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. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.
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’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen... “I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.” This is simply a book that must be read. I've seen comments that say that this book will become a classic and that it will be read and analyzed in school - I agree. I also do not think that just because this book is YA that it won't appeal to adult readers. Racism is not just a timely topic - as sad as that already is - but it's been going on for centuries and it has to be adressed over and over again and it mustn't be ignored. As a half Asian myself I can luckily say that I have never experienced any kind of racism or discrimination directed at me but I have once witnessed how my mum and my aunt who are both Asian were discriminatingly remarked at. I was shocked, angry and hurt and I cannot imagine how black people and other minorities in the U.S. have to experience racism and discrimination day after day. Now, this is not only an important book but it's also so damn good. The characters, character dynamics, the family and friendships were all done so well. This is a deep, complex and authentic story. Angie Thomas is a skilled writer and I cannot wait to see what books she will write next. The only two things I have to criticize are (1) the romance between Starr and her boyfriend Chris because I did not fell any chemistry between them at all and (2) the length of this book. 400+ pages could have been cut down to 300-350 pages.