1) i didn't like it 2) it was okay
4) i really liked it 5) it was amazing 6) i loved it
"At an early age i learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them."
-Momma pg 264
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.
i don't know that ill be able to do this book the justice that it deserves so bear with me.
I'm not a "watch the news" person.
i hate the news. mostly because it's about, 100% of the time, bad news and i don't really need that in my life.
but that doesn't mean that i don't know whats going on when it comes to a lot of things.
specially police shootings.
so this was a refreshing way to view this situation. putting it in writing i think reaches a whole new demographic that might not have paid attention to it before (yes, i know there's papers and Internet and so on...but you know what i mean.)
what i liked about this book is that it shows from Starr's perspective how something like this can damage but strengthen you as a person. how it can make you want to hide but also yell and use your own weapon, your voice. how you can be forced to grow but still in some points, remain a child.
I believe Angie did a very good job in showing that Starr is still a teenager going through the motions and to top it off she now has to handle living with not only seeing the consequences of a cops action but also trying to keep herself as well as her family, together.
(her family is not falling apart at any time but being the key witness takes a toll on her.)
i love that Starr was a teenager throughout the entire book. she never pretended to be more grown up than she was. i like that she lived in the "ghetto" but went to a "classy all white folks school" where she had to learn to give Starr another voice so that people wouldn't judge her as the token black girl. i love that Angie kept her real in all of her feelings and didn't make her the typical character.
basically, i just love the way she made Starr in this story.
i loved that she was honest, when she was, about her feelings but when it finally came down to it, she used her voice.
it might sound weird but this book did open my eyes to the emotions of it all.
and the riots and just everything.
this is a really good read that i DEFINITELY recommend.
in all honesty, i only picked it up because i saw it everywhere on instagram.
i was thisclose to leaving it but I'm glad i picked it up and brought it home. (thanks babe for supporting my habit of buying me a new book every time we go to Costco!)
i loved this book more than i could ever give it credit here.
this is all I'll say on this book but let me leave you with some of my
"Funny how it is with white kids though. its dope to be black until its hard to be black."
-Starr pg 11
"...people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. i think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right."
- Starr pg 59
"good-byes hurt the most when the other persons already gone."
-Starr pg 66
"my parents have this thing where they never want me or my brothers to talk to somebody without looking them in their eyes. they claim a person's eyes say more than their mouth, and if it goes both ways - if we look someone in their eyes and mean what we say, they should have little reason to doubt us."
-Starr pg 98
"whats the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be."
- Starr pg 252
Khalil is killed in front of Starr because the cop assumed that a hair comb on the side of the car was a gun. which, even if it was, Khalil wasn't reaching towards it. he was sticking his head inside to see is Starr was okay.
that's when 115 shot him.
at her school, she chooses to keep her home life private so her peers only know the white version of Starr so of course no one knows she was with Khalil or that she even knew him.
not even her boyfriend Chris (who's white).
because of this, they decide to protest and it angers her because her friend Hailey is a part of it. (there's a whole tumblr shtick that is the reason for the beginning of the falling out of their friendship)
Starr is not a part of it because she knows they're only doing it to get out of class.
she stays anonymous, gives her statement to the cops which they proceed to flip on her, she gets an attorney pro-bono, and comes out on a live tv interview (she remains anonymous) which for some odd reason only Chris recognizes is her.
eventually Hailey finds pictures of her and Khalil and talks mad shit about him.
and that's when Starr finally loses it and beats the crap out of her. well not that harsh but yea.
a bunch of stuff happens buuut 13 weeks later, the verdict is in. the officer, 115, is not guilty.
everyone loses their shit.
there's other stuff in between...
but when the verdict is revealed, everyone loses it.
Starr has been quiet per-se but once this is out, after trying to get to her fathers store and sorta failing, she runs into her attorney who's leading a protest. in that scene, her attorney tells her to use her weapon; her voice, against the cops.
that's where she lets everyone around her know that she was the witness and that what happened to Khalil did not need to happen. that in this story the cop is the bad guy. not the kids who weren't doing anything.
at the end of it all, nothing happens to the cop who's at fault. a thug drug dealer, King, that has been instilling fear in the community finally gets locked up and Starr's father, after having his building burned by King himself, trying to kill all the kids in there, is gifted the building next door to add to his store so they can re-build and start making the community better.
there is A L O T that i left out. i didn't really know how to write it down which is weird. but trust me, even if you read all of the above, there's still more.
read this book.
I'll be beyond shocked if this book doesn't win any awards.
thanks for reading!!!