I don’t think I’ve ever read a book as relevant to today as this one. This story is about the importance of knowing that there are always two sides to a story.
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: 4/5 Starrs
This book was really stellar. If you’re not living under a cave and are aware of what’s going on right now with young, black youths being shot down by the police and you find there’s injustice in those deaths, then this book is for you.
A lot of what we read about those incidents is in the news. We hear all different sides of the story, but sometimes there’s one side that you may never hear. In this book, Angie Thomas puts us in the shoes of a young woman named Starr who watched a childhood friend of hers get shot by a local police officer. Within the aftermath of the shooting, she tries to continue living her life as normal as possible but how does someone who has seen something so tragic move on?
The story starts with the shooting so the rest of it is dedicated to the aftermath. Starr is a character stuck between the world of opportunity with her school and grades and the world of constant struggle as her family doesn’t live in the safest neighborhood. By the time she’s seventeen she’s already seen two friends die and now she can’t speak up about her friend’s death. You can see her come to grips with her emotions and deal with the micro-aggressions of the people who don’t understand her life.
For some people, it’s really easy to speak up about something but for others it isn’t and this book really explores what happens when you can make a difference but the things around you get in the way. It’s a tough decision and something that needs respect. But it also shows the value of speaking up. Voices unheard tell a different tale and while it might be scary or cause friction, you have to remember that your voice can really make a difference.