SLAY by Brittney MorrisSLAY by Brittney Morris


byBrittney Morris

Hardcover | September 24, 2019

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“Gripping and timely.” —People

“The YA debut we’re most excited for this year.” —Entertainment Weekly

“A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that’ll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain.” —Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out

Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers.

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
Title:SLAYFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:336 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.1 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1.1 inPublished:September 24, 2019Publisher:Simon PulseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1534445420

ISBN - 13:9781534445420

Appropriate for ages: 12



Rated 4 out of 5 by from Warcross meets The Hate You Give 4 ⭐️ Trigger warnings: mentions of murder/death, bullying, racism, verbal/emotional abuse, violence I am a white person, and therefore recommend you seek black people’s reviews too, since this book was written by and for black people. This books tried to be Warcross level of in-game description with The Hate You Give antiracist vibes. And it doesn’t always succeed, because those are big shoes to fill. But it’s plenty entertaining, and that’s what’s important. I have to admit there were moments in SLAY when I wondered if Brittney Morris should have written a non-fiction about her teenage years, instead, because a lot of Kiera’s thoughts seem to come from a very personal place. There’s a lot of internal monologue about everything American black people go through, and how their daily life is impacted by microaggressions. When I started reading, I got the same reaction I did whe starting THUG: a distinct feeling that this book was not written for me. I’m glad there are books today that can generate that reaction, because that means they’re not made to please white people. We got enough books for us, it’s nice to see one that distinctly and unapologetically serves black people’s interests. This book isn’t all flowers and sunshine, though. There are some downsides. There could have been another edit done to correct the continuity mistakes, as well as the fact that everyone seems to go to sleep at 9PM, except when Kiera and Steph have to go to the hospital at 2AM...? And the elephant in the room: Malcolm. Kiera exhibits textbook abuse victim behaviour and it’s kinda glossed over. Malcolm is a manipulative and abusive boyfriend, and he didn’t get any real punishment until Steph stepped in. When she did, though! She had me screaming some (definitely cultural appropriation for my whiter-than-white self) encouraging words. Steph is my favourite character in this book by a looooooooong margin! There’s a lot more I could say about this book, but the important part is that I had fun reading it. I hope it empowers many black kids in the same way THUG did. From an ally, let me say this: I see you. We see you. You deserve all the empowerment. Create those safe space and prosper! Become the best people you can be. ✌️
Date published: 2019-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book Slays!!!! I received an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. WOW, Slay was definitely one of the best books I've read so far this year(along with Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson). This book tackles some big issues, racism and feminism, with the complexity that such issues deserve, but in a way that that any reader will understand and empathize. I think that people will find this book to be very powerful and has the potential to be the starter for some great conversations. I would not let the words "issues" or "powerful" fool you into thinking this book is "important" and therefore not a fun read either. The characters are memorable and I could not put this book down. It had me hooked and I ended up binge reading it in two days. Slay is an absolute must read, and I do not give such a recommendation lightly. It will certainly be a Staff Pick of mine. #indigoemployee
Date published: 2019-07-26