This may not be your typical cozy wozy read to traditionally find on The Book Cookie. However, this novel, like chocolate chip cookies in the summer, I simply couldn’t get enough of! Several of my friends referred me to this read, explaining its relation to current societal events, specifically activism and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now, Book Cookies need to keep up with the times too and Angie Thomas rounds all bases of a perfect home run contemporary novel. She shares a story of family, bravery, current events, romance, and unique voice. With subtle comedic punches to it, I could easily hand this to a teenager who doesn’t care about reading and guarantee they won’t be able to put it down. I recommend it to the Bookie who needs a spark in their end of summer reading routine.
A side note: I listened to this book on audibles, my first audiobook on the Alexa App. It was easy to follow while I baked cookies and bopped around doing miscellaneous house chores. The narrator and character voices were beautifully performed and I could even be so confident that this will turn into a movie or a play – which got me wondering….Why are there not more YA adaptation plays in production these days? ::Insert deep in thought emoji::.
An additional side note: After I finished writing this review I read that they are in fact making this book into a movie. Ah Yay!
Our main character, Starr Carter narrates in first person as we dive right into a typical high school party scene. Conflict ensues within the first fifty pages when Starr becomes a key witness of a tragedy involving her childhood friend. With the dynamics between white cops and black teens who live in a rough neighborhood, the setting drives most of the story into an ardent tone throughout.
However, since Starr attends school in a wealthy community, her academic achievement is hopeful. The strife for balance between her privileged school friends and her childhood friends creates constant guilt for Starr, yet it’s nothing short of a teenager trying to find their place in high school and how they fit in.
Her home life is relatable to most teens with half – brothers, connections to a step sister, and a little brother who is playfully a nuisance. Her dad plays a strong character whom I grew to love as the book went on. Besides the strong and compassionate family dynamic among personalities whirling at the center of the plot, this family deals with problems together and they’re funny while doing it. I grinned a lot to myself during this book.
There is an overall critical and direct perspective tied to the issues at hand for our country in this book. The reader gets a true sense of what non-white Americans live through on a daily basis, which is more than enlightening. I truly admired this novel and would read more books by Angie Thomas in the future. I highly recommend this book, especially for a “back to school get into the swing of things,” read.
Starr Carter is the perfect embodiment of a determined teenager and yet, still a sensitive soul. She is a great role model who aims to persevere and stand up for what matters at her core.
Even though certain language and curse words prohibit the book from being read as easily in schools as I would want, the use of teen jargon throughout the genre of this book was spot on. I could picture my classroom laughing at the language and terms used, which are coined by youths today, “Stank eye,” “dab,” and Drake songs pulled out Thomas’ strongest point as an author, her diction. You would think she was a teenager herself.
**This book is a perfect book club pick for most likely some of the best discussions and analytical/ political debates. The current events and Black Lives Matter theme at hand are viable for awesome Book Club discussion.
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