"What stays with the reader is the fear and despair that lie at the bottom of these girls’ seeming hearts of stone…Sikes’s generous reporting gives voice to young women…who think they must pass through violence on the road to self respect."–Elle
"Describes an American landscape as strange and harrowing and important as any I know of. Gini Sikes is a fearless witness."–Alec Wilkinson, author of A Violent Act
"Two scenes in 8 Ball Chicks are particularly poignant. In one, Sikes meets an 18-year-old killer and gang leader, Gat Man, the boyfriend of one of her female contacts. Gat Man wants to take the author on a drive-by and when she declines he believes her reluctance must be due to fear of arrest. ‘When I tried to explain that I couldn’t contribute to someone’s death or injury…he gazed, blank-faced, unable to comprehend my point.’
In the other scene, Sikes is driving with gang wannabe Droopy, joking that Droopy better not get them into trouble because Sikes couldn’t run or fight:
‘She sat up in her seat, suddenly serious. "Get out of here!"
"I wouldn’t know what to do if someone hit me."
Confusion spread across her features. "Well…" She hesitated. "What do you do when someone comes up and hits you?"
"Nobody ever had," I told her.
"For real?" She turned her expectant brown eyes upon me. "For real?"’
And that’s what I was saying to myself throughout this book, cocooned in my own violence-free, choice-filled life..is this ‘FOR REAL?’ Unfortunately, it seems that it is."–from a review by BookpgXena, for THE BOOK REPORT