I was debating making this an actual book review because I didn’t finish this book. Truth be told, I did even finish the first hundred pages. Despite that, I had such strong feelings about it and I just needed to let it out.
When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.
The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.
Problem #1: The synopsis revealed too much.
You’re kind of just waiting for everything that it told you to happen from the get-go to happen and I feel like that takes away from the story.
Problem #2: This book felt like it was trying too hard to be woke.
The language used was awkward and didn’t sound like stuff you’d say in a regular conversation. Marvin was so uppity half the time and he talked about the same things over and over again.
Problem #3: The writing style was not my cup of tea.
It was so poetic at times, but I felt like that took away from the reality of the story.
Problem #4: On the basis of reality, this story just didn’t feel real.
The characters weren’t that interesting. I didn’t even get through the first 100 pages. Too much was happening too fast and I feel like the author could’ve spaced these incidences out more. This was all tell, no show.
Problem #5: The narrator tells you what to think.
There is no gray area, it’s all just black and white but that’s not how real life works. It felt like I was being told what I should be thinking instead of letting the book speak for itself. I was surprised with my feelings toward this one, since it was pretty high on my TBR. I was expecting something along the lines of The Hate U Give, but if this book is truly based on real life experiences, then they’re greatly exaggerated.
I’ve been seeing a lot of positive reviews on Goodreads, but nearly all the ones I read were from white women. I feel like this book tugs at white guilt a lot and paints a stark picture, oversimplifying a lot of the real problems. As a black woman, I don’t feel like this was an accurate representation of the issues or real life for that matter.