Publisher: Crown Books for Young Reader
Published: October 17th, 2017
Genres: YA, contemporary, realistic fiction
My Rating: 5 Stars
Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.
It shouldn’t have taken what’s happening right now for me to read this book. I should have read it when I bought it shortly after it came out. I don’t know why I let it sit on my shelf this long.
I read this whole thing in one sitting, a little over three hours. I sat down on my deck opened it and didn’t close it until I’d read the whole thing. This book is just over 200 pages long, but every single one of those pages were impactful and important.
I don’t want to say “enjoy” because although it was a great read-and an important book– I don’t think enjoy is the right word, but if you liked Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give or Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro this book falls into the same grouping as those books. Books about what it like for people of color dealing with police in this country.
I don’t have to tell you what’s happening int he United States and all over the world right now. This book was released in 2017 and it hits like was released in reaction to what’s happening right now.
This book is important and we need to keep reading books like this, books that make us uncomfortable because we know its all too real. I think this book highlights the fear of existing while someone with a gun doesn’t like what you’re doing. What happens in this book could easily be a headline on the six o’clock news.
At the end of the day I get to lean back in my lawn chair on my patio outside my suburban apartment and think “Wow, what a great book.” At the same time there are people fighting for their lives.
If you haven’t picked this one up yet, I highly recommend it. It is a heavy book, but I think it packs a lot of things into it and is one of those books that can really make a difference. There is a companion/sequel coming this fall, I look forward to check it out when it’s available.
Stay safe everyone, until next time,