I've had a lot of difficulty writing this review, so I've put it off a long while. Not because the book isn't amazing, but because I feel clueless and a noob, in this sphere.
The book is about a young black teenager living in a depressed area of town, with mostly black residents, but who goes to school at a very much mostly white prep school. Her mom and dad come from different backgrounds and have different goals in life, even when it comes to deciding how to raise their kids. Our young protagonist is dating a white guy from school, but hasn't told her dad yet. There's a huge tragedy at the beginning that you might see coming right away. Events then ensue to make everyone's life difficult, and with a current events spin (which you would be right to expect from this YA novel).
What's not expected is how utterly absorbing and appealing this book is. Of course it's teaching us things - that is what YA does, really - so it's teaching young teenagers about a world they may not understand fully. And that goes double for all us adults. I want Thomas to keep writing. I want her to mature this young woman and take her through her life, so I can better understand the struggles of a young black woman in America. Maybe that's selfish. But I truly want to know it, and I want Thomas to be the one to tell me. She has a mighty weapon (a gift, in truth) and she needs to wield it.