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I really love Slay, I read it as part of a book club that I am in but I really wanted to read it before that it just gave me more of an excuse :P I thought this book was amazingly written and I definitely recommend it to anyone!
Spoilers below! [ Introduction: Slay is written by Brittany Morris. It is a book that styles itself as being a mix of ready player one meets the hate u give, although I feel like this book is still much more than that. It dives into racism in all forms and for me, this definitely makes it a must-read. I will be coming at this as both as an eye-opening experience in regards to racism and as a reader who enjoys playing video games.
Character Development: Really awesome, I loved the way Kiera grew throughout the story and I loved learning about Claire and Steph! Their relationships with each other were really well written and felt very real to me. I think my two issues was that Malcolm really never grew or learned throughout the book and I also wished we had a bit more of an insight into Wyatt to see how much he grew, I feel like this book focused more on the girl's development instead of it being more balanced which I would have preferred. 4/5
World Development: The world was gorgeously developed and I really loved learning about Slay, about coding, and about the world that the story is set in, regarding France and America. The way that Brittany wrote the world of slay tells me that she has played (and maybe coded?) video games as it was amazing! I loved learning about Black culture as I am trying to educate myself more so it was nice learning about it through this story. I loved the fact that we got representation for trans too 5/5
Pacing: I feel like the pacing of the book was a bit slow at the start but it quickly even out and became consistent throughout. I did feel like it went a bit too fast towards the end though and I wish it has slowed down a bit. 4/5
Language: There were a few things I struggled to understand, mostly due to the references to coding for example. There were times when some of the racist comments I got uncomfortable reading it but I understood its purpose to educate people and its important. Due to some of the language, I struggled to understand (maybe more of an explanation is needed just to make things clearer?) I give it 4/5
Plot Development: Loved it! I thought it was a really fun read and the concept was really well done in this book. 5/5
In conclusion: I believe that slay is a must-read for anyone not just for the education but also because it’s a really fun read that is really enjoyable. I am really looking forward to reading more from Brittany Morris! Score: 22/25 =88% = 5 stars! (hide spoiler)]
I don't know how to properly write a review for this, because SLAY was just so so good! I didn't really knew what to expect going into this book and tbh, I'm not that much into video games, so I wasn't sure it would be a story for me. But the reviews here on Goodreads were so positive I needed to give this book a try. And I loved it.
The story itself is quite simple. Kiera creates a video game just for Black people and when one of the players gets killed she feels kind of guilty and struggles with the situation that suddenly everyone knows her game and has an opinion on it. And because it's a game just for Black people there's obviously a lot discussion about racism going on. In fact, I think I've never read a YA book that talks so plainly about racism, which was something I really enjoyed. (To be fair, I also haven't read The Hate U Give yet.) ”Slay” covers a lot of topics and gives insight into a lot of stuff Black people face every day, not just from white people, but also how differently they deal with the racism they experience.
What I really liked was that we didn't just got to Kiera’s POV but also some chapters from other players. It was so enjoyable to see how much Slay means to different players and why it means so much to them. I was tearing up here or there when it was described how important it was to them to have this place online where they can be just themselves because that's a concept everyone can in one way or another relate to, I guess. I also absolutely loved the relationship between Kiera and her sister Steph. They were fighting sometimes but when they needed each other they were there to support one another. The same thing with her friend Harper, who sometimes was asking really ignorant questions but in the end was willing to learn and grow. And lastly Claire, who was also such a good friend to Kiera. I kinda wish we had more chapters from her perspective as well.
As far as the gaming aspects go I have no idea how realistic or not they were, but it sure was a lot of fun to read about Slay and how the game works. The only thing that I thought was maybe a bit unrealistic was Kiera starting to create the game when she was fourteen years old. I don't really know anything about game developing but it sounds a bit unrealistic to me that a fourteen-year-old can manage to host a game that big, time and money-wise.
And lastly, my only point of criticism would be, that it was in my opinion too big of a coincidence who the bad guy was in the end, that it was someone Kiera knew, who lived in the same city as her. Slay is a game a lot of people play all over the world and the one person who wants to troll her is of all things that person? Really? But character development-wise the decision to make the bad guy someone Kiera knows made total sense and I did like the ending. So it's just a minor criticism. It was still just a little bit too convenient for my liking.
5.0 out of 5 starsKeira anonymously developed and runs the popular online game #SLAY as a refuge from the oppressive casual racism she faces daily. Then a young player is murdered due to a dispute over the game's currency and Keira's life is upended.
I really enjoyed reading SLAY. I felt lots of empathy towards Keira and Claire - both of them intelligent young women with outside forces causing them anguish. I'm old, white, from a foreign land and don't play online - definitely not the demographic this novel aims for - but it's written so well, so inclusively, that you cannot help but imagine what they're going through without feeling great sympathy. Well done to Brittney Morris - more please!
Kiera has built an online game only for black gamers, when her secret is revealed, she has to face unwanted attention and unexpected consequences.
What an entertaining trip into blackness and greatness !
I was not completely sold on the plot at first, I don't know anything about video games and from the reviews I've read, it seemed a bit too manichean for my tastes. But I'm happy to say I was wrong. Gaming is a big part of the story, but it's mainly about what it means to be black nowadays; there is also an interesting mystery. Plus I completely see myself in one of the characters, I loved how the author took the time to acknowledge all of the black diversity while underlining the common heritage and burden for those being part of the diaspora.
I don't agree with everything but I loved the book. I just can't get a song out of my head now... "cause I slay, I slay, I slay..."
J'ai beaucoup aimé cette histoire. C'est un beau résumé de la complexité à laquelle fait face la jeunesse noire (mais pas que) : entre les opinions internes au peuple et celles de l'extérieur et comment se situer par rapport à ça . L'auteur met en lumière les questions qui font surface aux moments où un jeune se forge sa personnalité : ai-je un avis trop tranché ? Est-ce que je deviens un vendu si je choisis une telle voie ? Bien d'autres sujets sont évoqués et les débats soulevés pourraient très bien être soulevés en réalité.