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.
This is a book that is so hyped in the community that I put off reading it for a long time. I just didn’t want to be let down.
I have to say I really enjoyed the journey of this book. I really liked how Starr was bordering two worlds in this book. Her character felt like a great blend of white privilege due to the school she attended with a mix of the slang and life of the black community she lived in. I really enjoyed her passion and how she grew to really stand up for her rights towards the end of the book. She really grew as a character as the book progressed and I feel she is a great role model for any person to stand up for what you believe in.
Aside from Starr I have to say my favorite parts of this book were the difference in setting from anything else I read. I’m a white girl and I grew up in one of the top neighborhoods in the area so I never really experienced anything like the slums of a city or a city entirely made up of people of a different race from myself. I know that may sound privileged to you but that was just the way I grew up. So it was highly interesting to see the setting of where Starr lived and what the people were really like in that area. I loved seeing a different background from the way I grew up and I feel this was really the strength of this book. It allowed me an experience that I’ve never lived before, it transported me.
The last thing I really loved about this book were Starr’s parents! In most YA novels the author gets rid of the parents as quickly as possible so we can watch a group of teenagers going off to save the world. I loved how this was so different from that. Starr’s parents add so much to the story and I really wanted to know more about her dad and how he grew up and how that shaped what he wanted for his family. I just loved them to pieces and I almost felt like their perspective was the most important to the story because they grew up in gangs and went to jail for it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this for how different it was than anything I usually read. I liked experiencing something completely different from my world. I enjoyed Starr’s parents and thought they added so much to the story. I guess the one thing that keeps this from being 5 full stars for me was the audiobook. I listened to parts of this book and whenever I did I sometimes felt the narrator was a little over the top. I still highly recommend this book though because it is eye opening and just a fabulous story.