"Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right."
Sixteen year old Starr moves between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she lives and the affluent high school she attends. The uneasy balance is shattered when she becomes a witness to the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was black, unarmed, and doing nothing wrong.
Soon afterwards, the media gains interest, and Khalil’s death becomes a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, a gangbanger even a drug dealer. While the police don’t seem interested in finding out what really happened, rioting begins and protesters take to the streets in Khalil’s name, as his death ignites long held tensions between the black community and their treatment by the police.
Throughout, Starr struggles with her identity as her two worlds collide. Her fear is palpable as she confronts system that she knows is working against her. She’s afraid to speak out yet worries that if she does not Khalil’s murderer could escape justice. Will she find her voice for Khalil?
Angie Thomas writes a beautiful, timely and emotionally charged novel about a teenage girl dealing with very real and complex relationships. Thomas confronts issues of race and class sending an incredibly powerful message to readers as well as those wanting to understand the blacklivesmatter movement. Her writing style and characters will engage you from page one, and will have readers falling in love with the entire Carter family. An engrossing and refreshing read, it is hard to believe that this is Thomas’s first novel, already the rights have been given for this to be made into a feature film.