|Posted by Dee ^_^ on September 28, 2016 at 5:00 PM|
Fact: We all lie sometimes.
Fact: This book is not a lie.
Fact: This book hurts so much in all the best and worst ways possible.
Never before have I been compelled to read an Author’s Note in a fictional work, but then this isn’t entirely fictional. It is based on a harsh reality that was faced not so long ago and on some levels still exist today. This is one of those books that I’ll recommend to anyone that says to me that the #BlackLivesMatter movement is doing more harm than good. Once upon a time it was thought that desegregation would do more harm than good as well.
"The police aren't here to help us.
Their shiny badges are all that's stopping them from yelling with the other white people.
For all we know they trade in those badges for white sheets at night."
Points of note:
- It is a sad fact that this was ever a reality for black people. It is even more sad that things haven’t progressed much further than this, if only by making the hate more subtly manifested.
- The idea that the children were told not to talk back to anyone even teachers is not practical but also probably very necessary as it would cause more trouble than it’s worth.
- The character of Ruth Dunbar at first reminded me of, and is probably meant to be reminiscent of, Ruby Bridges (the first African American to enter a previously all-white school in Louisiana).
"Everyone's counting on me. I can't be a failure. I won't."
I never once imagined that the differences between 'for coloreds' or 'for whites' would extend to something as trivial toilet paper. But, of course it would. If the quality of the cloth was different, why wouldn't the quality of toilet paper be different? It was a shocking dose of reality for me to read that Sarah was surpirsed by the toilet paper at Jefferson. That is what reading this book is like, just having subtle realities handed to you in the simplest of ways, no fuss.
This book made me cry, it had me close to tears at other times, but mostly it made me angry. When I wasn't feeling those things, or even while I was, this book had my heart clenching with anxiety and fear. I actually had to put it down a few times to catch my breath and get my mind in a place where I could calmly read it once more. If you have 'delicate sensibilities' as Jane Austen would have discribed it, you've been warned that this book is not for you. This book leaves you feeling raw.
At first, when I realized that this book would feature romance I was going to flounce. I was adamant to keep up my romance-free reading, but I decided to look up reviews to see just how involved this romance would be.
I should not have done that!
There was this one review that made it seem as though the relationship between Sarah and Linda was half of the book and that made me worried. I put down the book for a couple days contemplating whether it would be worth it, because I really wanted to read this book.
In the end I decided that the story would be worth pushing through, and I'm happy that I made that decision. Yes Sarah and Linda had feelings for each other, yes they had internal struggles regarding those feelings, but that was as far as the relationship went really. There wasn't any of the typical YA mushiness that comes with a romance. Most of the time too much was happening to and around the MCs for them to really focus on feelings more than that.
Not one of us can afford to forget.
My favorite character was actually Chuck. He was the most real one out of all of them. He said things as they were, no sugar coating and no excusing the terrible behavior that they had to endure. He refused to sit and accept that this was the hand fate had dealt him, he was willing to fight to feel equal and I appreciated that so much.
Other characters of note: Judy (Linda's best friend) and Joanie the Quaker.
My colored girl.
Sarah and Linda are the perfect example of why it's important to COMMUNICATE and not just run out of rooms to avoid unpleasantness. Good grief! However Linda's character growth was beautiful to witness. She moved from a closed-minded status quo POV to someone who finally thought for herself.
Avg. Goodreads rating: 4.1 stars
Avg. Amazon rating: 4.3 stars
Avg. Barnes and Noble rating: 4.6 stars
My rating: 5 stars! This book broke my heart and I am glad that it did. If you don't mind some heartache then pick it up!!