Morning mortals! I’m actually not planning to write a super long review for today’s book for multiple reasons. Primarily I want people to discover this book for themselves but I also want to yell at everyone I know that they should read it as soon as humanly possible? Let me try to elucidate below.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
I’m going to preface everything I write with an enormous checking of privilege. I’m a middle class white lady in the UK. I cannot hope to comprehend the full meaning of this book and I’m not going to pretend I’m the perfect intersectional femenist. This book was important for me to read because it shared a story that, while I definitely knew it was important, I had never engaged with quite so completely before.
Mainly I loved this book because it teaches so much but it doesn’t feel like it does while you’re reading it. It goes beyond statistics and facts and makes this a story. It’s a scary story not just because of the impeccable writing and characterisation, but because it could so easily be completely true.
It’s not my place to go on and on about this issue, there are plenty of people who have said amazing things who have far more right to a voice in this instance than I do. My one thought is that everyone should read this book. If you’re like me and dithering about whether YA contemporary is really ‘for you’ trust me you should read this book. If you’re fourteen, if you’re eighty or anywhere in between just…read this. It’s a bestseller for a reason.
My rating: 5/5 stars
I bought this book myself and all opinions are my own.
Have you read this? Please comment below I’d love to have a moment of ‘aaah amazing’ in the comments section!