By Madalyn McKnight
Now, more than ever, giving flowers to those who deserve them is something I have made my personal business. I have read the book “Phases” by Nikita Haynie, twice now and I felt the same way I did the first time I read it. This work is dynamic and relevant to everyone, no matter where they are on a journey of life and faith. I first read it a little over a year ago, but something about this second read and where I am in life now really resonates with me even more. This year has been trying and full of obstacles I could not have ever imagined I would encounter, but my faith keeps me grounded. This book inspired me to really dig deeper into the literal phase I am in life right now. It has inspired me to seek God and to decipher what He is trying to teach me. Each of the characters: Justice Conner, Mackenzie Adams, Chance Davis, and Wesley Dunn all go through major life changes and experiences that set them on a path that will change their lives. I know how it feels for God to stop you in your tracks. Nikita captured that crossroad we so often reach so perfectly. Being able to relate to the stories a bit deeper than I did when I first read it is a testament to how excellent and guided the writing and the stories are. I have not been a college freshman in a number of years, and I was still able to draw underlying lessons from the relatable content that aids me well in my late twenties professional experience.
Aside from the writing, which was cohesive, easy to follow, and perfectly paced; holding the work of a black woman in my hand was amazing. Books start off with an idea and an amazing leap of faith, and Nikita has inspired me in so many different ways outside of the content of this beautiful book. What this work represents is bigger than her and that’s a huge responsibility that every writer has to bear. The level of vulnerability in putting work out into the world is scary and for her, it landed with a perfect 10. It is clear that she connected and invested in the characters. She captured each nuance, flaw, encounter, and thought consistently throughout the entire story. She blessed my life and I believe this book will bless whoever reads it. It is perfect for a book club and for discussion for all age groups. I encourage those on a journey of introspection to dig deeper and read Phases and ask themselves some very hard questions and share your lessons. I promise it will be worth it.
Madalyn McKnight is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. A rare blackbird who has the range and a young black professional with impactful words! Follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @singsongblackbird and twitter @singsongblckbrd