• ★-1.5

Review: The State of Us by Shaun David Hutchinson (Spoiler-Free)

dnf @ 51% I am astonished that this was written by Shaun David Hutchinson. I have absolutely adored this works in the past, but this one... where do I even begin? I guess with the fact that I understand the message that he was trying to convey, but I think he kind of contradicts himself within the book. The heart of this story should have been that people need to look past assumptions based on others' parents, political views, race, sexuality, etc., but that became warped within these pages. Instead, the focus was mainly on assumptions made about Dean (the son of the Republican), and none really went the other way against Dre. This kind of defeats the entire purpose of the message because it clearly leans right. The fact that it leans right is not the problem I have with this book; the problem I have with this book is that it leans one way at all. You can't write a book about the biases that political parties hold while simultaneously holding bias against one party. Not only was this message twisted, but the book itself was dry. The writing was so incredibly stilted and formal that at no point did I believe I was reading from the perspective of a teenager or just any normal human being... Every single character was such a huge caricature of whatever stereotype they embodied that it was impossible to focus on the idea that we shouldn't assume things about others. The only redeemable qualities of this book are that certain random aspects about Dean and Dre really resonated with me. Dean was very high-strung and anxious, but adamant that that's okay. Dre was very practical most of the time, and I could appreciate that. Overall, I would not recommend reading this book. Not one moment of it was immersive or felt like a story; it was all clearly just a mode of preaching a message. Not to mention, race was pretty much never even discussed in this book, despite the fact that Dre was Mexican-American. How could you have an entire book discussing politics and never factor in the role that race would play? That in itself should raise a red flag.

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