Summary: Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty.
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.
Rating:5 out of 5 stars
Recommendation: If you wanna be my friend read this book!
Disclosure: I received an ARC from Balzer + Bray in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: February 28, 2017. No spoilers.
Dear Four-Year Old Me,
Life is gonna be hard, so hard sometimes that you just wanna quit. But you don’t quit, you keep moving forward. You’ll bury your big hair in books and school, knowing that it’s your ticket out. You’ll try and make friends but nothing really works out and that’s because you have your twin, your brother who you will always love no matter what.
You’ll hear “You’re black?”, “You’re Puerto Rican?”, “But you don’t look it!”, and “Why is your hair always ratty you look like a raccoon!”. You’ll bury this all inside of you until you stop trying. You’ll stop trying to go to school and be ignored. You’ll cut of all your hair in the middle of the night because enough is enough. You’ll be hospitalized twice because you truly believe you’re “disgusting”.
Then slowly everything starts to get better. You’ll get a Tumblr and learn there is a world outside of your bed. You’ll start talking to people and make friends online. You’ll learn more about the world without ever getting on a plane. You’ll start reading 3 or 4 books at a time again and discover your voice for the first time in your life.
You’ll stop being silent and start to speak up about the things that matter to you. Then one day you hear about a book. A book that can change the world. It doesn’t have dragons or wizards but, it’s about a girl. A girl who kinda looks like me, a girl that has two sides of her in order to be seen as “better than them”. A girl who sees something terrible and the whole world has an opinion about it.
I knew this book would mean a lot to so many people and I was so lucky to read this before it’s release. Angie Thomas is a genius and so very brave. She wrote this wonderful and brutally honest book and didn’t spare anyone’s feelings. She touched on so many topics I can’t even list them all, topics that a lot of people are uncomfortable with it but need to be said.
Angie paints a vivid picture of what so many people unfortunately have to go through in this day and age. She portrays a wonderful mixed up family whose love for each other poured off the pages. All throughout this novel she gives us hope, hope that things are going to get better. Hope that means we can’t stop living our lives and enjoying the good things that come with. Hope that terrible things happen but we can’t let it break us no matter how hard the world may try.
Books can change lives, they empower us, they teach us, and give us hope. This book changed my life, it gave me hope that no matter how hard things get I can’t give up.
I cannot stress how important this book will be in the future. It is a novel that can stand the test of time and give us hope for better days. I cannot describe how much of an honor it was to read this book, I will cherish this book for the rest of my life.
Seventeen-Year old Me