Boys and Girls Screaming by Kern Carter is a YA novel that takes a look at the different traumas teens face and the ways they cope.
The novel is told from different perspectives – mostly Candace and Jericho. Candace is a black teenage girl who was adopted at four years old by a white family after her mother abandoned her. She grows up in a wealthy community and her best friend Ever and Ever’s younger brother Jericho are also wealthy. But, privilege doesn’t exempt you from trauma or hardships. Candace grows up with very loving parents, but her bad feelings towards her birthmother or “fake mom” as she calls her still persist. Ever seems to be living a charmed life, but her father dies suddenly and just months later her mother who was so full of life and would take the kids on spontaneous trips away all the time, has a stroke.
While Candace, Ever, and Jericho try to cope with their problems, they realize there are other kids out there – even in their own school and neighborhood – who are dealing with these kinds of things too. And who better to understand each other than their peers who are also going through things? They gather some classmates who are going through things too such as fallout from coming out to their parents, sexual assault etc. They form a support group for each other and call it BAGS or “Boys and Girls Screaming”. Through the group, they help each other come to terms with issues that are plaguing thing.
I enjoyed the book and was interested to see how it would all play out for the main characters. I thought it was a good look at some of the things people, especially teenagers, deal with today. I liked the characters and wanted to see how their stories would end, but I didn’t get very invested in them. I didn’t dislike the characters, but I didn’t love them either. I think it was hard to find them super likable, because even though I could feel for their situations and issues, they were still a bunch of rich kids who drank a lot and did drugs instead of dealing with their issues head on. And yeah, that’s probably realistic, but it didn’t make me like them more lol.
*This book was sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.*