This is a good summer read and was pretty fast to finish. The author illustrates well what it’s like to not know who you are and not having to support necessary to figure it out.
A few years ago Astrid Jones moved to a small, close minded town after living in New York City. Astrid spends hours staring up at the planes flying overhead, sending them her love and asking them questions. She can’t trust anyone who she actually knows, so she talks to the passengers, having them help her figure out who she is.
This is a beautifully written book and I highly recommend reading it, especially because it’s such a topical book. All the way through the book makes you think about how people of color are treated in modern society. The book its self is pretty easy but the ideas and feelings behind it are not.
The story follows a girl named Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black high school student. While driving home with Khalil (a friend), they are pulled over by cops, Khalil is shot and killed. The thing was that Khalil did everything the police told him to and was unarmed. Everyone wants to know what happened but Starr is terrified to talk, thinking it will cost her life. Her friends at her private school are unsupportive and don’t understand what she’s going through.
Angie Thomas eloquently describes what it’s like to have a split life. Starr has her private school friends who she has to be careful around because she doesn’t want to be seen as a typical black girl. But she also has her neighborhood childhood friends who she can talk about everything but school to.
The way Angie Thomas writes, makes you so involved in the characters and the story. I had few shared experiences with the characters but still felt like I cared about them. I liked Starr a lot. I felt like she was a real person who was gutsy and more like a normal girl than a lot of female characters in books generally are.
There are two scenes in particular that I still remember vividly. One is when Khalil is murdered, which I can’t do justice (so read the book!) but was incredibly powerful. While I was reading the other I could really smell the smoke and the fear, hear screaming and glass breaking.