Nobody really needs a sleepy 40-something white woman’s vague and poorly expressed opinion of a YA book written by a Black woman for Black teens, but if that’s something you’re actually interested in, here you go:
I really enjoyed it! I had a huge suspension-of-disbelief problem with the existence if the titular VR game (I think the book is being mismarketed as contemporary when it should be listed as sci-fi), but the real-life issues the book deals with are absolutely contemporary, and it gave me a whole lot to think about. I wish I could articulate my thoughts, but it’s like 1:30 AM and my brain is mush so all I’ve got is: book good, me have feelings.
I will say that parts of this book made me full-body cringe because I was a lot like the main character Kiera’s white friends Harper and Wyatt at that age, saying and thinking racist stuff that I thought couldn’t possibly be racist because I, myself, could not possibly be a racist. “We’re all the same on the inside! I don’t see color! I have a [insert minority here] friend!” Ugh. This book made me uncomfortable, but in a good personal growth kind of way. If only extra-white teen me could have read it! It could have saved my POC friends heaps of unintentional aggravation.