A review by anniekslibrary
Who Put This Song On?, by Morgan Parker


Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Who Put This Song On? is a memoir of the author's life, with many fictionalized aspects, according to the author's note in the back. This authenticity really shines through in the novel, as it deals with a lot of heavy topics in a very real way. Morgan felt like a very realistic and relatable main character.

The book is set around the time Obama was first elected as president, which is exactly the time I went to high school too, so this was a really fun read for me, with a lot of recognizable elements in terms of music, fashion and other pop culture references.

The way Morgan deals with her depression and anxiety were very relatable as well. However, I did think this could have been portrayed more elaborately. The book had so much to focus on that it sometimes seemed to lose track, and it felt a little all over the place at times.

It's also a book that's very much focused on topics such as racism, from daily microaggressions to police brutality, and especially on the way this impacts the daily life of one teenage girl. Morgan was a very well-rounded character, but this also meant that the other characters were pretty flat, which was a shame to me. I would have loved to see more of a development of the relationship between Morgan and her parents and brother, for instance.

All in all, this was a very good read, but one that I would have probably enjoyed more if it had been a little more structured.

Rep: black MC, black side characters, gay side character, Afro-Latinx side characters

CWs: racism, police brutality, homophobia, depression, anxiety, mentions of suicide (ideation), alcohol consumption, drug use