Starr Carter lives in a poor neighbourhood with gangs and drugs and violence, but attends a private school with a very different crowd. She is being driven home by a childhood friend, Khalil, who is more recently known around for selling drugs, when they are stopped by police and he is shot, despite doing nothing wrong. The book follows Starr as she deals with her own grief and guilt, her family and community, and the world of her school.
This is an amazing book which covers so much in a single story while being engaging every step of the way. It’s heartbreaking and, in the US, depressingly common.