I was excited to see Oprah pick this for her book club, because I do think it deserves to get the spotlight. It's absolutely astounding to be that Mottley was in her teens when she wrote this - it's incredibly nuanced, deep, and moving.
A few years ago, in Oakland, CA, several police officers were indicted after reports came out that they had been involved in a sexual exploitation ring involving an underage girl. This novel is centered around this girl and what her experience might have been like. Mottley created her very own authentic character in Kiara - a young woman who is fighting to survive, no matter how high the odds are stacked against her. There are lots of triggering and downright haunting scenes in this book (revolving around the abuse and other areas of her life too, where she is forced to prove her worth as a young black girl). I was moved to tears several times while reading this because the story feels so heart-wrenching and real.
Above all, I was most drawn to Mottley's writing style. You can tell she is a poet with the way she turns even the most gruesome sentences into beautiful phrases. Mottley is so damn talented and the world is lucky to have been treated to her brilliance.
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