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Synopsis:

“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.”

Review:

What an important read.

This book has had a lot of hype surrounding it since it was released in February of last year (2017). It has been on the New York Times best sellers list since the week of its release. It has a movie adaptation in the works set to come out sometime this year.

And for good reason.

Starting off with the characters, I think that they were all amazing in their own ways. Star was such a strong lead character. I enjoyed learning about her and her family. Her relationship with Chris. Pretty much everything about her impressed me to no end. I would hate to have to have been in her place. Witnessing the death of your childhood best friend would have scarred me for life. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her.

Then going into the romance aspects of this book, I really liked the romance between Star and Chris. Getting to see an interracial couple, as Chris is white and Star is African-American, was great as readers don’t get a lot of that in YA contemporary novels these days. Yes their relationship was strained at times as Star’s dad seemed to have some prejudices against Chris due to the color of his skin but it was a healthy relationship and not problematic at all.

Next with the plot, I also enjoyed this as well. It had an interesting look into the world of the Black Lives Matter movement and the people who support it. Getting to see what the families of the people involved in police brutality was an interesting concept. Unfortunately, I felt like there was something missing that really made me connect with the story. I can’t put my finger on it. But, as someone who is white looking into the world of those who are black, it gave me a lot more knowledge about what goes on in those instances then I might hear on things like the news or the radio.

Finally, rounding out this review, lets talk about the diversity. There was a ton of it. We had characters who were white, black, and Asian. As previously mentioned, Star and Chris were in an interracial relationship which is always great to see. I will say though, there was some stereotypes used against certain groups that kind of bugged me but overall, the diversity was great.

Overall, this was a great book. I think, like most people, that this is an important read that everyone needs to read sometime in their life. I can’t wait to see the movie adaptation when it comes out. Thomas has a great writing style and I look forward to reading more of her works in the future.

RATING: 4/5

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