Justyce is top of his class and headed for an Ivy League school, but he is also one of the only African American boys in his area. This is emphasized when he is put in handcuffs after trying to transport an intoxicated friend back home after a party. He has tried to fit in with the white boys at his school, but he is simultaneously hurt when they are oblivious to the racial differences between them.
When Justyce is riding in the car one day with his friend Manny, they have the music turned up high. This angers an off-duty white cop, and they are caught in the crosshairs of the policeman’s gun. When the media gets involved, Justyce is the one under attack.
This is an important book for everyone to read, just as The Hate U Give is important. It even better than The Hate U Give for people who don’t read that much, as it is shorter. I would have read this entire book in one sitting if I didn’t take a break to eat in between chapters.
This book shows that no matter how “good” someone can be, it will always come down to race in America. It wouldn’t matter if a boy like Justyce, who didn’t do drugs or belong to a gang, was innocent. In the eyes of a cop, he could be just another troublemaker. This resonates with me, an African American girl who is also good in school and applying to high-achieving colleges. There could be a day where I am in the wrong place at the wrong time and killed, whether it be a case of mistaken identity or simply a racist person with a gun.
I think that it is important for people to read stories like this because even though they may be fictional, it really opens your eyes. Hopefully, these types of stories will simply be historical fiction when I am an adult, and that my generation can start to eliminate racism.
Overall Rating: 6/5