Review | The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada in this electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

I haven’t seen The Devil Wears Prada (I know, I know!), so I can’t speak to parallels between the two works beyond them involving ambitious women in a cutthroat work environment. It’s definitely true to the Get Out comparison, though; The Other Black Girl deftly mixes psychological thriller elements into an otherwise contemporary story, creating a slow-burn office drama with an abundance of twists. While I did see the biggest of these revelations coming, the ending itself was a chilling surprise that was unsettlingly plausible.

Overall, The Other Black Girl is a dark, satirical read with insightful commentary on racism, white privilege, and the lack of diversity in publishing. If you like slower-paced mysteries with a dash of horror, this is one you won’t want to miss.

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