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 Khalils 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 book should be required reading. It deals with an interracial relationship, people assuming that Starr is white because of how she speaks and the school that she goes to. Black Lives Matter and being scared when there’s a cop car behind you. It tackles a lot of issues.
I can relate so much to this book. All of the racists ‘jokes’ and assumptions that people make. Being the only black person in a classroom. Starr is friends with a girl named Hailey. She’s a racist, but she doesn’t think that she is. Hailey made a remark about fried chicken while Starr was playing basketball in gym. Starr is also friends with a girl named Maya. Maya is of Asian descent. One time Hailey made a remark about Maya and her family eating a cat for Thanksgiving. All people of color have had or have a Hailey in their life. One thing that annoyed me was that Starr’s Dad Maverick didn’t want to leave Garden Heights because they were fine there. But they weren’t. That neighborhood was dangerous with shootings and gang members.
One line that stuck with me is “What’s worse than an Angry-Black Girl? A Weak Black Girl.” When I was in middle school, I dealt with a lot of racists. The bullies just wanted two reactions out of me; to be the Angry-Black Girl or break down crying.
That feeling of a cop car driving in front of you or behind you or beside you or coming towards you is scary. My heart stops and the world freezes. I literally can’t breath until the cop car is out of sight. I drive with my license and registration in the passenger seat of my car so that I won’t have to reach into something to grab it. This book is funny and sad and inspiring. Please read this book and see the world through my eyes.