Octavian Munroe is haunted by the life and death of his older brother in one of the most racially segregated cities in the country. Mina Rose has never quite fit in and wishes she was anything but white. Once lovers, now estranged, they both left St. Louis for fresh starts in the wake of grief and heartbreak.
In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death and the awakening of the Black Lives Matter movement, Octavian and Mina travel homeward. The record shop where they fell in love as teenagers in the 1990s is closing for good, sparking a desire for closure of their own.
This raw, powerful story of love and loss reckons with how where you come from shapes even the most fleeting collisions between friends, neighbors, and strangers.
I loved this book and tore right through it. I love how the story used the record store as its touchstone for the book and the chapters were based around a mixed tape.
This is a powerful story of now and the past, of the characters as they are and as they look back on those formative teenaged years from where they are now. The book explores the characters figuring out what they want, what they like, what it means to be African American in a racially segregated neighbourhood.
There is the love story between Octavian and Mina Rose, there are friendships built around music and experience. The characters are wonderful, flawed, and are trying to find their place in the world and I was totally engaged with them. On its surface, the book is a coming of age story, but the looking back from their adult years makes the book so much more than that. There are wonderful friendships and bonding at the record store where the owner seems to know just what everyone needs.
The author does a fantastic job of captivating the reader and I highly recommend this book.
Thank you to Netgalley and Amberjack publishing for the review copy.