Genre: Young Adult- Contemporary
Publication Date: 2017
Page Count: 453
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I'm sure you don't need to hear a synopsis of this book since it's been everywhere lately, so I will keep it short. Starr feels like she maintains two versions of herself. The version of herself that goes to a suburban prep school and the version of herself that she is at home in the poor black neighborhood where she lives. One day. Starr is the only witness to the shooting of her best friend by a white police officer, and she must decide if, and how, to use her voice to speak up for her friend and her neighborhood.
I loved this book, and I'm so glad that everyone else is loving it too. This is one of the only books that I actually thought that the use of slang and pop culture added to the book instead of just being an aspect that will leave the book feeling quickly outdated. Starr talks and thinks like a REAL teenager and I loved that. Of course, I also loved the political themes in the novel and the accurate representation of the current political culture and movements such as Black Lives Matter. I thought the political events and story line were realistic and very well done. I love that teenagers are getting involved in the political culture of today and using their voices through social media, and this story reflected that.
This book covers many important topics very well including youth activism, police brutality, gang violence, love between different cultures, and the importance of using your voice. Of course this book deals with very serious and harrowing topics, but it also contained large amounts of humor and love. This book never felt too heavy or hopeless, and all of the characters felt real, despite how small of a part they may have played in the story, I couldn't read the second half of this novel fast enough and flew through it.
This is a book that I would love to use in my classroom in the future, as well as a book I will be buying a copy of to have on my classroom library shelves. I think this book is so important, but also entertaining and heartfelt. It delivers its important message, but it also delivers a message of hope and persistence, which is equally important for the younger generation to receive through art.
Have you read this? Did it live up to the hype for you? I'm very glad this book exists and is getting the recognition it deserves!