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One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite

Rating - 10/10

The young adult books these days that are coming out are just spectacular! Will you just please take a long hard look at this GORGEOUS book cover?! I CANNOT DEAL! This is 100% one of those books that I read simply because of the stunning cover. That melanin glow is just ugh. Immense. I also love that this book was written by two sisters and as soon as I read the plot, I knew I had to read it. One of the Good Ones was published quite recently, on the 5th Jan, 2021. Hot new release. I’d love to give a big thanks to Inkyard Press {Harlequin Publishers} for giving me a free advanced review copy of this book! So glad I read it. Let’s get on with the plot & review then.

The Plot:

The setting is L.A, California. Also Chicago, IL & a few other places but mostly L.A.

We follow a young teen activist named Kezi Smith. Kezi is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally leaving her two sisters, her friends and family completely devastated in the aftermath. Soon, Kezi becomes yet another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality and her younger sister Happi, begins to question the idealized way that her sister is now remembered as. Perfect and angelic. One of the Good ones.

Why is it that only certain types of people are deemed worthy enough to be ‘missed’. Happi and her sister Genny take matters into their own hands and embark on an epic road trip to memorialize and honor Kezi in their own way. They use an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide for the trip. Along the way, the story takes on an unexpected twist that will change everything forever.

My Review:

This book was described as a mix between the books, The Hate U Give & When No One is Watching - both of which I have read and can click on the names to check out my reviews. It is actually pretty much that. If you liked the book The Hate U Give then you will LOVE this read. In fact, I gave The Hate U Give a rating of 9/10 and this book for me, surpassed The Hate U Give. In my opinion. I LOVED this book.

We follow the three sisters, and mainly get the perspectives of Happi and Kezi throughout the book. We get to learn what happened in the story through both their eyes. The book itself is set in three different time spans. The current time, the day that Kezi dies, and way back in the day where we learn about Kezi’s grandparents. It was a stunning story. This format of how the story would switch back and forth really kept you hooked for the entire book. It definitely kept your brain switched on and would make you question what would happen next, which I loved. It was a complete multi-generation story and very relevant and a timely book.

I loved the writing style of this read. It’s pretty impressive that it was written by two sisters actually! The writing was sharp, it was fresh, it was an easy read and the story was told seriously well. From the beginning to end, the pace was perfect and it kept my attention throughout this entire read. I really loved the writing of this book. Very different from The Hate U Give because that book was written more informally than this one was but both were equally good.

The character development in this book was phenomenal. I liked that there weren’t too many of them. It’s full of rich and warm characters and I loved the close knit family vibes too. You can tell that the sisters definitely had their wars with each other, each one was completely different to the other but they definitely all loved each other no matter what. Kezi was a feisty and very relatable character. I think a lot of young kids would be able to relate to her life and her story quite a lot. She was a curious person, she knew what she wanted out of life, she was unafraid, tough, a go getter, and just seriously awesome. I also loved the aspect of her having a YouTube channel and being an influencer. This is definitely something that a lot of young adults can relate to. The way things are these days with social media, it’s all just so in your face and you definitely felt those feelings and the sheer relevance in this book.

I loved that this book mentioned the famous Negro Motorist Green Book. (FYI - if you loved the movie Green Book you’ll also like this book a lot too), which was an actual real life book for black travelers to use so they would know where it was safe to stop for various amenities during the Jim Crow era. I thought this was quite an interesting feature to add to the story and made the book feel more real and also was a great reminder of how far we have come and how long we still have to go as black people.

As you can tell with the subject matter of the book, this story is really not very far from the reality of the world we are now living in. It hit home like real hard. From 2016 to our present time, we have been hit with an absolute shit storm of political activism, for police brutality, racial injustice, systemic racism, the list goes on. This book could not have come out at a better time. It is a timely read and a necessary read. I have to say that yes, it was at times, incredibly hard to read this book, mostly because of just how hard it has been for the black community, for black men and black girls, women in general these past few years. But it is important to be reminded that the struggle is still going on and we can’t stop and we must not forget all of the lives lost due to these issues. This book was a homage to victims such as, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many more endless victims of racial injustice in this country. It also questioned why some victims are worthy of being mentioned and why others aren’t and the controversy behind that. Why it’s usually just ‘the good ones’ that get all of the attention and where many more unmentioned victims go unheard. Especially black women.

This was a pivotal read. I could not recommend this book any more. I recommend this book if you have a middle schooler, or a high-school kid and want them to learn more about activism, racial injustice & police brutality. I highly recommend this book if you would like to read an interesting, gripping and timely read that deals with issues that continue to plague this country. This book had an unexpected surprise twist at the end which I was not expecting and a lot of readers would love or not love, and that’s okay! My mind was just in awe, and I was taken aback by how stunning this book was, how exciting it was, heart pumping and just how freaking awesome it was. I was speechless. I can’t stop thinking about it. It was everything!

It deals with family, death and grief, social and racial injustice, systemic racism, internalized racism, sisterhood & friendships, it deals with LGBTQ issues as well, I mean it has it all. Great writing, a great story, a thrilling read, and a timely and pivotal book for young adults and for adults as well. Please read this book!

Song Pick:

For this song pick, I knew I wanted a song that has to do with social injustice, systemic racism, police brutality and the unjust treatment of black men and women. There are a lot of tracks that I could have chosen from, a lot, which is both good and also depressing that we have to create songs for these issues. There are a lot of amazing tracks out there to do with all of these subjects such as 'I Can't Breathe' by H.E.R, or 'This is America' by Childish Gambino, so many tracks! For this book, I wanted a song that felt very now, timely, and a track that the new generation could relate to and could bop to too. I also wanted a trap track because the characters in the book would totally listen to this. My song pick was, 'The Bigger Picture' by Lil Baby. Massive rapper and a massive talent. This is an incredible song and video. Please watch it Here.

If you would like to learn more about the awesome authors, Maika & Maritza Moulite, Click Here to check out their website.

Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary Fiction | LGBTQ+ | Thriller

Publication Date: January 5, 2021

Pages: 384 Pages



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