• ★★★★-4

Review: The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton w/ Lara Love Hardin

Let me be clear about why I'm giving this book 4 stars. If I were someone who rated my books objectively and by how much literary merit it deserves, this would almost definitely get 5 stars. However, I rate my books based on my enjoyment of them. Sure, sometimes I take objective quality into account, but oftentimes my enjoyment of the book does not match this. The two main reasons why I sometimes felt as though reading this book was like a chore were that I read this book for school, and also because I have already read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. This book is in no way the same story as Stevenson's but the themes and ideas are incredibly similar, and reading this so soon after made it feel a bit repetitive. And, while I am aware that it's almost insensitive to say that about an issue that deserves infinite attention, I just have to be honest about how my enjoyment was affected while reading. While I did not necessarily agree with every single idea that Hinton presents in this book, I appreciated how consistent he kept his arguments and how honest he was. He revealed thoughts that he had that could really put him in a bad position if he was arguing against someone. I admired his bravery for including all of these thoughts. Overall, Hinton's writing and structure was very impressive, and his story is absolutely heartbreaking but also uplifting. It will not be one that I soon forget, and the same is true for that of Walter MacMillian from Stevenson's book.

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