Jam lives with her parents Bitter and Aloe in the city of Lucille. Lucille is special because there was a revolution. In this revolution the monsters that used race, gender, orientation, etc. as means of oppression have been replaced with a system of justice. The “angels” of the revolution have created a utopia where Jam and her best friend, Redemption live without fear. Or so they thought. While at first it seems the story is about this utopia and what life would be like without racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, it quickly becomes clear that it’s a warning. A warning that we should never stop looking for the monsters amongst us. Because when we get complacent, the innocent get hurt.
For a book with only 12 chapters and 200 pages, it packs a powerful message in a captivating story. I wish I had sat down with this in one day to devour it. It’s one of those books that I look forward to jumping back into when I can get a chance to read.
The content of the book may be challenging for some high schoolers, but did the most part I think they would enjoy it and also learn from it. Adults can take away a lot too. I don’t know if it’s a book club read or more of an individual read. Either way, it’s a highly recommended read. No wonder it was a 2019 National Book Award Young Adult Fiction Honor selection.