Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy and the secret creator of the online multiverse known as SLAY. When a teen is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, the game reaches mainstream media and is labeled exclusionary, racist and violent. On top of that, a troll infiltrates the game and threatens to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination”. All Kiera wants is to have a space where she can be herself with no rules or apologies.
I absolutely loved this book!! I am so glad I own it and finally read it. This is a must read for everyone. The conversation of race is not one I try to wade into very often, because it is complicated and while I’d like to think I am very open-minded and kind, society has conditioned people with hidden prejudices. While I don’t feel as strongly about figures in history or other cultural references, seeing Kiera’s passion and love for black culture was amazing. I loved getting to celebrate wins with her.
The world of SLAY was really well done. I loved all the card designs and powers that were mentioned. It was a very intriguing world that was so cool to see through Kiera’s eyes. Also girls ruling virtual reality, YES PLEASE!! I loved that Kiera was the creator of the game and that her second in command was another woman. Women in STEM are the best!!!
When it came down to the end, I was so nervous!! I wanted Kiera to win so badly and have her game where she could be who she wanted and celebrate herself and her culture. I loved seeing Kiera become closer with her sister, Steph, throughout the book thanks to SLAY. Steph’s personality was so fun and exuberant. She was a great balance to Kiera who was usually more quiet and thoughtful.
I loved this book so much and this world will definitely stay with me for a while. I cannot recommend this book enough!