the Reverend’s congregation—rushes to judge the boy they thought they knew.

But Gloria Jones knows her son best, and she races to find Jamal before the law does—to the outrage of her workaholic husband. Once she finds him, she has to decide whether to turn him in or help him run. With ruthless prosecutor and Houston mayoral candidate Kay Christensen hungering to put another young thug behind bars, Gloria will face her biggest battle yet. And when long-hidden secrets and shocking lies come to light, throwing Jamal’s case and his destiny into a tailspin, all Gloria can do is pray that the truth—and a mother’s unconditional love—will be enough to redeem the mistakes of the past and ultimately, save her son.

My Review: 

Y’all know I’m all about spoiler free reviews, and this one is no different. The problem is that it’s hard to give a thorough review without giving away something. So bump thorough, all I can say is that you HAVE to read this book! It’s full of twists and totally unexpected turns. What starts out as one family’s problem quickly escalates into a tapestry of intertwined stories that would make Dr. Freud pause and shake his head. Billingsley took a hot topic (racial profiling/police brutality) and turned it on it’s head. This is not your typical racial injustice saga. This is an honest look at an emotionally charged societal problem from varying perspectives. Do yourself a favor, get the book and one for a friend, because you are definitely going to want to discuss this with somebody after you read it!


Check out this radio interview with ReShonda via WLUV Radio Station!

What’s the last book you read in a matter of hours? What was it about the book that gripped you? Don’t keep it to yourself! Fellow nerds like me want to know. 

I was given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I freely give. 


12 thoughts on “Book Review: Mama’s Boy by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

  1. Sounds like a great read! I will definitely have to put it on my list. I can’t believe you read so fast. I haven’t been able to get any reading done lately but I have a few things I can’t wait to get to. And I’ve never read a book in a few hours, but one I couldn’t put down is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Absolutely one of my favorite books. The funny part about it is that I didn’t even get into the book until around page forty. Crazy!


    • Mama’s Boy will have you trippin’ and I highly recommend it. I’ve always been a speed reader, probably because I’m impatient and always want to know how the story ends.

      You’re not alone in having so many books, so little time. Especially when you’re trying to write your own!

      I’ll have to check out The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Thanks for the recommendation.


  2. I finished “Between the World And Me” by Ta-Nenhisi Coates in about 4 hours…it is a non-fiction book . Have you heard of it? It’s written by a writer for The Atlantic as a letter to his son. He explains the nuances of “living in a black body under plunder.”

    It’s a tough but beautiful, and it sounds like it is inline with what Ms. Billingsley writes about. I’m adding her book to my to-read list too! The novel I’m working on covers a similar topic.


    • Whoa, and I thought I read fast! I’ve never heard of it, but I’ll add it to my TBR list. I’ll probably leave a little time between reading Mama’s Boy and your recommendation though, because this topic is so heavy! I’m also about to start Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murray, which covers race/politics, etc. I can’t wait to read your novel! Writing about heavy stuff life this requires lots of patience and prayer. My current WIP isn’t on this topic, but it’s full of difficult subjects and it takes a lot out of me whenever I’m working on it.


  3. :-)…Between the World and Me is a pretty small book. It’s 150 pages and 4 x 6 inches (i think). By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you: what did you think about The Shack? I saw you were reading it a few weeks ago on your Good Reads widget.


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