A story set during the 1992 race riots over the murder of Rodney King by LAPD. It doesn’t take place pre-Rodney King to post-Rodney King, he has already been murdered by the time we meet Ashley, it’s instead close to the verdict announcing the police officers being acquitted for their crimes.
Ashley is a very privileged black girl living in Los Angeles. She has only known a life among the wealthy, her friends all well-off white kids, and she attends an elite high school that is primarily filled with white kids. Her life has been mostly free of incident or overt racism and the moments she has experienced racism were either explained away or pushed aside. But now there’s a big catalyst that can’t keep Ashley away from the realities of racism and how it effects her life.
I felt like this story was a little slow to start. It was laying a lot of groundwork for a much smaller portion of the book (a portion that I enjoyed quite a bit more). I found the family dynamic of the Bennett’s to be one of the more fascinating and intriguing aspects of this book. I’ve never really read a story that so uniquely discussed race, wealth, and rebellion in such a real, unfiltered way. Her sister Jo is probably the character I relate to the most and hearing her perspective was one that I felt really passionate about and enjoyed how it was positively impacting Ashley.
I think this book does a lot for growing awareness to Black stories and the Black experience, and it’s always good to have more books about Black teens written by Black authors and it is DEFINITELY something that we should be asking for more of. I hope you pick this up for the story and to support Black authors.