Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Age Recommended: 16 and up
This book made me uncomfortable- in the best way possible. It pushed my literary limits by using gender-neutral pronouns and was written in a way that made it impossible to put down. The fact that it was based on a true story made my stomach roil, but was worth every page. I think this book is taking some great steps for LGBTQIA+ inclusivity and I would recommend this book to every single person I know (one of my science teachers is already reading it).
Sasha and Richard are high school students that live on opposite sides of Oakland: Sasha lives in the rich white suburbs of Oakland, while Richard struggles to keep his family alive in the poorest section of the city. Their commute on the 57 bus overlaps for exactly eight minutes every day. And those eight minutes are all it takes for their lives to change forever.
One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
Later, Richard won’t be able to justify his actions, not even to himself, much less a jury. But in that moment, Sasha was queer and in a skirt, and Richard couldn’t deal with that. Richard’s actions put him in jail and Sasha in the hospital.
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