Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2017
I had originally said I was not going to read this book, I didn't know how well I would like it, and I don't tend to get involved with things that can make life at work harder for me. I literally work with the police, I am a dispatcher, so it is a huge part of my life. I knew going in it was revolved around the BLM movement, and police brutality and I made the decision to read it anyways. I had heard so many good things about it and I just needed to see for myself. First I want to say, it does not at any point in this book bash police officers. It talks about some of the problems in the world and how things happen but it never attacks or sets out to make them out to monsters. I really liked that because most aren't, they just aren't, they are humans. Now, Starr is the main character who is involved in a horrible tragedy that leaves her friend from child hood Khalil dead by an officer involved shooting. It was horrible and it was really sad. I hated reading it, I cried my eyes out, Thomas did such an amazing job of making a horrible action into beautiful fiction that made you feel like you were right there. I was so broken by this part of the story. Then reading later on into Starr's grief was just hard. I don't know any other way to describe it but there will be tears, so very many tears. That isn't it though, you see her as they have to fight the system basically, and you are with them through all those emotions. Going to the funeral and seeing his family, destroyed, his mother broken, knowing this isn't just something that happens in fiction, you cannot help but be moved. Now there was some real good in this book too, like some parts that I laughed until I cried. The scene when her parents are arguing in the middle of a prayer I have read an thousand times since finishing the book because it is the funnies thing I have ever read. Her parents were amazing by the way, her dad was an ex-con but he loved her, he admitted his mistakes but he was there for her. Their relationship was really touching to read because I have always been really close to my own dad. Then there was her mom, and her Uncle Carlos, who was actually a cop and lived in a really good neighborhood too. This was really refreshing to read because so many books, YA especially make parents out to be monsters that don't care, that aren't there for their kids. I mean it is like a troupe or something for these stories and it isn't actually the norm and gets annoying to read, so this book did an amazing job with the parents and family. All around though this story just floored me, it gave me a perspective I have never considered before, offered insights into a world I am not a part of, and I loved every minute of it. I don't know what it is to watch one friend die by violence of any sort, much less two in the time of my life and I am 26, she is a teenager. It is jarring to see that as someones existence when it is not your own. It taught me to open my eyes... I love it... Honestly I just wanted to pick it right back up and read it again.
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
6,711 customer ratings