The Book: 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. (From Goodreads)
My Feels: I had the pleasure of reading this beauty last week, and I'm so glad I did. The best word to sum up this book: relevant. As in this is so relevant to our times I wish everyone would read it. We've heard a lot about #ownvoices and the need for it, but I don't think the urgency really clicked with me until I read this book. Once I got to the end and was able to digest this as a whole, I found myself wishing there was something like this for me as a teenager.
This made me think a lot about our current society, the connection and understanding I have with POC, but it also awakened this deep sadness within me. Why don't people see that racial comments are hurtful? Why do they see it as humorous? Has society normalized it as so? It's frustrating. Like really frustrating. Especially being a POC and deemed 'sensitive' when I bring up my concerns on this. I won't go into a further rant, but I do want to say that this is the kind of book that made me look inwards and outwards. For that, I can't recommend this enough. Pick up a copy if you haven't already.