I finally made it through this powerful, painful, but wonderfully necessary book. I’m grateful for Thomas’s character Starr and her strong voice that helped expand my worldview and understanding. Starr’s experience is difficult to read about, mostly because I wish it weren’t true to life, but I know it is. I recommend this read for all who may relate to Starr’s experience, but especially for those of us who can’t relate--because we need to learn to at least understand.
When fleeing a neighborhood party gone wrong, Starr and her friend Khalil are pulled over by a police officer. The officer says they weren’t speeding, but he orders Khalil out of the car and searches him. When Khalil leans in the ask if Starr is okay, the police officer fatally shoots Khalil multiple times, thinking he was reaching for a nonexistent gun. Grief stricken for her friend, Starr must decide if she will speak out against the police officer or stay silent--knowing that justice is rarely served in these circumstances.
As Starr gains her voice, she meets with help and support as well as hatred and misunderstanding. Her story sheds light on police violence and the riots that so often follow. This is a coming of age story that everyone should read.