It’s 1992 and Ashley is in her last year of high school trying to be a normal student as the world around her is up in flames after the cops get acquitted for beating Rodney King. Ashley finds herself struggling to maintain her friendships and trying to process how she is feeling about what’s going on in LA, her family, and her future. As LA goes up in flames Ashley questions the life she was fortunate to have and has to face the consequences of the mistakes she’s made. Ashley is also fighting to be closer to her sister Jo while he sister is fighting for the people.
Ashley was a black girl going to a predominantly white school because her family is wealthy. Ashley’s friends are all white and at times she finds herself questioning her choice to be friends with the white kids instead of the black kids. I found myself so upset with Ashley’s choice of friends and the racism within her friend group that she just dealt with, it was really hard to read about at times. When she finally got out of her comfort zone and started making new friends it seemed as if she was finally/slowly finding herself and realizing some of her old friendships may have not been right for her.
Lashawn was so cute, the way he easily forgave Ashley showed how much he really cared for her. Ashleys relationship with her parents and sister was heart breaking at times. It’s like no one made time for her and everything was all about her sister.
I loved all the historical facts in this book, I feel like I learned so much about California’s history. I had never heard of Latasha Harlins and had to google her case. I loved the mention of Greenwood a.k.a. Black Wall Street. These historical facts were sometimes hard to process but I loved it.
It took a few chapters for me to get into the writing style but once I did I was all into this book. Christina Hammonds Reed has a unique writing style, she would flip from present to past memories which I found annoying at first but as I continued to read I realized it was necessary to understand Ashley’s current life and feelings. This was an amazing debut book from Christina. I can certainly say I am a fan now, and I definitely recommend this read