I honestly don't know how to feel about this book. In theory, this book is five stars: beautiful and engaging writing, a nicely paced plot, intriguing characters and nuanced themes. However, the atrocities that have been committed in this book are a direct cause of black trauma. Madison's constant bullying was at times really hard to listen to and it has made me really conflicted on whether I liked the book or not.
While the themes in this book were relevant and complex, the overarching black trauma was too dominant...and this goes to show how many Black authors like Jackson fill their books with trauma and shock value to bring about their point so their books can sell.
So while I didn't like the execution of the themes, I can still appreciate that this story was an excellent one, and truly stands out from the inspired material. However, due to this book causing emotional distress, I might have to take a break from Jackson's books for my mental health.