Starr is going to be in my heart forever. And in my head. Her family is going to be in my heart and my head forever too. This is one of those books that I borrowed from the library but that I will also be purchasing so I can reread over and over again, and lend to my friends. If you haven’t already read this then you must. Really, really must read it.
16 year old Starr witnesses her childhood friend Kahlil being gunned down by a police officer. Kahlil was unarmed. Tired of yet another black kid’s death at the hands of a white police officer, people rise to protest in outrage, and the media creates an image of Kahlil that isn’t a true image of who he was. Starr discovers that her two worlds of home and school collide in the aftermath, as she struggles with her grief and her search in how to bring Kahlil justice while making a difference.
Angie Thomas does an amazing job with Starr’s voice. She’s so real, multi-faceted, and also just a teenager, juggling school, love life, friendship, and family alongside hardcore issues such poverty, and witnessing the deaths of her best friends on the streets. The entire narrative just comes off as REAL. I felt like I was standing in Starr’s kitchen listening to her family discuss every day issues, or hanging around in the school canteen while the kids joked back and forth. Angie Thomas also does an amazing job talking about issues that every single black family has to face in this country on a daily basis, weaving in all types of layers of how systemic racism prevails in every single action we undertake, every single time we lower our eyes rather than speak out.
Read this book. Let it rip your heart out and squeeze your stomach into knots.