Title: One of the Good Ones
Author: Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: January 5, 2021
The Hate U Give meets Get Out in this honest and powerful exploration of prejudice in the stunning novel from sister-writer duo Maika and Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.
ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH?
When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.
One of the good ones.
Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.
Kezi Smith, a teenage vlogger and activist, was killed during a social justice rally. Her younger sister, Happi, and her older sister, Genny, are left to their grief. Kezi is called “one of the good ones,” and is recognized as an idol by the media because she wasn’t a troublemaker. Kezi had planned on doing a road trip after she finished high school along Route 66, following the guide book The Negro Motorist Green Book. Genny and Happi decide to do this trip with two of Kezi’s best friends to commemorate her life, but what they find is something only Kezi could give them.
This was a fantastic story! I already know it’s going to be one of my favourites of the year and perhaps of all time. It brings up some important questions that are timely but also have historical significance. Why are some deaths condemned because the victim was “one of the good ones”? Just because someone has made some mistakes, does that mean they deserve to be brutally murdered? Since Kezi was popular and fighting for social justice, she was called “one of the good ones,” who didn’t deserve to die as a result of the rally. That implies that the “bad ones” deserve those deaths. It also brings into question, what determines if someone is good or bad, and who makes this decision.
This book blended many different genres. There were some historical chapters, which looked back on Kezi’s ancestors and the way they were treated because they were Black. Most of the story had a contemporary setting. The final part of the story was extremely suspenseful. There were some thriller aspects which I wasn’t expecting, but they just made this story even more tense and exciting.
I could not put this book down. It had something for everyone and I believe everyone should read this book!
Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
About the authors:
MAIKA MOULITE is a Miami native and the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Miami. When she’s not using her digital prowess to help nonprofits and major organizations tell their stories online, she’s sharpening her skills as a PhD student at Howard University’s Communication, Culture and Media Studies program. Her research focuses on representation in media and its impact on marginalized groups. She’s the eldest of four sisters and loves young adult novels, fierce female leads, and laughing.
MARITZA MOULITE graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of Southern California with a master’s in journalism. She’s worked in various capacities for NBC News, CNN, and USA TODAY. Maritza is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania exploring ways to improve literacy in under-resourced communities after being inspired to study education from her time as a literacy tutor and pre-k teacher assistant. Her favorite song is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.
Have you read One of the Good Ones? What did you think of it?