I didn’t think this book could possibly live up to the hype, but it actually did. I assumed it would be cute and make some watered down observations about racism. I was wrong, not only is it completely engrossing (I stayed up late to finish it), it’s important. It’s important that white people read it.
While it is fiction, it is about the very real brutality that black people have suffered for centuries, and are still suffering, at the hands of white people. It’s a reality that, even in a world full of body cams, dash cams and smartphones, that, unbelievably, many people still deny. It’s a reality that can only be denied if a person assumes, from the beginning, that a black person’s word is inherently less valid than a white person’s word, and yet we still see this denial among countless people claiming they are “not racist.”
This is one of those books that is categorized as YA because the protagonist is YA. In this case, the YA designation is not an indication of the writing level or how sophisticated it is thematically. Since everyone else is heaping praise on it, I don’t think I need to say more. If you don’t believe me, go read some other reviews.