What is it about?
Kiera Johnson is a seventeen-year-old girl who secretly created SLAY- a virtual reality game where she and other black gamers can have a safe space game in peace. Everything was going great. Kiera was able to juggle school, tutoring gigs, a boyfriend and her secret identity as the creator of SLAY. Things started falling apart when a teen in Kansas City was murdered due to a dispute about involving Kiera’s game. News outlets got wind of this and called her game racist, exclusionist and violent. If that wasn’t bad enough, there was talk of her being sued for ‘white discrimination’ and an anonymous, white supremacist troll starts harassing Kiera and other players in game. Kiera goes through the guilt of the teen that was killed over her game and thinking of ways to defend herself and her game while staying anonymous.
- Kiera is so cool! She created a VIRTUAL REALITY game…. At a young age! What? I wish I had that talent!
- I like that throughout the book, there are different points of view from multiple people who play SLAY, work on SLAY, or are experiencing SLAY for the first time. One of those characters is biracial. Being biracial myself (Puerto Rican and white), I could relate to her struggle of thinking ‘Am I ___ enough?’
- Also being half white, I felt secondhand embarrassment for some of Kiera’s (white) friends and how they interact with her. They always seemed to turn to her for questions such as ‘is this racist?’ and ‘why is not okay?’. I was left thinking ‘God, I hope I’ve never done that or been this ignorant.’ I really felt her frustration of being the walking encyclopedia of the black experience. There’s this thing called google. People use it to research things for essays, why can’t they also use it for their questions on what is racist, insensitive or inconsiderate?
All in all, I really liked the book. I highly recommend it. Go read it… like right now!