Brilliant book, touched on so many social and economic realities that it's easy to turn a blind eye to IF we're never directly confronted with them i
Brilliant book, touched on so many social and economic realities that it's easy to turn a blind eye to IF we're never directly confronted with them in our lives. And even if we are, we probably feel powerless to effect any real substantial change (although I suppose once you touch or change one persons life, that should be substantial enough). Finally an outlet, a chance to see the process of how that change could be put in motion.
Without directly lecturing you, this book covers socioeconomic divides that are built into our system and minds, fleshing them out a bit with a variety of in depth characters and perspectives, and brief glances into their lives and psyche; it also partially, but not fully (because is it possible to fully understand and analyze another human, even if we have the knowledge of what they went through) explores aspects of what shaped these young killers as they move through various stages and become our worst nightmares.
Most importantly for me, it forces the reader to look inward at our values - involving us as readers and explorers through the characters but also as participants as the jury. Throughout the book, I became more and more convinced of my convictions, strongly assuring and rationalizing with myself what was right or wrong and what JUSTICE stood for BUT with the last final twist of Seths brilliant plot, i faltered on my own convictions and suddenly, when given agency and made to act, I no longer wanted to act on my convictions.
Noooooooooo I can't do it! I want there to be redemption, to hope for better possibilities - all the while, realistically knowing that redemption and hope are limited in so many ways. So. Definitely had ME going through a slew of self criticism and evaluation. This book supports itself on structural and institutional faults, while providing an understanding of the characters flaws. It will also force you to confront your OWN flaws and participation in these faults, and that's what makes a book brilliant!
The premise is unrealistic - I think that's the point. If this had been done before, the world would (one would hope) be drastically different. But perhaps, it wouldn't be. Without giving it away, the ending of the book disappointments me - we aren't told what really changed - did any rules, laws, systems differ to better lead our youth away from violence and gangs and make our society more conscious of its underlying toxicity? Then again, it's unfair to expect the author to offer a tangible or easy solution to issues of racism, sexism, capitalism etx and so my slight disappointment with the ending has to be kept in check (hence why I gave it 5 stars).