I finished this up a couple of days ago and can’t quite articulate my thoughts. It was a great read. I can’t even begin to understand what it’s like to be in their shoes. From a parent perspective, I can absolutely feel for what Lisa lived with – wanting to raise her kids outside of Garden Heights, wanting to give them every opportunity available to them without them having to live the dangers of simply walking down the street. But I still found myself trying to understand Mav’s point of view – not wanting to turn his back on his community or his people and being a source of positivity and hope. The layers and complexity of that are truly hard to come to terms with – and it’s not as easy as black and white.
I am a huge fan of Tupac and what he did in terms of activism. It was a privilege to grow up in the Bay Area and see how he brought his world into the main stream with such honesty. While the rest of the world was rappin’ about bling and women, his lyrics always depicted life. To see the essence of his work weaved into this novel was such a tribute to the man he was. But even he wasn’t able to turn away from the gang life. I see a lot of Tupac in Mav’s character. There was a brief description of Mav with his snapback hat turned backwards and I swear, I pictured Tupac. I kept picturing King as Suge Knight. Did you know that Tupac wanted to name his daughter Star? If he’d had a daughter, I imagine she would be just like her character in the book.
Maverick’s talks with his daughter were among my favorite parts of the book. They just came across as so real and so freakin’ relevant. They’re conversations I imagine many black families have to have with their children. Even the way Starr had her dad’s voice in her head when she and Khalil got pulled over – knowing how to act and to respond in the presence of officers. Damn that scene was so real.
I found Star’s efforts to reconcile her two worlds really interesting as well. You’d think it would be so easy to just be yourself but not when the world is ready to define you just by the way you look. Oh — and I really liked how Maverick wanted to know WHY – why did she choose a white boy? His comment about having him as her father turned her away from black men really gave me pause. How powerful was that? I enjoyed that conversation and loved that she told him that he taught her what to look for in a MAN.
The names at the end of the book simply broke my heart. Too real and too little change even after all those deaths.
the audiobook for this was truly well done. The narrator brought a grit and energy that the book needed to really show the power & emotion in the story. Though I thought her “Hailey” voice was too cliche “valley girl”
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by Maryrose.