I've been thinking about this for a while and I'm just struggling to put into words how absolutely incredible this book is, and how much you all need to read it. It's the most important book that I've read in 2017 and everyone absolutely needs to get their hands on it. It really gets to the nitty gritty about race issues in the States, and exposes them in a way that I've not really come across anywhere else.
Starr Carter, the book's protagonist, is a 16-year-old African American schoolgirl who witnessed the shooting of her best friend when she was 8. When she gets a lift home from her childhood best friend Khalil, she doesn't think that this is the second day she's going to see someone get shot. Khalil and Starr get pulled over by a cop and when Khalil moves towards the passenger side of the car to see if Starr is okay, the cop shoots him repeatedly.
In the following days and weeks, Starr is totally bowled over by the fact that this cop isn't straight up arrested for murdering her friend in front of her. Soon she starts to question everything. She goes to a private school where the majority of students are white, and doesn't want to speak up there. At school Starr is a different person, one who doesn't talk in the same way as she does with her family and friends from her neighborhood. She starts to wonder whether she's betraying her own identity by dating a white boy from the school.
As riots break out over the town for Khalil's murder, Starr is forced to question her own identity and the justice system of the country she lives in.
It's an absolutely astounding book, and I'll honestly be buying any future novels Angie Thomas brings out because this was beyond insightful and powerful and heartbreaking.