Reviews

The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris

hannahchase's review against another edition

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emotional reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

kerithea's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad 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? Yes

5.0

sunrae_booknook's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional hopeful inspiring reflective slow-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

5.0

melindajune92's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful reflective sad 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

4.75


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gingerbread_void's review against another edition

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3.0

As I always say I am not own voices on these subjects so please go and check out those reviews.
This was a hard book to read and review. There are a lot of hard subjects being covered in this book but it is definitely worth it if you can handle it. This is so moving and emotional so this is also not a book you "enjoy" but a book that teaches you. It moved me in so many ways. I actually broke down and cried several times while reading this book.
This is definitely a rough and hard book but worth it. This was also a really unique take a story we all need to hear and learn. I am definitely going to recommend this book at work as much as possible.

gggina13's review against another edition

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3.0

Thanks to edelweiss & the publisher for an early copy, although I just bought a finished copy and read that since I was really looking forward to this book.

The Cost of Knowing is about Alex, a Black teenager who can see into the future when he touches an item. It’s not a super helpful power - he sees the next few seconds of the item’s future, but every time he touches it, he sees farther into the future. It’s a little confusing but it’s explained decently well in the book. Anyway, he picks up a picture of his little brother Isaiah and sees himself at Isaiah’s graveside. Alex is already plagued with near-crippling anxiety from his power on a normal day, but this naturally sets him over the edge. He and Isaiah’s relationship is virtually non-existent since their parents died, and he has to work around that while also trying not to hyper-focus on the fact that he knows Isaiah will die, but not when.

This story is pretty fast-paced, and has its deep moments. Alex had both his parents die when he was 12, then at 13 his best friend also died. When his parents died, he and Isaiah moved in with his rich aunt into a mostly white neighborhood in the Chicago area. There’s conversations about how they’re perceived by neighbors and conversations with neighbors that are chock full of micro aggressions. There’s a lot of discussion over growing up Black, having to grow up too fast especially as a Black boy who’s seen as an adult by white people far before he’s actually an adult. Being unable to do things safely that white people can do easily. There’s discussions about Black lineage, about how there’s no way to know an ancestry that’s so filled with violence and families being torn apart. How there’s members of Black bloodlines who never even had last names. How white slave owners are part of modern Black lineage due to rape. Really thoughtful and powerful stuff that I don’t often see in YA and I think will really impact teens who come across the subject matter for the first time.

There’s a lot of good thought-provoking subjects in this story, but there also some weird pacing issues and the power that Alex has is a little odd in its execution - it seems to work in different ways sometimes, just whatever’s convenient for the story. There’s some things that have little to no resolution, and the emotions shown don’t always seem to line up with the events at hand. Of course, everyone’s emotions are different, but some reactions just feel off.

But the brothers are where this story shines - anxious Alex and surly Isaiah spending time together and working through a lot of things they’ve been avoiding together. They really tug at your heartstrings, fast, and it reads like a thriller just because you want to know they end up okay at the end. Just two Black boys who are just trying to earn, as Alex says in the book, the simple privilege of being able to grow up.

This is a pretty heavy book with complicated decisions made by characters. I found myself damn near begging Alex to act differently sometimes. But it kind of gives it an organic, “that’s just life” kind of feel to the story. I think it will be very impactful to teens, especially teen boys, as I’m always happy to see more books written about boys.

cassiesnextchapter's review against another edition

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4.0

The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris is an intense journey through brotherly love, anxieties and fears of the future, and the importance of our ancestors. {Thanks to Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for my advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review.}

There are so many fantastic elements to this book that I really enjoyed, despite wanting to put the book down to take a break from the intensity of the emotion. I love how Alex and Isaiah's ancestors were tied into the story, and how they carry the burdens of those who came before. It's such a powerful image of love, strength, and kinship.

I was on the edge of my seat for the last half of the book - a lot happens that is intense and traumatic. I really had to take a few breaks, because the content at the end is really heavy. But I kept coming back to see if the bond that grew stronger between the brothers was enough to help them survive in the end.

What brought the rating down for me was a bit of slow pacing in the first half, and repetition in Alex's thought patterns. The resolution also feels suddenly rushed, and not emotional and complex enough in a few spots for the actions that have transpired. Another chapter of digging into the aftermath would have felt like a more stable and realistic ending - there's just too much to cover in regards to tying up all the relationships. There is, however, an unexpected scene with Alex's ancestors that was really powerful.

I especially appreciate how the title “The Cost of Knowing” can be applied to every character in the end, and analyzed differently for each. The Author's Note is also a must-read for some added context.

Overall, despite a few issues, this book is really strong and has some brilliant ideas. I will read whatever Morris publishes in the future, and plan to read her debut, Slay, this month as well.

jennifercosta's review against another edition

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4.0

I really enjoyed this book!! It came to me at perfect timing to when I got some advice that “trying to predict the future won’t make it hurt less” and that’s exactly what this book is about (among other things).

I definitely teared up at points reading this, by the end you just love Alex as a character so much and want the best for him

alongreader's review against another edition

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3.0

I really enjoyed Slay last year. It was a great read, really refreshing. This one isn't quite up there, but it's still head and shoulders above many other reads. I found the 'rules' around the boys' powers confusing, but otherwise I really loved this story.

Alex is a fantastic character. He's been dealt an awful hand and he's still standing up, doing his best and working his hardest. Although he makes a few mistakes, he acknowledges them and tries to fix them as best he can. Isaiah is brilliant, too, sweet and smart, a really great character. I loved watching them bond and grow closer after everything they've been through.

I did think it was a little odd that a sixteen year old was so worried about sex! Am I really far out of touch and all the sixteen year olds are having sex nowadays? More power to them, as long as they're being safe, it just feels young to me.

This book brought up some fantastic points - I'd love to see it discussed in classes - and I really enjoyed it. A great read.

wraggjennifer's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0