Wow. This book was phenomenal. it completely lived up to the hype.
I have a lot of thoughts on this so here they are (keep in mind this is coming from an Asian American from the Bay Area):
I loved how educational it was. It really made you understand the Black Lives Matter movement and the reality of it. It hit every single point and put you right in the middle of it.
I also liked how Angie Thomas made brought up big points in really subtle ways. For example, “Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black” (11). That is so true. People only like black culture when it’s cool , but the minute something bad happens to the black community, they distance themselves from it. But the quote that really hit hard was, “Funny. Slave masters thought they were making a difference in black people’s lives too. Saving them from their ‘wild African ways.’ Same Shit, different century. I wish people them would stop thinking that people like me need saving” (246). I read that quote and was like, damn, preach it girl!
The minority alliance between Starr and Maya made me so happy. It was so good to see a black girl and her Asian best friend team up. Angie Thomas could have done a bit more with it, but it was still nice to see it included. Personally, I think we need more minority alliances because there is more that unites us than divides us and together we can make a big impact. #Asians4BlackLives
I also liked that this tackled interracial dating. It added an extra layer to the complexity of this novel.
The pop culture references were a really nice and unexpected touch. I was definitely not expecting High School Musical and the Jonas Brothers to be mentioned in this book.
Overall, this book was everything. It should be taught in schools because despite being fiction, it was so informative, thought provoking, and leaves the door open for a lot of discussion.