Hiya everyone, today I have a review of a book I absolutely adored for you! I seriously think you should all pick this up, as I make clear in my review below! Don’t forget to also check out #ownvoices reviews for this book, if you wrote one I’d love if you’d do me the favour of dropping it in the comments so I can boost and link it 🙂 Sasha ❤
This Is My America by Kim Johnson was absolutely fucking phenomenal. Discussing the racism in the justice system and the accusation and incarceration of innocent Black people, along with a thrilling whodunit mystery, told with the powerful & raw voice of a young Black girl determined to find justice for her father, brother and all those wrongly hurt by the system just because they are Black. I am blown away by this wonderful, timely and stunningly written book, and i cannot recommend it enough.
I’m not sure what else to say about this book. I loved Tracy, she was such a complex character, she was so strong and intelligent, driven and passionate.
I was so impressed by how brave Tracy was in the face of adversity and everything that was going on, how determined she was, and I enjoyed seeing how she kept a hold of her dreams and ambitions. She was just such a wonderful character.
I loved Tracy’s relationships with the other characters – the bond between her and her family was beautiful and cute too, they loved each other so much and cared for each other endlessly. Her friendship with her brother was wonderful, I liked their dynamic so much. I also liked her friendship with Tasha a lot.
I personally am team Quincy, but I loved reading her relationship with both him and Dean! The romance aspect wasn’t the biggest, but it was there and it was very enjoyable, I loved how Quincy is there for her no matter what and how clear it is that he cares for, Dean was also alright, I suppose.
The themes of racism and the corrupt justice system and the way they’re intertwined in this book were important and eyeopening. It discusses the harmful stereotypes of thugs and criminals perpetuated onto Black people that can lead to unjust accusations, arrests and imprisonments. Tracy’s brother Jamal is a model student and amazing athlete and yet in the end the police and society still couldn’t see him as anything but a killer when it was a white girl who was killed. Of course, even if Jamal had been a slacker or something, he wouldn’t deserve being branded a thug, but this book shows how in the end, some people refuse to see anything but the colour of someone’s skin and what they associate that colour with when accusing them.
“I want to be angry that Jamal ran, but I can’t blame him. What else are you supposed to do when the world treats you like a monster?”
This was just one of the many important topics This Is My America talked about, bringing up how capitalism and white supremacy hold each other up, how the police target and attack Black people, daily microagressions that Black people, especially Black women, face, and more.
As well as these important discussions, This Is My America was also a wonderful and compulsive mystery. There was a murder to solve, with clues and tidbits left throughout the plot. This was so exciting and kept me so hooked on the plot, I think it’s so impressive how this was one of the best mysteries I’ve read but that was just one of many many amazing aspects of this book!
This is My America was written so well, Tracy is such a distinct voice and the writing was full of her personality and passion, as well as being easy to read and lyrical all at once. It swept me up and made this book even easier to fly through.
Overall this was such a wonderful book that completely blew me away and I cannot recommend it enough, it was so powerful and combined so many well-done aspects to become a groundbreaking success.
"I wanted to go to the police, but they are the police. Who were they going to believe?"