Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 281
Tyler Johnson Was Here, But Did You Notice?
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Tyler Johnson Was Here--did not come to be politically correct, or racially ambiguous. Tyler Johnson came to tell an ugly truth, and made no qualms about sharing its blackness, in it's raw and true form.

Tyler Johnson Was Here is an experience I found both realistic and painful. It wasn't very verbose--or even eloquent for that matter. But, it was well-written and specific in it's story telling.

Tyler Johnson was here is about a set of twins, Tyler and Marvin. Marvin and Tyler go to a party--a shooting ensues, and Tyler goes missing. Only to later find out, Tyler was killed by a cop on his way home.

An accurate depiction, of the current race-related police brutality issue--that has plagued the African American community for some time.

What works for this novel, is not that it has some predestined plot, with very specifically placed characters--what works is that it's real.

In that regard, the story works for telling an otherwise unheard of story in a real way. Teenagers, and adults alike will feel the pangs of Marvin's grief in ways that will shatter and change you. As authors continue to approach this subject both cautiously, and incautiously, readers will be changed.

Readers will get to know each character, in an intimate way, allowing for a deeper, more intimate connection with the author, the characters and themselves. The book is genius for the fact that it will tug the heart strings--but most importantly, it will open your eyes.

As I'm finally sitting down to right this review, another unarmed black man was killed--and it's a story I feel completely confident and saddened to say won't change, until the world does. Until the world, truly understands that black lives matter--not specifically because we/they are black but in spite of it.

So many reviews talk about how much better THUG was in comparison to this book, because it was more fleshed out--and had better writing.

Please allow this novel to stand on it's own two feet--because it's strong enough do so--despite it's flaws.

THUG was good for what it was good for, but Tyler Johnson Was Here, is not meant to simply be a good novel--that people can have cups of tea, and quietly argumentative discussions of and over.

This book is the gritty version of that novel's story , the version I think people need to hear. The truth in all it's ugliness. The truth hurts but it must be told.

Let me also briefly touch on the "romance," aspect of this novel.

I am literally taking the heaviest of sighs, because I read a review that called the romance insta-lovey, and they totally missed the mark here.

Yes, there is romance that blossoms, but the initial companionship is a shared relationship based on grief. There was an understanding among the characters--loss and the feeling of being misunderstood. It was more about Marvin finding someone he could rely on for comfort, that wasn't in his immediate circle. It wasn't about love, and falling in love immediately.

Again, Tyler Johnson Was Here is a needed story. It's realistic, it's raw and unfiltered. It's not THUG.

No matter which you prefer, focus on what's important here--and that is the black lives matter movement, and the validity, and importance of black lives in general.

Read it, because it's important, because you want to--don't look to it for comparisons--and that's all.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Ashes (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"The truth was, I wasn’t on anyone’s side except Claire’s....
Fire (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #2)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After being killed by demons, former angel Adam wakes up...
Spark (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It came out of nowhere. A sweep of emotions. Love,...
The Twin
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
After their parents divorced, 10-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain sight...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo, a...
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Mr. Penguin―Adventurer (And Penguin!) When Mr. Penguin...
Famous by Default
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jax Buried, By my family's fame. Dying to escape...
Sword and Pen (Great Library Book, #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With the future of the Great Library in doubt,...
Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and...
Jonny Lambert's Construction Site
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A beautifully illustrated book for babies featuring lots of noisy...
Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Take your toddler on a rain forest adventure and find...
Seven Deadly Shadows
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Kira Fujikawa has never had it easy. She’s...
Pet
Pet
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The highly-anticipated, genre-defying new novel by award-winning author Akwaeke...
Gray (The Wings Trilogy, #3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The long anticipated finale to the Wings Trilogy. ...
Black (The Wings Trilogy, #2)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"I was the weak link in the chain, and the...

Latest Member Reviews

Roman and the Hopeless Romantic (Gulf City High)
 
5.0
"Best friends….secret love….y’all Michelle MacQueen put my two favorite tropes into one incredibly sweet story. Roman and the Hopeless Romantic..."
Adeline's Aria
 
4.0
" The Story: Addie has an obsession with British rocker Jude, but it's just a fan..."
 
5.0
"Another chilling story from L.V. Pires. This one started out with the main character from Book 1, Casey, fighting an..."
Ghosting You
 
4.8
"Reviewed for YA Books Central A heartwarming love story. The Story: Tommy..."
A Pain Less Ordinary
 
5.0
"A Pain Less Ordinary is a tragic tale of a modern girl whose family has fallen apart. Becca struggles to..."
The Waiting Mortuary
 
5.0
"I'm not normally one to read horror fiction, but I thought I'd give this book a chance and was blown..."
Roman and the Hopeless Romantic (Gulf City High)
 
5.0
"After Cassie witnesses the murder of her mother, she develops anxiety over just about everything. She doesn't talk to anyone..."
Seneca Lake
 
4.8
"Meg lives in a small town in upstate NY (outside Ithaca) in the later years of WWII. She is torn..."
Roman and the Hopeless Romantic (Gulf City High)
 
5.0
"In the first book, we were introduced to Jesse’s sister, Cassie, and his best friend, Roman. After witnessing their mother’s..."
First Earth: Book One in the Arch Mage Series
 
5.0
""Agnes' journey not only kept me turning pages, but pulled me into the journey of self-discovery right along with her...."
Jesse and the Ice Princess (Gulf City High)
 
5.0
"It’s no secret that I love Michelle’s books, and this is such a fantastic start to a new series! I..."
Jesse and the Ice Princess (Gulf City High)
 
5.0
"Charlotte-or Charlie-loves both hockey and figure skating. However, she knows she can't do both and has already chosen to pursue..."
The Subjects, Aim
 
4.8
"First and foremost, Aim accomplishes what any good sci-fi sets out to do. It thoroughly explores the concepts of humanity..."
Of Water and Moonlight
 
4.8
"Maddie is a Hawthorne sister and is known for performing a spell against the Ancients. If the stares of her..."
Dragon Rising: A Mulan Inspired Fantasy
 
5.0
"When her sister Luna is killed, Hua wants nothing more than to get revenge. Taking her father's place, she joins..."
Heart of Mist
 
5.0
"The story: Bleak is a drunken thief who is desperately trying to find a way to cure herself from..."
Skin Hunter
 
4.5
"Milla steals an armband and an identity which could put her to death if she is found out. She takes..."
A Straw Man
 
5.0
"The story: Melody, the younger sister of Charlie, the main character of the previous book, is now..."
Girl at Heart
 
5.0
"'Girl at Heart' by Kelly Oram is a sweet, entertaining, easy read that any lover of YA romance will adore...."
Kingdom Cold
 
4.8
"What I loved: First and foremost, the characters. Princess Charlotte's fierce, unyielding manner. The way her character is left..."