The Coldest Winter Ever

When people think of a good story they usually think of interesting characters, a unique plot, and a great setting. But what people fail to realize is that in order to have all of those things you need to be a great writer with a lot of different techniques to enhance the passage. In “The Coldest Winter Ever” the author Sister Souljah used her artistic abilities to give vivid details and descriptions to allow her readers to experience the book with the characters. A author’s skillful use of similes and metaphors helps paint a vivid picture of whatever scene she is writing about and helps the reader picture and connect to whatever she is writing about. It also makes the story more enjoyable. The author’s writing style strongly affects and influences the finished work.

In the book “The Coldest Winter Ever” Winter Santiaga, the main character, is describing Midnight, her crush, while he is playing basketball. Winter say’s ”But what really got me was that black skin. It was smooth and perfect. It laid on top of his bone structure like tight Saran Wrap.” This works because we all know what Saran Wrap looks like when it’s over top of something. It is generally smooth and shiny. This helps us to picture how nice Midnight’s skin and how his bone structure is really defined. Also the use of words like “perfect” and “smooth”  help the reader to feel the same attraction Winter feels as she tell us about her crush. Had she just said she has really nice skin and she likes it the story wouldn’t be the same. But because she put the emphasis on this particular aspect it helps the readers to share the same emotions as her.

In this part of “The Coldest Winter Ever”, Winter is helping the reader get familiar with the setting and introducing the readers to the characters. She begins by telling the readers about growing up in Brooklyn with her family in the projects. Winter then continues on to say,“Chemical warfare is the only way to describe what happens when cheap perfume, body splash, body spray, underarm deodorant, curl activator, hair spray, and pissy Pampers collide.” Sense of smell and memories are closely linked together. One scent can trigger a memory or emotion. Because of this I feel as though it was very smart for sister souljah, or any writer for that matter, to mention all of these different scents. The pampers remind me of annoying crying babies. The curl activator and hair spray and perfume remind the reader of black hair salons. With all of these scents with my own personal memory attached to them I can easily picture what it’s like standing in the hallway that was mentioned.

In this part of the book Winter had assumed that Sister Souljah and Midnight were dating  and Winter grew jealous because she wanted him. Winter finds the letter’s that Sister Souljah and Midnight have been sending to one another and finds out that they were not dating. Midnight only went to her to get his life together. In the letter Sister Souljah is describing why he should change his ways and give up selling drugs. Sister souljah says, “Drugs rob every person, man, woman, and child of their beauty. Drugs turn people into animals who can only respond to instincts. Drugs are so powerful they eradicate the God in both the taker and the giver.”Sister Souljah could have easily just said drugs are bad for everyone. Had she said that it would have erased all of the emotion that is linked to what she originally said. By her using words like rob shows how unexpectedly, forceful, and harmful drugs are to users and their families. By her using such harsh words it helps the reader to feel the same disgust and sadness she was trying to portray. is a website where people can read and write book reviews and create reading list. On the website a user by the name of Kay Prime left a review on the website expressing how much she enjoyed the book and how great of a writer the author is. Kay prime said,The voice that Souljah gave Winter is still there. She is well- written, raw and real.” This shows how the character is relatable. The only reason that she feels this way is because when you can picture everything that is going on. When the author uses very brilliant descriptive details it helps the reader to connect to what’s going on. This is especially true when the author makes references to things that you can understand which adds to the “raw” and “real” feelings you get while reading.

Writing is so much more than putting words on a page. Writing is about using your skill set to get creative and write stories with different techniques like similes metaphors, symbolism, and different story structures. A book without descriptive details would be very dull. The writing wouldn’t be as impactful. This also adds emotions and helps guide the tone and the mood of the story.

Works Cited

Souljah. The Coldest Winter Ever: A Novel. New York: Pocket, 1999. Print.

"A Review of The Coldest Winter Ever." Goodreads. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <>.

Comments (2)

Benjamin Fink (Student 2017)
Benjamin Fink
  1. One thing I learned is that sometimes, it is important to interact with the reader when writing your essay.

  2. I may want to borrow the technique of drawing connections between myself and the story when writing essays like this.