My Thoughts on The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

Okay, when I first read the synopsis of this book, I thought the story was fictional a*hah* and it wasn't until after I started the stor...

Okay, when I first read the synopsis of this book, I thought the story was fictional a*hah* and it wasn't until after I started the story when I found out that this story is actually true. Not only did the storyline really bring me into wanting to read this book, it was also the fact that it took place in Oakland, a place that I am pretty familiar with. It's rare books ever take place in the Bay Area so when they do, I kind of jump to read them lol.

Anyway, this story is true, and tells the true story of an event that actually happened not too long ago. I was pretty young when it happened so I don't ever remember hearing about it so I  think that it's important to be informed about these type of events, especially when they take place so close to you. The story follows two teenagers, Sasha and Richard, and how one incident changes their lives.

I like how this story didn't just talk about the event between Sasha and Richard, but also went in depth and their backgrounds and how they were the people they were at the time of the event. There are many sides to the a story and I think Slater did a great job covering all perspectives to that story. Not only did it talk about Sasha, the victim of the situation, but also went pretty in depth about Richard, who he was, his past, and why he lit Sasha's skirt on fire.

The story also covers other topics: sexuality, race, and other issues that were apart of Sasha and Richard's life. Slater is a journalist, which is apparent in this book because there is so much information here, and it is really valuable information about these topics. I was actually surprised by how much research was done for this book - research into the City of Oakland, into Sasha's family and background, into Richard's past.

The writing style of this story played very well for all the information that was being presented in the story. Because of the writing style, the chapters weren't that long and there were a lot of stories being told on the, stories relevant to the people and events in the main storyline. These side stories gave more depth to the background of the characters, it gave more understanding on who the characters were. And both characters are interesting people as they've both had hardships through their lives so they both had unique stories and experiences that had allowed them to become who they were.

In general, I thought that this was a really good book. It was well written, well researched, and told both sides of the situation very well. The story is non-fiction, so I really think that it is a benefit to everyone to learn about events like the one told in The 57 Bus, especially if you're someone who lives near Oakland or in the Bay Area.

The 57 Bus

Author: Dashka Slater
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 
Release Date: October 17th 2017
Format: ARC
One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter. One moment that changes both of their lives forever. If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

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