Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
Can anger and rage be changed to peace and forgiveness?
After watching her brother shot by a cop in the street, Luz Cordero turns to gangs and violent protests to deal with her rage. Her brother is dead and her mother is in jail and Luz is angry at the world. Now Luz is living at the St. Therese Home for Boys and Girls and trying to pull herself together.
Luz presents her story in journal form as she flashes back to her brother's death and her life as a gang member and protester. Protesting police brutality helped Luz for awhile until things got out of hand and she found herself on probation and sent to live with Sister Ellen. St. Therese's Home for Boys and Girls is home to Luz and several other residents, all with their own history of violence. The hope is that working together in group therapy sessions they can overcome their experiences and learn to live with their less-than-perfect lives.
Things seem to be improving for Luz until one day she finds herself face-to-face with the young cop who shot her brother. The rage returns and Luz feels compelled to right the wrong of her brother's death. To her surprise, she finds that Officer Mickey Pesaturo is struggling with his own demons. Never having used his gun, he is dealing with the guilt of having taken a life, even though it was in the line of duty.
Pagliarulo helps the reader see Luz's courage and determination to remember her brother and yet forgive the ugliness of the crime. This book will not disappoint.