This is a compelling, powerful and needed book that challenges some cultural assumptions in ways that make it a really good read. Kiera Johnson is seventeen, Black, hard-working, and a secret game developer of a popular online role-playing game called SLAY. When a teen’s death is linked to the SLAY world, her game gets labeled as “anti-White” and violent. Kiera must then work to protect her identity and her game. Kiera and the other characters were interesting, especially Steph, Malcolm, and Cicada although sometimes they seemed more superficial than I liked. I also didn’t like the way the parents were presented and treated by the main character. Kiera was engaging in some ways but sometimes she just seemed flat and how/what she did seemed a bit unrealistic. The writing is clear, accessible and the story flows easily. Her discussion of Black identity sometimes seemed less clear and as a biracial girl, it didn’t always ring true to any of my experiences or even perceptions. The ending is a bit too “clean” but did make me happy. It’s not the most believable story (how can one girl really do all this if she isn’t a superhero) but the combination of gaming and girl power made it enjoyable and a book that definitely should be read.
|Page Count||336 pages|
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