Can I just write a four word review? EVERYONE. READ. THIS. NOW.
No? You need more? Ok fine.
Thomas tells the story through the first-person voice of 16-year old Starr Carter, who is witness to one of her close friends (Khalil, a black teen boy) be killed for no reason by a white police officer. It’s (sadly) not an unusual story if you’ve turned on the news, like, ever… but to see it through the eyes of this young girl makes an unthinkable tragedy even more heartbreaking. Starr has to wrestle through the legal system, her interracial friendships and romantic relationship, and family conflicts, all while processing the trauma and grief she is experiencing.
I couldn’t put this book down because the story itself is gripping and fantastically written…and since I brought it on vacation, I found myself sitting poolside, quickly becoming a mess of snotty tears. It’s never pretty to take a look at your own ignorance and privilege, but man is it ever necessary. I feel so ill equipped to comment on any of the themes of this book, because it’s not ‘my’ story, and not a life that I can relate to as far as circumstances that I’ve experienced… but I feel so humbled and honoured to have read it. I know this is a short review, but it’s not because I have no feelings about the book – rather, it’s a book that I’m still thinking about months after reading it. I don’t have the words to express all the thoughts I have. It’s a game changer for me. An eye-opening call to arms, a heart-wrenching view into a fictional family living through very non-fiction grief.
Initially I had checked this out of the library, but am planning on purchasing a copy to regularly lend out to others. Completely recommended.