This was my first ever Angie Thomas book and I totally get the hype now. Reading this book felt like tagging along with Brianna on her journey. I’m a fan of first-person narrators because I like experiencing the world with the character. Brianna’s comments and thoughts about her surroundings felt like her breaking the fourth wall to show us her world. By the end of the book, I really felt that I had been with Brianna through her journey.
There are a couple things I especially loved about the book:
- I loved the world building–Garden Heights is so developed and believable. We usually talk about world building in fantasy, but a fictional world that’s realistic with all the details is just *chef’s kiss.* Garden Disciples vs. Crowns, Midtown School of the Arts, Garden High, Sal’s Pizza, Mr. Watson the school bus driver–all of these details situated us right in Bri’s world.
- My favorite part of the book has to be what’s usually called the “fringe characters.” I had so much fun reading about them.
- Granddaddy’s one-liners and Grandma’s pettiness had me wanting to hear from them more!
- Milez/Miles/Rapid_one – the manager’s son with his own story was cool. There’s a different side
- Sonny and Malik! The Unholy Trinity is awesome and I loved their changing and complex friendship.
- Dr. Cook, the superintendent who wasn’t totally a villain. This made me trust the author– the people who I expected to let us down, were redeemed.
- TREY and KAYLA!!!! I relate to them because they’re my generation and I felt it so hard when Bri said that Trey did everything right but still has to work in a pizza shop. I also love that Trey was a psychology grad.
- I loved when Brianna called Malik out. Malik might be an attractive boy and Bri’s best friend, but what he did was not right. I’m so here for more boys being called out for playing with feelings and being uncertain. However, Malik is also not a villain and they were able to patch up their friendship even after that kiss.
- I was always nervous that Supreme would turn out to do something shady and things would blow up, so I’m so glad that Brianna didn’t get her come up through him.
- Other things I loved: The memes, Blackout (aka Bossip), Dat Cloud (aka Sound Cloud.) As a pop culture lover I loved this.
Thanks Brianna! Your passion for rap will stand out.