Reviews

The Cost of Knowing, by Brittney Morris

booklover02's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

rosegoldteacher's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

As someone with severe anxiety, a lot of this book was difficult to listen to. 

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eehoskins's review against another edition

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4.0

Alex Rufus has a unique ability- with the touch of his palm he can see a little piece of the future. Touching an ice cream scoop at work will reveal the flavor next scooped. Touching his girlfriend Talia will reveal a moment they will share soon. He has touched the steering wheel of his car so often that he can see the vehicle driven by a future owner. While some may see this as a blessing, Alex sees it as a curse. It makes life difficult when you are getting swept up into another vision every time you touch something. And knowing that he can't change the outcome of any of his visions makes the visions feel even worse when he sees Talia on the verge of breaking up with him and his little brother's funeral in the near future. Alex is determined to make the best of his time with the little brother who has shut him out over the last few years- but in a race against time he worries that it may be too late.

This is the second book I have read by Brittney Morris. I really enjoy her writing and her vision of how the world could be. In her author's note she mentions how she started out writing a Black boy joy book but felt an internal push to write a "Black-boy-joy-despite" book. I am so glad she did. The need for Black boys to grow up too early is a real and pressing issue that we need writers like Morris to talk about. Mixed with her masterful look at what-if someone could see the future, it makes for a compelling novel. This book filled me with a mix of sadness and joy that felt just right.

callieac's review against another edition

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emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

book_geek15's review against another edition

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5.0

A must-read if you liked They Both Die at the End!!! SO GOOD!

malexandriay's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

swarley's review against another edition

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emotional reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

amypt46's review against another edition

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5.0

Brittney Morris coined this her love letter to black boys who had to grow up too soon and that is exactly what it is. Full of real life trauma, anxiety and every day life with a little fantasy thrown in to keep you guessing on where this story will lead. My favorite quote that I don’t want to forget:

“What kid should have to live in the shadow of four hundred years of bondage and another hundred of lesser than-dom? Black kids, apparently. But then how is a Black kid supposed to be a kid?”

Be prepared to have your heart ripped out a bit on this one. But her message is strong and clear and resonated in a new telling of this tale that we hear too much of.

littlesprite21's review against another edition

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challenging emotional informative inspiring reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

secre's review against another edition

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4.0

The Cost of Knowing is a powerful and heartfelt novel that packs a real punch. Described by the author as a love letter to all the black boys who grew up too fast, this is a very real and very raw novel. We follow Alex, a teenager who sees the future of anything he touches, whether that be object or human. It makes life difficult enough when he sees these snippets of the future when handling customer change or trash, but when he touches a photo and sees a vision of his younger brother's imminent death, his world falls apart.

Despite it's moments of heartbreak, The Cost of Knowing is also a poignant and joyful book. Whilst Alex's anxiety over his cursed gift of touch is very real and present, it doesn't detract from the love he feels for his family. The scope of his visions can be as mundane as seeing himself putting the ice cream scoop back in its holder to as traumatic as seeing his car totalled or his brother's grave. Yet throughout this, I loved the way the relationship between the two brothers was built up from the ashes of their parent's tragic deaths.

At it's heart, The Cost of Knowing is a real and true depiction of the struggles a young black man faces growing up in the Western world. It delves into generational trauma and how the fears and struggles of those long gone lives may have been different to the modern day, but also share some striking and heart-breaking similarities. But it's also a story of family, of love and of loss. Alex's visions make it slightly fantastical, it still felt utterly real.

Perhaps my only complaint is that the ending felt... rushed. You get a lot of repetition throughout the novel about Alex's visions and his anxiety spirals and yet one of the most important events in the novel is over so quickly that if you blink, you'll miss it. You almost instantly move to the after-effects, which are powerful... but I had to go back and re-read to check what had happened.

Even with that minor niggle, this is a powerful and well written testament to the lives of black boys who have had to grow up far too fast.

Many thanks to NetGalley for my free review copy of this title.