Here I am with another YA review. Like the last one I wrote about, this one tackles a tough – albeit completely different – topic. Here, we dive deep into the issue of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. In fact, this book doesn’t feel like a product of the Black Lives Matter movement; more like it is the movement.
I am a white woman who grew up very far from the projects. I can’t exactly relate to Starr, who attends a suburban [read: white] prep school but lives in the poor, urban Garden Heights neighborhood. That’s probably why it’s so important I hear Starr’s perspective. What it’s like to know gang members and drug dealers and why sometimes doing the wrong thing is unavoidable and understandable.
Starr is with one of her best friends when she witnesses him killed at the hands of a cop after doing nothing wrong. As the sole witness to this act of violence, she has the choice and the power to explain what she saw. As she grapples with her grief, she struggles to maintain the balance between her school life and her neighborhood life.
I thought this novel was wonderful and completely necessary.
5 out of 5 stars.