SLAY by Brittney Morris
SLAY by Brittney Morris is a young adult, realistic fiction novel that packs a punch.
Seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is one of a few black kids at Jefferson Academy. By day, she keeps to herself, gets good grades and applies to college. But by night, she SLAYS. She is just one of the thousands of black gamers who duel in an online role-playing card game. What no one knows, is that not only does Kiera play SLAY but she is also the games developer.
When a teen in Kansas gets murdered over the game, the media erupts, calling the game exclusionist, racist and dangerous for black youth. Kiera is furious that this safe space she's created has been called out, but she's also afraid that her secret identity may be revealed if she speaks out.
Could this be the end of SLAY?
I picked up this book for the stunning cover and because of a booklist I was reading that said this is a teen artsy must read. And though, digital design is a big part of SLAY, I wouldn't say it is the focus. What is the focus is community, this idea of creating safe spaces, and inclusivity. This book is thoughtful, creative and allows the reader to think and discuss social issues. It was also really cool with all of the virtual reality gamer aspects.
I'll admit, when I first started this book, I didn't like Kiera. She was just so different in the real world vs the SLAY world. Then I hit that moment where I realized, that was kind of the point. SLAY was a safe space for Kiera, where she felt comfortable enough to let her real self out.
The duels that took play in the SLAY world, were like vivid pictures in my mind. It so may me want to get in the game myself and I loved these mini side chapters where we saw other players and what the game meant to them.
I'd be interested in hearing what other teens think about this book and I think it would be a fantastic choice for a teen book club. This one gets 4 stars from me.
That's all for now!