What up book people? Did y’all miss me? Chile I had to take a couple of days for some me time. Anyway, if you follow my bookstagram account on IG then you already know that out of 137 books that I read in 2020, today’s was my absolute favorite. It’s Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds. It had me in my feelings like Drake and crying like Keith Sweat. But before I get into it, trigger warnings. This story and my summary deal with death so check StoryGraph and proceed with caution.
So Jamal’s best friend passes away in this freak accident trying to save someone from drowning. But then the doctors are like, “Look I know this wasn’t expected so we can bring him back for a short time so that you can properly say bye. But the only thing is you can’t tell him that he died or that he will die again very soon.” Now right before Q passed, he and Jamal got into it. So it’s an opportunity for Jamal to say man I love you plus make his last few days feel like YOLO!
Here’s the thing I loved most about this book. We rarely see male friendships in books and we NEVER see books that show the close relationships between Black teen boys. It was absolutely beautiful to see the dynamics of friends that truly love each other. My husband has been friends with a group of guys since they were eight. So I saw high school them in this book. I saw representation of stories that are not told. I saw forgiveness. I saw love.
This is a YA book but the story resonates across generations of friends. You will fall in love with this book, the characters, and the writing.