A review by prose_before_bros_
Rain City Lights, by Marissa Harrison

5.0

This is an absolute must read novel. I loved almost everything about it and I already miss the characters.

It’s 1981 in Seattle and there’s been a string of murders targeting black prostitutes. But honestly while crucial to the storyline, it’s not the focal point. Monti, the protagonist, and her neighbor/best friend Sasha are coming of age in some of the most difficult circumstances. Both children of single parents for reasons explained in the book, Monti and Sasha’s story address racial discrimination, classism, gender inequality, prostitution, homelessness, and drug abuse, among many other issues. And of course the favorite ‘will they/won’t they’ storyline.

I think what I loved most about this book is that Harrison wove intensely rich characters and plot lines from beginning to end. There’s certainly a thriller aspect in that there’s a huge murder component but the way she developed the characters, both with flashbacks and by moving the storyline forward a decade, is what struck me as truly beautiful writing.

The only thing that made this slightly difficult to read was that the time jumped around and if a chapter started it in the past, it was always easy to note when it shifted back to the future. There was also a moment when it said it was 1981 and the trial was taking place, but I think that date was inaccurate? Regardless, the story was not affected and everything still flowed very well.
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Please go read and fall in love with this book and these characters like I did so it gets all the attention it deserves. And pre-order it for when it’s officially published in October!