This is going to be a tough review for me to get into words. I got this book through NetGalley, and ended up both giving it 3* and also DNFing it (Did Not Finish). The 3 stars was for the content, personally this is not the type of writing style that I enjoy, although the content was informative, and I would not run to pick it up again. It’s the DNF factor that is tough in this review.
I DNFd the book because, I felt like I shouldn’t be reading it? The strongest feelings I had throughout the 50% of the book that I did read were of injustice, hatred (justifiably so) and that this book was not meant for me. And it’s not. This book, in my opinion, is written by black Chicagoans, and is intended for black Americans. Now I know that we should read books that aren’t aimed at us and expand our bases, however, this felt in essence like I was intruding. Like I was listening to something that I shouldn’t get to listen to.
I will say, I learnt a lot about “Chiraq” from what I read, and I can see the struggles that happen every day. The police in this city have some serious explaining to do, but let’s be real. That’ll never happen. This is a tough book, about a tough subject, about lives that are lived every day in an area where the police are more like the army than anything else. Racism abound towards black people, despite the majority of people in the neighbourhood being black, and essentially the rest of America stays silent.
I encourage you to pick up this book, even if you DNF it like I did. It’s something that needs to be highlighted as an issue, and these voices need to be heard. Black Lives Matter. Full stop. Maybe this book can help more people realise that.