Format:Physical ARC from ALAMW17
Synposis on GoodReads:
“Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.
Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In that media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.”
Disclaimer: I cannot speak for the accuracy of the representation presented in this book.
I can tell you right off the bat that I really, really, really enjoyed this book. It’s been a bit since I’ve read it and I’m still struggling to find the right words to say how amazing it is.
Seriously, the book is so short and small yet it packs the biggest fucking punches.
Okay, okay, let me try to be an actual reviewer.
One of the first things I noticed about the book was the format in which it’s written. Third person present, which sounds like a fucking headache, right? But it worked for this book for whatever reason, this book with that formatting just resonated with me. It helped the books flow, somehow made me feel closer to the characters like I was a part of the story watching the events of the characters unfold.
There’s also one point in the story, and I’m going to talk about two things I liked about this, where the formatting kind of reads as just dialogue. It says the character’s name and then what they said. And I fucking LOVED that part.
Here’s why. 1. The way it’s formatted makes the discussion the characters are having ten times more intense. It’s impossible to look away because it’s like you’re following an actual argument between your classmates.
Part 2: It resonated with me so hard as a high school student. Maybe it’s just the classes I took this year but heated discussions were a thing. I both heard about them and witnessed them, though I don’t think I was ever really a part of them. The bottom line was that discussion… It’s high school. To the T that scene is genuinely one of the most accurate representations of high school I have seen.
I don’t care that it’s a private school, it’s a fucking high school and it’s presented as one.
Yes, by the way, I am very picky with how high school is portrayed in YA (even if it doesn’t seem that way). There’s a certain ring to it that I feel like some contemporaries miss or come close to missing or just don’t address altogether because they’re too busy with the other shit to realize high school is actually a big thing.
Some more of what made this book my latest five star read are the characters and the issues that are tackled within the book.
Another aspect that stood out to me what that I wasn’t mentally separating the two like I usually do. In my head, the book usually presents itself as the world, the characters, and the actual story, and in this, I felt like the characters and the story resonated very well together to the point where I can’t really separate them.
Justyce is one of the most fleshed out characters EVER like I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around this. He’s this smart, amazing kid and that’s ingrained in just about everything he does in this story but it isn’t like that prevents him from being a teen. His foundations are clearly shaken multiple times and he fucks up sometimes but he always remains himself. He’s never out of character, it’s never like I’m looking at some new character that someone brought out of the wazoo with nothing to have caused that change. He’s Justyce, young and lovable, who’s dealing with how shitty the world is.
He lets the shittiness get to him which I fucking love because, guess what people, the hard stuff can get to teens.
And the other characters, I won’t go into too much depth with but fuck were just as amazing as Justyce.
Honestly, I don’t really know what else to say other than this book is AMAZING and I really, really, really, would suggest you all buy it and love it.
It tackles the god-awful racism we see in society and how messy shit can get and does so in a relatable and understandable setting.
This book is easy to resonate with, understand, and love. It’s literally on our level like a fucking teen wrote it. I’m still blown by how amazing it was.
Hopefully, I’ve managed to convince you to BUY THIS FUCKING BOOK!
So go do that and check back soon for some more content!
Thanks for stopping by!