This might be the first YA novel I've read since...well since I was a YA. It's the story of Starr Carter, an African-American girl who witnesses the shooting death of her friend Khalil by the police. This could easily have been a one-note story but instead it's deeply layered and deals with so many different issues--economics, race,education, step-families, parent/child relationships, community, gangs. It might seem like this is too much for one story but it's very well done. I really enjoyed spending time with the Carter family, despite the trials they were going through. While some of the secondary characters are thinly drawn, each member of the Carter family is a rich, real character. I found myself thinking about them long after I finished reading this story.