Life was normal for 16-year-old Starr, but that was before she witnessed a tragedy that she struggles to reconcile along with her internalized feelings of alienation in two vastly different worlds. There's the ‘Garden Heights’ Starr, the sole witness to the shooting of her best friend Khalil by the local police and there's also ‘Williamson’ Starr who is the only African American student at her predominately white private school and far removed from Garden Heights and the community problems that live there. With the weight of the community's hunger to avenge Khalil, Starr comes forth hoping for justice, however she quickly learns how complicated things can become. With inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement, along with Starr's introspection, Angie Thomas' creates a sentimental, compelling novel that proves that we should always do what is right, even when it is hard.
— Teasha Kirkwood
Eight Starred Reviews #1 New York Times Bestseller
"Absolutely riveting " --Jason Reynolds
"Stunning." --John Green
"This story is necessary. This story is important." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Heartbreakingly topical." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A marvel of verisimilitude." --Booklist (starred review)
"A powerful, in-your-face novel." --The Horn Book (starred review)
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does--or does not--say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.