When Starr Carter’s childhood friend is brutally shot by a police officer – which was racially
provoked – her entire world turns upside down. This wasn’t the first time either. Starr slowly
starts to realize the injustice that has been engraved in the black community for years and
decades. The affluent school she and her brothers attend is far from Garden Heights (the perilous,
crime-driven neighborhood she lives in), and there, everybody is white; in fact, Starr describes
the school as “white-washed” (also because she was one of the only black kids who attended
school there). Now, what a not-so-surprising coincidence! A safe, scholarly school is primarily
reserved for white students, whereas, a school in a somewhat alarming neighborhood is where
most black kids went to – thus, proving how racism was engraved into modern society. But after
being the only witness to the murder of her friend, she was questioned and scrutinized. What
bothered Starr, however, was that most questions regarded her murdered friend as an alleged
“drug dealer” rather than what actually happened or what the police officer did. After several
more occasions where this murder case was demeaned, Starr decided to speak out. These racial
injustices gave Starr the will, grit, and incentive to fight and protest about these issues to make
sure the world knew, to make sure the police officer who murdered her friend knew. When a
protest turns into something far more deadly, Starr keeps fighting for what she believes in.
Angie Thomas makes Starr Carter a formidable character, and that was undoubtedly my favorite part of
the entire novel. What she really emphasized, however, was that behind a person that made such
a change, was a girl who went through so much. After reading this, you will definitely get to
know Starr Carter very well, for sure! And of course, I also loved that this novel talks about
issues that are still inherent in our world and society today, but the way these issues are explained
truly gives the reader an unseen perspective about the black community and their fight for justice
in the modern world. Keep in mind before reading that there is a lot of profanity in this book.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel, and I give it 4.5/5 stars.