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The Cost of Knowing

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,006 ratings  ·  317 reviews
Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End in this gripping, evocative novel about a Black teen who has the power to see into the future, whose life turns upside down when he foresees his younger brother’s imminent death, from the acclaimed author of SLAY.

Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop;
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 6th 2021 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  1,006 ratings  ·  317 reviews

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Brittney Morris
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
My love letter to all the Black men who had to grow up too early.
Lauren Lanz
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
“To all the Black boys who had to grow up too early.”

The dedication above encapsulates this story perfectly. It’s a love letter and a wake up call bundled together in a package both heartbreaking and beautiful.

~★~ What is this book about? ~★~

The Cost of Knowing follows Alex, a teenage boy who lost his parents in an accident years ago. He now lives with his aunt and little brother Isaiah, who are some of the few pieces of happiness left in his life. Alex has the strange ability to see the fut
i have mixed feelings, but one thing's for sure—the love between alex and isaiah hit me so. hard.

first, though: can we just take a sec to appreciate this stunning cover art by alvin epps????

thank you netgalley and simon & schuster canada for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


the cost of knowing is, above all, brittney morris' love letter to all the Black men who had to grow up too early.

four years ago, alex rufus lost both his parents i
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
TW for death of a loved one, racism, and anxiety

This one is definitely a lot to read and so hard to rate. Ever since his parents died, Alex has been able to see the immediate future of anything he touches. He's learned to live with it, but it's affecting his relationships with his girlfriend and his brother, especially when he has visions off is girlfriend angry with him and his brother dying. Every single vision of his comes true, so Alex must race to spend time with his brother and protect him
Maddie (Inking & Thinking)
⭐️ 3.5 Stars ⭐️

Alex Rufus is trying to do the best he can in his life. He tries to be the best employee, he tries to be the best boyfriend for Talia, and he tries to be the best brother for Isiah. But Alex always manages to come up short. For Alex, it’s hard for him to stay in the present when every object he touches shows him the future. When he touches his car, he sees it totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the edge of breaking up. When Alex touches a photo of his f
DNF at 48%

Let me just say that this is not a bad book by any means. I think it is very successful in what it's trying to do, but I wasn't expecting some things that made it difficult for me to continue reading. And maybe I should have known as it has been comped to They Both Die at the End, which I had similar feelings about.

The Cost of Knowing is a love letter to Black boys, following a teen boy who has been "cursed" with the ability to see visions of the future when he touches things, ever si
  ✧・゚⁽⁽ଘ Shreya ଓ⁾⁾✧・゚
~Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!~

Joy in the face of oppression is its own kind of bravery.

My Rating: 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was my first ARC review with Netgalley and it was amazing!

First Impressions\Overall Thoughts: This book drew me in from the start. I absolutely loved how it had fantasy elements while also being centered around real-life issues such as racism, the danger of stereotypes, anxiety, and grief. Brittny Morris did a gre
Aug 16, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: cover-porn, bipoc
this cover makes me remember how much i love men.
Marieke du Pré
Apr 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It’s okay to be afraid of the future. It’s okay to be anxious. Men get anxious. Men are afraid sometimes.

The Cost of Knowing is an incredibly powerful story. It’s about toxic masculinity. It’s about brotherhood. It’s about love. But above all, it’s about a Black boy who is never carefree.

Imagine: being Black and male. Always being afraid. Being worried all the time. Being anxious.

Imagine: touching someone and then envisioning what will happen. A break-up, someone in trouble, someone dying.

May 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
The cost of knowing is about a brother who can see into the future simply by touching something. So when he sees a glimpse of his brother dying he decides there is things In his life that need to change.

I felt this was well written. I loved the sibling love and also the different topics it covered. I gave this an A-
Anika  | Chapters of May
Mar 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
The Cost of Knowing is a gripping YA story that explores brotherhood, prejudice, and resilience from the author of SLAY.

The Cost of Knowing follows sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus and his brother, Isaiah. Years ago, their parents were killed in a car accident, leaving Alex and Isaiah to be raised by their aunt in Chicago. After traumatic loss, Alex finds he has the ability to see the future through touch, and after picking up an old family photo, he has a vision that tells him Isaiah might die. Now
Kinda Oedipus Rex-y, without any sex... y.

Alex is keeping a big secret. Since his parents died in a car accident 4 years ago, he's been able to see the future of anything his hands touch. The ability is so overwhelming that he's become reclusive from his Aunt Mackie, his girlfriend Talia, and even his little brother Isaiah. But Isaiah has become distant too. He doesn't have friends anymore, and only talks to Alex when he has to. One day, Alex's vision shows him at Isaiah's funeral. In an instant
When I first saw The Cost of Knowing the cover blew me away! Gorgeous rendition by illustrator Alvin Epps showing two beautiful young black men.

Alex and Isaiah are brothers. They have lost their parents in a car accident. Life obviously has not been the same since their parents death. Each has found their own coping strategies. I loved how Morris developed the relationship between the two brothers. Their closeness, Alex's protectiveness and how he chooses to spend time with Isaiah were a beautif
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020, arc
This book wrecked me, but in a way that it probably needs to.

Alex is a young man with the gift, and curse, of seeing future events when he touches someone or an item. As much as he is able, he tries to not touch people he loves, not after he saw his best friend's death and was unable to stop it. But an accidental touch of a photograph shows him mourning at his younger brother's grave site. Alex is devastated, and determined to spend as much time with his brother as possible after spending years
Jun 09, 2020 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
'Two brothers are cursed. Alex can see the future. Isaiah can see the past. When Alex, the older, sees a vision of Isaiah dying in a few days, cue a race against time to track where this family curse came from & figure out what it means to be a Black boy in the present.'

I can't waitttt

Jun 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
So damn emotional and tragic... Brittney Morris is such an amazing author I will read everything she puts out
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 14-and-15
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

First off, let's get this out of the way. Slay was incredible. I genuinely couldn't believe it was Morris's debut when I read it.

The Cost of Knowing is so good that it managed to remind me that Slay was a debut.

16-year-old Alex is trying to navigate having a girlfriend, part-time job, his relationship with his aunt and brother, and the expectations of his dead parents. That's all a lot even for kids without magical c
Elizabeth Turnbull
The Cost of Knowing is a gut-wrenching tale of generational trauma, racial profiling, grief, racism, and loss. It's the story of Alex and what it's like for him to be a Black boy in America.

Overwhelmed by anxiety since his parents' death, Alex is just trying to survive each day. Visions of the future come unbidden with every touch of his palm, amplifying his worry. When he sees a vision of his younger brother's imminent death, Alex resolves to spend whatever time he has left bringing Isaiah the
Taylor (Taylor Talks Tales)
Actual rating 4.25 stars out of 5.

Full review to come later, but I really enjoyed this one!
Mar 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: racism, suicidal ideation, self-harm, anxiety

The Cost of Knowing explores the concept of the future. If you had the ability to see a snippet of the future, what would you do? I feel like we think about this often, but the actual manifestation of it, and Alex's powers, would actually be terrifying. How would we divert, or prevent, the future? How would we know how much of our life
Laisea (grayscalebooks)
May 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 ✨ rounded up. There were many parts of this book that I loved — the superpowers, the relationship between Alex and Isaiah (and Aunt Mackie!), the Black boy joy, and so many thematic elements (toxic masculinity, covert racism, generational trauma, the dehumanization of Black children, etc etc etc). I strongly considered rating it higher than 3.5 because a book that covers alllll of that definitely deserves credit. Unfortunately, like many other readers, I felt like I was going through the mir ...more
May 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Joy in the face of oppression is its own kind of bravery. But so is sitting in front of the thing that scares you and not running” (09:30:22). This is Brittney Morris’ love letter to Black men who had to grow up too soon.
Claire Tierney
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Picked this up because I had heard great things about Slay (which is on my end of year TBR pile).

Also because it's so rare (is it just me?) to read YA with a male protagonist and I was intrigued by Alex's visions into the future.

This book was so sad but yet such a good read. The weight of the past and the anxiety which the future holds especially given Alex's gift/curse is so prevalent and constantly makes you think: What would I do?

The characters' grief is terribly raw and maybe that's why th
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing a copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review.


Whoever makes the rules controls the narrative.

Brittney Morris is incredibly talented; there’s no denying that. There are a lot of wonderful things going on in this novel — finding joy in the face of trauma, ruminating on what is inherited from our ancestors, and forgiving our past choices. For those bits alone, this is a special story. Make no mistake — it is remarkably sad, but it
Hannah Barnes
Mar 11, 2020 marked it as to-read
I know nothing about this book, other than that it's by Brittney Morris, and so that means it will be amazing and I can't wait to read it! ...more
Jun 21, 2020 marked it as not-yet-released
i don't like ice cream but I do love ice cream shops ...more
Rachel Churcher
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is also available on my blog, Unsupervised in a Bookstore .

Alex Rufus is sixteen. He lives with his Aunt Mackie and his younger brother Isaac in an upmarket neighbourhood in Chicago - the only black family on their street. After the accident that killed his parents, Alex woke up in hospital and discovered that everything he touched gave him a vision of something that would happen to that object in the future. He can't tell anyone - they'd assume he was lying or traumatised - so he
somewhere between 3 and 4.

Reading the synopsis, I expected this book to be more on the sci fi side of things - a boy who can see the future finding out his little brother will die soon? - sounds fantastical to me. But The Cost of Knowing definitely errs more towards realistic contemporary (with the addition of magical powers, sure)

This book is about family, grief, brothers, relationships, life and everything in between. The best part of the book is definitely the relationship between Alex and h
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-mrs-darcy
“The more I think about how it went down--the drive to the graveyard, the drive home, the pizza bites in my room, and the BeatBall, the concert, and the run for our lives--the more I realize that I wouldn’t have done anything differently...People are always chasing after impossible things. We want what we can’t have. We ask questions we don’t fully understand, looking for answers we wouldn’t be able to handle...My visions took all of that away.”

They woke up with their first visions the day the d
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Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY, THE COST OF KNOWING, and MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES - WINGS OF FURY. She holds a BA in economics from Boston University and has written for video games including The Lost Legends of Redwall, and Subnautica: Below Zero. She spends her spare time reading, playing indie video games, and enjoying the rain from her home in Philadelphia. She lives with her ...more

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