Review of the Novel and a #OwnVoices Reflection
Own Voices Reflection
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“𝚆𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚠𝚊𝚕𝚔 𝚊𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚜𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚊𝚜 𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗. 𝙳𝚘𝚗’𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚐𝚎𝚝 𝚝𝚒𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚜𝚢𝚖𝚋𝚘𝚕? 𝙳𝚘𝚗’𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗?” -Christina Hammonds Reed,
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙆𝙞𝙙𝙨
Thank you to @simonteen & @hearourvoicestours for a copy of this ARC. Pub date 8/04/2020
#OwnVoices Reflection: As a teen, I remember feeling like Ashley, the lead character in this novel, 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙆𝙞𝙙𝙨. I was that black kid that was in the AP classes that was predominately a white space. I felt like an alien at times, while also feeling at home. This novel spoke to me and I got it. I understood how she felt and the struggles she dealt with personally, socially, and culturally. The Rodney King verdict was huge and quite disappointing. In the present, we are still dealing with the issue of justice in the policing of black lives. As a person that identities as African-American, this story could have been written in the present and I would still feel the same. I am glad this book was written and it is timely and coincidental that 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙆𝙞𝙙𝙨 is being released at this time. I feel like my story is being told through the lens of Ashley and her family and friends.
Information about the Book with Author’s Links.
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.
Los Angeles, 1992
Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.
Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.
With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?
Christina Hammonds Reed an MFA in Film and Television Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Her short fiction has previously appeared in the Santa Monica Review. She lives in Hermosa Beach, CA.