Angie Thomas did it again. I absolutely loved this book. I was turning page after page with anticipation, fully engrossed in the plot.
The story takes place in the same neighborhood but after the events of her first book, The Hate U Give. In this one, the main character, Brianna Jackson or Bri, has dreams of becoming a rapper and getting her family out of poverty. Her mom is a recovering drug addict after her dad dies and struggles to make ends meet. She gets presented with an opportunity to see her dreams come to life, but there is definitely a cost. And she may have to compromise who she is to pay it.
I love the way Thomas writes her characters. I was rooting for and frustrated with Bri through most of the book. She seemed to always let others dictate her actions. No one is perfect in this story, either. Everyone has their flaws and deal with those flaws in different ways. And it shows racism in a different way as well, especially with the way hip-hop lyrics are seen by white American suburbs and the integration of students from poorer areas into nicer schools. There is so much complexity there that I think Thomas does a good job of working through in this story. There is a lot that happens to Bri that was out of her control, but how she reacts isn’t always perfect either and sometimes even exacerbates the problem.
There is a lot of profanity in the book, so be aware of that. There are a few kissing scenes, but nothing detailed or explicit. There was one robbery in the book that involved a gun and her father is killed before the story starts, but as far as explicit violence, there is some implied but nothing that happens “on screen”.
Just like her other book, this is another highly recommended one for me. I love her writing, and the raps included were really well done. Great read!