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4.44  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for black gamers

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only black kids at
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: September 24th 2019 by Simon Pulse
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4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  268 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Brittney Morris
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I mean, I think it's pretty cool.
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I need more books about gamer girls in my life and a badass black gamer girl who creates her own video game and takes some racist POS to task? YES. PLEASE.
Sep 18, 2018 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts  ·  review of another edition


This is inspired by Black Panther and sounds so awesome that I'm just a bunch of exclamation points right now re: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More info about it here
Lauren (The Novel Lush)
I'm going to really work on this review so I'll probably edit it several times, but MY GOD this book is so fucking GOOD! So much of our culture packed in 300 some odd pages. Generations of Black nuances and expression everywhere I looked. UPLIFTING Black people of all shades, all genders, all sexualities, all personalities.

Aside from that, this book is just a piece of art! The thought and world building in the game alone. THOSE CARDS FRIGGING SENT ME! Can we actually have this game please? PLEAS
Do you believe in love at first sight?

I do now. I was lusting over the cover of this book when I saw it advertised for #Bookcon2019. But now that I have finally gotten my hands on it and gotten a chance to read it I know that this is the book that I wanted to read as a little girl. As a Black woman I appreciate the depth of this novel and I'm sitting here reeling as it is Brittney Morris's first novel. I will certainly be buying copies of this book for the Kieras in my circle. Waiting with baite
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was not made for me, but that's okay--that's kind of the point. As a white person, I'm so very rarely the person on the outside looking in, and so it's good and important and wonderful that I felt that way while reading this. I'm meant to be aware that I'm in a space not built specifically for me. So when I say, yeah, I absolutely adored this book...I can only begin to imagine how this book feels for black readers.

SLAY digs into some incredibly difficult topics, but does so with poise
Claire ✨
In this mixed bag of novel, where the video game logistics don't make sense and the characters are boring, SLAY falls far short of slaying.

Oh boy. Here's an accurate depiction of my reaction from the start of this book to the end:

The biggest problem with SLAY is that the video game itself just isn't plausible.

The protagonist, Kiera, is a hard-working student with high grades who created and now maintains SLAY without her parents or anyone else knowing. I had so many questions that made it imposs
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
I've been wavering between 3.5 and 4 stars since completing SLAY. It's basically a 4 star book but I have a HUGE gripe with the 'twist'. Not only do I have a gripe, it only gets addressed within the span of 2-3 pages. Even after a month, I still feel unsatisfied. I don't even know how to talk about it without spoiling it, so I'll mark the spoiler below.

Before I get to that, I will address all the positives :)


Kiera Johnson or "Emerald" - a teen game developer of an online game called
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, coming-soon-19
This book is a powerful debut that makes me extremely excited to see what Brittney Morris does next. The ending was the best part, the climax and conclusion equal parts action-packed, subversive and heartfelt. SLAY is a short and smart novel about the importance of freedom, pride and safe spaces where people can be their kickass selves in today’s frustratingly unjust society. Rating: five YASS cards/five

For fans of: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, Warcross by Marie Lu, Black Panther: World of Wa
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was privileged enough to beta-read this novel as is was getting sent to publishers. I was delighted to learn that it found a home with Simon Pulse and that more readers will have the opportunity to read this wonderful book!

Slay is fresh, exciting, and perfectly placed in time when the discussion of what safe spaces are and who deserves them is taking place nationally and internationally. Hundreds of thousands of people have found a safe place in the video game Slay, and the feeling of that spa
tl;dr: I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK! My inner gamer nerd is over the moon.

cw: a Black teenager - not one of the central protagonists - is murdered; the violence is not described.

I've been gaming since Atari and Sierra games on the Apple IIgs. One of the magical things Morris has done with this glorious gamer nerd book is make me repeatedly nostalgic for so many of my favourite games over the years: my first LPMud, Asheron's Call, Aion, some of the truly excellent releases of World of War
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We are a diaspora. We span hundreds of shades, religions, traditions, and cultural nuances. If you don't understand what some of these cards mean, blame the slave trade.

I had a lot of feelings about this book, almost all of them mixed, but I came to the conclusion that although this book is for me in some ways, in many ways it is not. I'm a black, queer woman and over time I have come to terms with each of those identities separately and as a whole. It took a while, all of high school and coll
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do I give this book more than 5 stars? Thank you Queen Brittney Morris.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the highest hopes for Slay as it is one of my most anticipated reads for Fall. And I was not disappointed! Talk about a book that deals with cyber bullying, safe spaces, racism, and assimilation. From page one I fell in love with Slay. Kiera's difficulties fitting in with her peers at school, forced to be the POC representative, all while feeling the pressure to represent her identity. Feeling always like it's hard to find a space to just exist - without needing to worry about what our act ...more
oh my god i need this
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
White people have an obligation to bear witness to this story. This book explores levels of complexity in code-switching, racism, sexism, classism, sexism within racism, classism within racism, racism within racism, and what it means to be an ally that, as a white person, we can never understand—and being able to see them (as best we can) through Kiera’s VR headset is a gift. This is the reality of the world we have created, and this gives a glimpse of how complicated that world is to navigate f ...more
Max Baker
Thank you Edelweiss for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review

Slay is one of those books that is unapologetically black. It's not afraid to showcase different aspects of black culture and black excellence, but isn't afraid to bite into a variety of issues and nuances that exist within the black community. This book is undoubtedly going to be compared to The Hate U Give by virtue of being a book about a black girl and black culture. However, where The Hate U Give focuses
*I received an arc from Book Con.

Yes yes yes! Slay is everything I needed and SO MUCH MORe.

Being black doesn't refer to one single type of person. We are a diverse group of people with different backgrounds, languages, hair types, triumphs and dreams. This book captures that in such a beautiful way. I literally want to shove this book into the hands of everyone I run into.

Kiera is a BAD. ASS. WOMAN that I absolutely stan. She is so casually successful. There aren't any questions raised as to
Liselle Sambury
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky to get an advance copy at BookCon and this book is wonderful. It’s an amazing combination of entertainment and heartfelt moments. I love seeing black girls in STEM celebrated and this book also touched on how connected with social justice teens today are even as they keep learned. It also got into the individual challenges of learning what it means to you to be black while growing up as a teen and discovering your identity beyond how people think you should be. A MUST read ❤ ...more
You are a queen, and this is your game.

SLAY is fun, poignant, wicked smart, and absolutely ferocious.

Kiera is, frankly, Girl Genius. At 17, she's created the MMORPG "SLAY", as a place to have fun, feel safe, and express herself online. SLAY is a VR game that combines the best parts of World of Warcraft, Yu Gi Oh, and black culture, and has gained thousands of fans from New Orleans to Egypt. But she hasn't told her friends, family, or boyfriend - they all have such strong opinions on how Africa
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Warcross/Black Panther mash-up I didn't know I needed. SLAY hits so many marks of a great YA book: it's thoughtful, brilliant, funny, and emotional. The dichotomy between Kiera's two lives and her relationships with her white friends and her black boyfriend is complex and nuanced but still feels very much from a teen perspective. I loved this book!
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a super quick read with snappy writing that made things breeze by, in a very pleasant way. Kiera's a geeky girl hero who is very charming and a great role model for any young girl reading this, especially a young black girl. She's super smart and into STEM and has created a video game world for black people where they can feel a sense of community without having to 'fit in' to the mostly white world of online gaming. Cicada is also a REALLY great character, and I actually wish that the s ...more
Bang Bang Books

As I have stated in other reviews, I mostly read YA fantasy and when I read a YA contemporary I expect to be moved. I expect to learn something new; to laugh out loud; to cry; or to be inspired. If I don't get any of that from a contemporary, I'm not going to rate it high. I also judge books based on their contemporaries. Was Slay better than The Hate U Give or Poet X? No, therefore I can't give it as high a rating than those books.

Slay was a good book and I will definitely recommend it to al
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
2.5 stars from me (rounded up)

This was tough for me to get through. I have so many thoughts and emotions about this one. There was just SO MUCH going on that it was hard to figure out what to focus on. I found myself skimming a good portion towards the end because it was either far too descriptive and had nothing to do with the overall story, or it was simply repetitive (as most of this story was).

grace louise
\\But basically this book was bold and heart-wrenching and fabulous and ballsy and I reallyyyy liked it.
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
This was a nice surprise in the mail! I didn't know of this book until Simon & Schuster had sent it to me to review. But now that I know of it... sounds like it could be my jam!

In the words of a wise man: "You had my curiosity... now you have my attention."

So exciting!
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will quickly join the ranks of books such as "The Hate U Give" and "Children of Blood and Bone". The discussion of our right to safe spaces is relevant and real and will resonate cross culturally.

Slay is a book about a girl who feels ostracized from the gaming community and decides to make a VR game exclusively for people of color. It's a game celebrating black culture. Trouble starts when the game is brought in front of news channels due to tragic circumstances of one of the players.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.7 stars. Video review coming soon. At least... It better be.
Brenna Clark
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been so excited for this book because Ready Player One is one of my favorite novels, and the fact that this was pitched as that meets Black Panther had me on the floor with anticipation! I was so ready to disappear into the virtual world that Kiera had created, and to see the life that Brittney had given her characters up close and personal. From the synopsis alone, I was hooked, and this story definitely delivered. You get two very different universes, and Brittney does an amazing job se ...more
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Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY. She holds a BA in Economics from Boston University because back then, she wanted to be a financial analyst. (She's now thankful that didn't happen). She spends her spare time reading, playing indie video games, and enjoying the Seattle rain from her apartment. She lives with her husband Steven who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods becau ...more
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“As we duel, as we chat, there's an understanding that "your black is not my black" and "your weird is not my weird" and "your beautiful is not my beautiful," and that's okay. It' brings tears to my eyes if I think about it too long.” 0 likes
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