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Discuss the structure of the novel. Explain how the two alternating voices contribute to the powerful message of the book.  

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(@dan-santoli)
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October 24, 2019 1:23 pm  

Discuss the structure of the novel. Explain how the two alternating voices contribute to the powerful message of the book.

This topic was modified 4 months ago by Dan Santoli

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 Debra
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November 6, 2019 4:51 am  

I have just finished part one of the book, and I am finding so many connections with how both characters are "left behind" as the story unfolds. It makes me wonder about the stories of those involved in the violence and the ways they may also feel "left behind" too.


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 Sabrina Nicholson
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November 6, 2019 10:15 am  

The alternating voices really helped to broaden my view on how others might be seeing the world.  A very powerful moment was their simultaneous, but contradicting view of the police arriving at the fight.  The world is only as good as your perspective and it is good to read books like this that most likely will take you to places you can not legitimately experience.  Empathy is a good thing.   


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 Lisa
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November 6, 2019 12:20 pm  

I find it interesting to get both points of view, but sometimes I forget whose voice it is. It's probably just me.  Lena and Campbell are almost "generic teen." I wish we could hear from Pops, Aunt Ann and Marcus.

 


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 Old Windways
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November 7, 2019 3:09 pm  

@Lisa

In the audiobook, they made use of two different narrators, so it was relatively easy to keep track of who's perspective we were in.  Even so, there were a few times where the context was generic enough that it was possible to get mixed up on that point.  I can imagine it might be tricky to track in the print version.


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 Lynell
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November 7, 2019 5:39 pm  

I liked the two different voices. There were a few times when I mixed the two up, but only for a couple of paragraphs or so, then I got back on track. The two POVs let us hear the thoughts of the girls too, which added more layers to the story. We also got to see how they each reacted differently to the situations they encountered. Sometimes their reactions and fears were the same, uniting them. This sharing let us see that even though the girls were very different (in personalities and backgrounds), they also had common emotions and concerns. Their differences did not keep them from communicating and so understanding each other's experiences.


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 Susan
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November 7, 2019 6:50 pm  

We tend to interpret events around us through our personal lens.  It can be difficult to see the world through another’s eyes, especially ones very different from ours.

Through seeing events through both Lena’s and Campbell’s eyes, we see a richer, more complicated and nuanced view of the riot, the looting, and the relationships each of them has in their lives. Lena and Campbell start to appreciate the other which would never have happened without the riot throwing them randomly together.

How POC and white people view events is very different from each other,  Lena and Campbell start to understand each other’s point of view as the story progresses.  As different as they are from each other, they both know that the rioting is wrong, the looting is wrong.  Lena opens Campbell’s eyes as to the source of frustration that can lead to such actions.

And lastly, even though both young women come from such different backgrounds, the reader sees their vulnerability, their fear and the caring they have for each other as the story progresses.


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 Nina
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November 8, 2019 8:36 am  

I think that the alternating structure allowed the reader not to take any side and also understand the misconceptions everyone had as the night progressed. 


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 S
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November 9, 2019 4:56 pm  

I am only a fraction of the way through this book (Part 1, Chapter 4 as of writing), but I really enjoy how the two points of view are separated by dialect. Although both Lana and Campbell usually speak General American, Lana uses parts of the African-American Vernacular English dialect in her perspectives, which further highlights their different upbringings, culture.

I will update this post if anything else comes to mind.


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 Shawn
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November 9, 2019 7:37 pm  

I find it compelling how they get both Campbell and Lena’s view, because it adds to the stereotype that both Lena and Campbell (who are different skin colors), would have totally different views of things. While this is somewhat true, as Lena points out that Campbell doesn’t know much about the “hood”, they both think mostly the same on some things. Because if this, I find it interesting how the author decided to use two viewpoints, instead of one.


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 Kate
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November 13, 2019 6:58 pm  

The different voices display different perspectives. At the beginning, each girl is rather cold and hostile to each other, due to the differing lifestyles, cultures, and personalities. Each girl has contrasting personality and different experiences than the other, but seeing their thoughts and reactions to the trauma of the night shows that they are not as different as they thought. Both are courageous, loyal, and stick up for each other, despite their differences. By the end they have grown, and it is interesting to compare their opinions of each other when they first meet to their opinions when they part. 


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 Maria
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November 13, 2019 9:41 pm  

Alternating between Lena and Campbell's pov is an  excellent way to ensure the readers take the time to consider the situation through different lenses but also lessens the impact of the reader's implicit personal bias. 


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 Alison
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November 13, 2019 10:16 pm  

I really enjoyed listening to the book.  Having the two narrators made it easy to know who's view was happening.  I could really feel that I was right there with the girls.  


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 D
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November 13, 2019 10:59 pm  

   The difference in their "voices" is unique and interesting and it helps the book stay away from assuming, both in experience and in dialogue. Even though both girls try to vocalize their struggles and the biases that come naturally to them, there are some things you can't MAKE someone else understand. Campbell got a taste of Lena's life and the fear she must feel constantly while they were surrounded by people who most see as "helpful"; and Lena got a feel of what it's like for Campbell to essentially be alone in the world, and how terrifying that must be. And hopefully both girls used the experience to grow as individuals as well as being thankful for the blessings they didn't know they already had. 


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 Angela
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November 14, 2019 2:00 pm  

I found it interesting that Campbell and Lena offended each other several times and all of those times the girls really did not understand why they offended the other.  Not coming from the same crowd,  part of town or even part of the country gave both girls a much different view of the world.  For example, to Campbell the police were saviors, but to Lena, they were scarier than the riot.  To Lena, Campbell was a rich white girl, when in reality, Campbell came from parents that were financially struggling.  The stereotypes that we have for each other resonated loud and clear in this novel.  The assumptions that we know what someone else is going through, what someone else is thinking, resonated loud and clear in this novel.  I enjoyed the two perspectives.  It was interesting how the conflict and chaos of the evening drove away the stereotypes and fear they had for each other, and brought about mutual understanding and compassion.  The book was powerful and thought-provoking.  I enjoyed it very much. 


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