C.G. Drews's Reviews > Anger Is a Gift

Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
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it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary, read-2018, ya-male-narrators, young-adult, mental-illness, 5-star

Oh wow this is an incredibly powerful book...just wow. Definitely do. not. miss this one when it's out in May, ok, peoples?!? It's so well written with amazing characters and it just sucks you write in so you're there, experiencing this horribly unfair and frightening world of police brutality and racism...and also strong friendships and love. Moss was amazing and so so relatable.


And honestly, as a white/Australian, this almost felt dystopian at times?! I know it's not. I know this what real black kids in America go through, but it's downright insane. This world is broke, ok, it just is, if kids can be brutalised at school, have their parents murdered in the streets, and be denied opportunities to succeed in life because no one even gives you a chance.

Moss was such an amazing narrator! It's written in 3rd person (MY FAV) and it's such a really close, personal 3rd?!? Like I was so there on Moss' journey. And he starts off this super anxious kid with panic attacks and he just shuts down if he sees a cop because his father was murdered by them. Then things spiral at school and he + his incredibly tight-knit group of friends start to do protests about how bad their school is. (Like zero funding + there's a cop on the school grounds terrorising the kids all the time.) Peoples, it just gets OUT OF CONTROL. It gets bloody and violent and kids get hurt and all because they freaking wanted some textbooks that weren't falling apart.

This book is about horrible things happening to good people and it's SO UNFAIR.

OH oh and the relationships are everything?! Moss and his mum are so so close!! It's the sweetest thing ever and brb sobbing a bit. Plus Moss has dozens of exceptional friends (I ADMIT: I got really confused with the secondary characters because it is a huge cast, buuut that's just me.) And the romance is literally tHE CUTEST THING EVER. Moss is gay and meets Javier on the train and they just...they are a smoosh of wholesome cuteness. Javier is like this excitable super extra dork (!!) and Moss is this anxious softhearted squish. THEM THO.

(I do love how open and honest everyone was with each other even if I found it a smidge unrealistic. LOL! Everyone just outright talked about their needs, feelings, mental health, and was so supportive?? So it was wholesome and good! Don't get me wrong! But how are teenagers this functional haha.)

Look it's definitely going to punch your feels. And I think it should. But there was one part where I just...ohhh, the puddle on the floor is me.

This story is important and hits you really hard with realities. NO sugar coating. NO stepping down. I honestly can't fathom living in a society like that?? so I'm glad books like this exist because the world needs to know and I hope this book gets into a sheer ton of black teens' hands. It's definitely up there with The Hate U Give, Dear Martin and Tyler Johnson Was Here.

(quotes taken from the eARC)

"Wait," said Shamika. "Did you give him your number before or after?" [seeing a panic attack]
"After. Why?"
"Whew," she said, throwing her hands up. "Marry that man right now."
Wanda swatted at her again. "Shamika!"
"Look, I'm just sayin'," she said. "This boy already knows Moss is crazy and is still interested?"

"It's just sometimes I wish my brain worked like everyone else. That I could get through the day without the fear of a breakdown looming over me."

"Anger is a gift.. Remember that." She stood. "You gotta grasp on to it, hold it tight and use it as ammunition. You use that anger to get things done instead of just stewing in it."

His heart swelled with affection and admiration. In a universe so cruel and unfair, so designed to torment him, he'd been given a mother who cared for him, deeply and completely.
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Reading Progress

March 21, 2018 – Shelved
March 21, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
April 22, 2018 – Started Reading
April 22, 2018 –
11.0% "Ohh! This is so good already! Everyone is gay and anxious and has fantastic names. :')"
April 22, 2018 –
31.0% "Boy: [flirts unashamedly with Moss]
Moss: omg
Moss: but does he like me????
Moss: probably just as friends????"
April 24, 2018 –
55.0% "oh 😭😭😭"
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: ya-male-narrators
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
April 25, 2018 – Finished Reading
May 8, 2018 – Shelved as: mental-illness
May 29, 2018 – Shelved as: 5-star

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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C.G. Drews Oh that's so good!

message 2: by George (new)

George Jankovic Wondeful review, CG!

C.G. Drews @George: Thank you!

message 4: by Diane (new)

Diane Wallace Wonderful review, C.G.!

Shelumiel Delos Santos AAAAAAAHH! It makes me immensely happy that you liked this one! More people should be talking about this!

C.G. Drews @Diane: thank you!

C.G. Drews @Shelumiel: Yes yes, why aren't they talking about it!??!? It's amazing and I'm still thinking about it omg. 😭

Shelumiel Delos Santos RIGHT?! Like, Tor Teen has slated a killer tour for Oshiro, with him going on stops with Jason Reynolds, Daniel José Older, and Dhonielle Clayton, among others. But I wish there’s more media coverage that’s targeted at teens specifically, you know? Idk. I haven’t seen it make its rounds among Ig and YouTube’s “influencers.”

C.G. Drews @Shelumiel: yes exactly! Like I didn't know about the tour and I'm guessing most people won't know? (Unless they're stopping by a lot of schools, which would be awesome!) But it should be getting the media hype that THUG got because omg it's right up there for important and needful stories...it is frustrating that books can go so underhyped. 😭

message 10: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Ginny: Well this one isn't even out yet, but It would've been nice to see more pre-release hype!

message 11: by Ellen Gail (new)

Ellen Gail Great review Cait! I've been waiting on this one for ages, I hadn't even realized it had already come out.

message 12: by K.A. (new)

K.A. I want to read this book so badly but the triggers. My step-dad had a hand in killing my mother and abusing me in every way for many years. I completely shut down/have the worst panic attacks with cops, too. But it's such an important book. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to read. <3

message 13: by evi (new) - rated it 5 stars

evi I just finished and- yeah. It's a hard book, but it's important, and it all just feels so possible. High schools in Atlanta have metal detectors. We have two cops on our campus every day. It's so so terrible how possible it feels. But your review is wonderful. <3

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