Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
Genre: Young Adult
Page Length: 444
Publication Date: 28th February 2017
This is the first time I’ve not wanted to write a review. There is a lot of hype surrounding this book so I was expecting to really enjoy this book. However, this was not the case and whilst I can say this isn’t the worst book I’ve read, it’s certainly not the best. The problem I’m having is that I can’t pinpoint the exact reason why.
It could be down to the lack of character development, I didn’t really feel connected to Starr at all during the story, I did not find her character likable, a lot of her thinking was questionable, I think to sum it up; I did not get her, I did not understand her. The same goes for the rest of the characters in this book, I really disliked how the stereotypical they were, the token white friend who is secretly racist, the white guy trying to act black and then there was Starr herself suddenly fearing her own boyfriend because he’s white? Nah no thanks.
At times the story felt like it was dragging on and on, it felt very slow going which made it feel really boring at times and then the whole drug lord thing, I have seen so many movies with same old drug lords that this was just felt repetitive.
The only thing that I think this book got right was the injustice, I’m so angry that the cop who shot Khalil went unpunished, and I think the story should have stayed centered on that rather than all the side drama that was going on.
The Bottom Line:
I did not like this book, and I feel sad about it because I feel like I should have which makes me feel mad.