Slay by Brittney Morris is about seventeen-year-old Keira, who balances her life between being one of the only black students at her school, and managing her secret VR game, SLAY, at night with hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide. All is well until a teenager (who happens to be very well-known in the SLAY world) is murdered over an argument within the game, and SLAY is labelled as a racist, exclusionist hub, and Keira has to fight to protect her identity and the community she’s spent so much time building. The book shows Keira’s emotionally abusive relationship between her and her manipulative boyfriend, Malcolm - whose disapproval of SLAY even without knowing Keira has built it is evident.
Slay tackles important debates about racism and is a celebration of black excellence, black culture, and female empowerment. It is probably more suited for older readers, maybe thirteen- or fourteen-year olds and up. The book is easy to read, even with extended text conversations and jumps to different SLAY players at intervals.
This book is very well written and is a fantastic debut novel for author Brittney Morris. Keira is relatable in her actions throughout the plot and is a likeable protagonist overall. Slay is a great book to read!
Eleanor, age 13
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