I had seen this book around as a new release several times and after encouragement from a librarian friend, I read the book (actually I listened to the audio). Generally speaking – I thought it was a good read (listen).

Other than research purposes (I write for youth) I have no interest in reading young adult books, therefore I don’t gravitate towards what’s new in the YA world. I’m not one to read synopsis’s (I know…weird), but I had already been told of the books theme, so this time I vaguely had an idea.

The police killing of an unarmed youth

Summary – The story follows a teenage girl named Star as she witnesses and deals with the aftermath of the killing of her unarmed male best friend by the police.

The writing style/tone – The tone of the book was written in the mind of a teenage Black girl. As stated before, I wouldn’t normally read young adult fiction, therefore I had no idea that these teen friendly books used so much foul language. Of course a rating would advise one of this, but it would still make me leery as a teenage parent in acceptance of this language (I know your thoughts. Kids use this language with their friends anyway. To that response, my comment remains the same.)

The plot – The plot flowed well. In chronological order, it advised the reader of the events that led up to the shooting and then the aftermath from it. There were times that the story had to reminisce of the slain victim to give the reader and understanding of the character, but the transition of the past information flowed well.

Have we heard this story before? Yes, there’s plenty of stories similar to it, but not nearly as many as have fallen victim to unarmed police shootings in real life. The more this type of story is told, the more people will look into the many layers that lead into it. The creativity that surrounds these stories allows the reader to step back from media facts and into that of a personal understanding, which is so important in dire social issues such as these.

Overall – I think the book is a great read for adults and teens alike. It helps the teen  understand how something as simple as their high school lives can intertwine unseemingly into global social issues. Simply, it’s a great dose of reality.

Have you read the book? Tell us what you think.

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