Street Pharm by Allison van Diepen
Street Pharm by Allison van Diepen (2006) is a gritty first-person look at life on the streets, albeit from the view of a relatively rich drug dealer.
Ty Johnson runs his father Orlando's Flatbush drug business now that Orlando is serving time in prison. Ty's mother has no idea that he's involved with dealing drugs (denial by choice).
After being kicked out of school, Ty is forced to attend an alternative high school, where he meets fellow student and single mother Alyse, who hopes to one day be a criminal prosecutor. Obviously, she doesn't have any idea how Ty earns his money.
Add to the new romance the fact that a dealer from Miami wants to take over Ty's lucrative territory, a brush with the police, and more than a couple acts of violence, and Ty has a few decisions to make about his future.
Here's an excerpt from p.242-243:
I got myself an apartment, a seventh-floor, two-bedroom on Washingon Avenue. The building wasn't much to look at on the outside, but my crib was a different story. I spiffed it up with a fly stereo system and a huge plasma-screen TV. I bought black leather furniture, had the hardwood floors shined up, and even got some African artwork for the walls. For the first time, the king had his own castle.
Mom didn't like it one bit. Her nerves were shot these days. I had a helluva time convincing her that I wasn't up to no good. Didn't have a prayer of convincing her that the shooting was a random drive-by.
I don't think she believed anything I said anymore. But there was nothing she could do, and she knew it.
My overall personal rating of Street Pharm is a B+.