As always, I’m three years late to the party with this one.
Mostly, I loved it. I’m on book #7 for the year, but this is the first I’m reviewing after dropping out early last year when becoming a foster parent ate my life, and I’m still getting in the swing of how to structure reviews so for this one I’m going to just do liked and disliked lists.
- I’m a sucker for a book with a large cast of characters who all feel unique and distinct, and THUG nailed it
- I’m also a sucker for a book where everyone is a little good and a little bad and most are kind of leaning in one direction
- I’m a white woman, but I grew up with a black stepfather and was generally the only white person in the room other than my mother for a lot of my childhood, so it’s not MY culture but it’s an extremely familiar one, and to me the tone and idiosyncrasies were perfect. Which, yeah, a black woman wrote it. What I’m getting at here is that if I wrote a book, I’m not that good of a writer so it probably wouldn’t feel like some perfect capturing of white people even though I am one, and I guess that would go for anyone. But at least to me, this does feel perfect. I’m trying too hard to not phrase that in a problematic way so I’m just going to hope that you know how I mean it: not that I’m the authority on the authenticity of black culture in writing, but that to me, it rang true and I think that’s because of great writing.
- There’s really only one issue I had but it’s kind of a big one. (Light spoilers in this paragraph only.) It felt really anticlimactic. I felt that way throughout the book but gave it the benefit of the doubt that it was building to something, but Starr’s moment with the megaphone was good, and compelling, and scary, and rewarding but just didn’t feel like the big climax of this amazing book. It still felt like buildup to something that never came.
- I did feel like she was unnecessarily shitty to Chris, but maybe that’s my own white fragility talking, I can own that.