February 17, 2020

#BookReview: Slay by Brittney Morris






Synopsis: By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the "downfall of the Black man."

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for "anti-white discrimination."

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
 


Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: ★★★★
My Review: This Ready Player One for black culture is one that I won't soon forget.  Although, I do think that this book isn't for everyone if gaming and coding is your thing then you will totally enjoy it.  I for one did enjoy parts of it but others were kind of meh for me.  This one reminded me of another book that had a girl who created an anonymous social form for his school. It was a safe space for people to chat and create meetings and it worked.  I really loved that part of this story.  Where one girl created this amazing game for people to play.  The one issue I had was the timeline.  I really wonder where this book was set as you get a clear view of the tech that is being used but it seemed well beyond what we have today.  The other issue I had was when parts of the gaming areas were just very slow.  That doesn't really happen in these types of games.  I used to play WOW a lot growing up.  And lastly the whole banning anyone that wasn't black was kind of a turn off.  Why not have a safe place for everyone to play?  


Overall this was a great book with a few issues. 










Washington Post’s 18 Books to Read this Fall
Refinery29’s 12 Books Everyone Will be Talking about This Season
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A New York Public Library Top Ten Best Books of 2019
Book Riot’s Fall Books to Add to Your TBR Pile
ABA Top Ten Indie Next Pick
ABA Indies Introduce selection
Junior Library Guild Selection
B&N Teen Blog’s 20 Biggest YA Debuts of the Fall
Bookish’s Fall 2019 Can’t-Miss Young Adult Books
Bustle’s 20 Captivating New Books From 2019 To Snap You Out Of a Reading Slump

“Gripping and timely.” —People 

“The novel Black girl nerds have been waiting for.” —Refinery29

“Morris immerses readers in the world of gaming with her charged, timely, and witty debut.” —Entertainment Weekly

“[A] snappy YA debut.” —Washington Post

“Unlike anything out there . . . Easily the best debut novel of the year.” —Paste Magazine

“A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that'll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain.” —Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out

“More than a novel, SLAY is a conversation about safe spaces, why they’re necessary for minorities, and why we should champion their right to exist without being branded exclusionary or racist.” Booklist, starred review

“[A] not-to-be-missed YA debut.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Morris does a fantastic job of showing diversity within the black community. . . . Gamers and black activists alike will be ready to SLAY all day.” Kirkus Reviews

“Readers are invited to learn about the black experience in game culture through a compelling new lens. Exploring different versions of the African American experience, this is an important title for public and school libraries.” —School Library Journal

“Kiera is so many of us Blerds; and Morris has truly captured the holistic experiences of many Black digital users.” The Horn Book 

“Readers will cheer for Kiera as she slays her own demons, and they’ll come away from the novel desperately wishing SLAY were more than the product of Morris’ imagination.” BookPage

“Offers a richly global perspective on the Black diaspora.” BCCB

“Wildly entertaining and impressively insightful. Morris is absolutely an author to watch.” —Sara Grochowski, McLean and Eakin Booksellers (Petoskey, MI)

“I was captivated from the very first page and found myself quickly falling in love with Kiera but even more for what Kiera stood for. I cannot wait for more from Brittany Morris!” —Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books (Fort Collins, CO) 









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 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 




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