With the help of a sympathetic teacher and some difficult lessons from her classmates, May learns more about the history of anti-Asian racism, the experiences shared with other minorities and how they differ, and also confronts her only biases. At points this is interesting and educational reading. At other times it can seem like a classic example of the excesses of well-meaning liberals (of the sort that the Right likes to call "wokeness") and a rosy kumbaya conclusion where the kids take over the asylum felt painfully naïve and over-the-top. However, it never ceases to be enlightening, even if the brother's suicide is largely marginalized in the process.
Despite my misgivings, the book is well-written and engaging. The relationship between May and her Black BFF Tiya is complex and fascinating. There are some amazing deeply felt conversations about race and class that largely transcend the story. Obviously, a polemical novel like this is going to alienate a quarter of its potential readership and bore the quarter whom are already convinced, but it's for the other half in the middle that such works are written.