45 starsIt s not often that a book I read impacted me so much that I was rendered virtually speechless immediately afterwards to the point that despite having finished this book several days ago I had to wait to write this review because I needed time to regroup and gather my thoughts The reason this book impacted me so much is because the subject matter it covered hit a little too close to home for me as it brought back memories from 27 years ago and emotions that felt so real I truly felt like I had been transported back in time to my childhood Back then my family lived in a little enclave of apartment buildings in Westchester near its border with Inglewood in Los Angeles Nearby within walking distance was a tiny strip mall with a donut shop a laundromat a small restaurant and a Korean owned liuor store on the very corner a setup similar to the neighborhoods that the main characters in the book lived in during their youthThe story especially the events that took place during the past timeline of 1991 and 1992 was tremendously familiar to me because it aligned with much of what I remember experiencing growing up as an Asian American in the Los Angeles of the 1990s I remember what happened to Latasha Harlins and the public outrage over the light sentence that Soon Ja Du ended up getting I remember the already simmering tensions between the African American and Korean communities that were further exacerbated by the Harlins case I remember the Rodney King beating that took place around that time as well as the infamous acuittal that came down a year later and of course I remember the LA Riots and the devastation that took place those 6 days I was 13 years old at the time around the same age as one of the main characters in the book when the story opened and when the riots broke out I remember most of us were still at school anxiously waiting for our parents to come pick us up Our school wasn t close in proximity to the riot area fortunately however due to the chaotic nature of things and the fear that the rioting might spread to other areas it was advised for all the schools to shut down for the day As we waited for our rides there was a lot of nervous chatter among our group of friends as many of them either had long commutes home or they would have to pass by the areas where much of the rioting was beginning to gain traction Adding to those fears we had heard that rioters had started venting out their anger at innocent bystanders stopping random cars and pulling people out and beating them a rumor that was confirmed later that night on the news when we all witnessed in horror the terrifying events that unfolded at the intersection of Florence and Normandie The looting and burning down of stores followed with the devastation spilling over to surrounding cities news coverage showed chaotic scenes with the destruction hitting heaviest in South Los Angeles and Koreatown which had become a target due to the Latasha Harlins case It was the worst time to be out in the streets in fact it was the worst time to be anywhere other than hidden away in the safety of our own homes with doors locked windows barred blinds drawn The experience of reading this book felt almost surreal to me Even though the entire story was a fictionalized version based on past events and many of the details had been changed plus a majority of the timeline focused on present day 2019 and how the various characters dealt with the aftermath of what had happened so long ago the memories it triggered were enough to bring the real life events the story was based on back to life for me The author Steph Cha did a great ob capturing the sentiments and perspectives of both the African American and Korean communities during that period in history but what floored me the most was how vividly she was able to depict the realities of what life was like growing up in Los Angeles in the 1990s not ust for people of color but also for immigrants and others who were part of the community at the timeTen years after the riots occurred on the way to visit friends I happened to be driving through one of the areas hit hardest by the riots and I will never forget the shock I felt seeing how much of
The Area Never Got Rebuilt Steph Cha area never got rebuilt Steph Cha my sentiments exactly when in the book she described what one of the main characters Shawn Matthews saw when he was surveying the devastation that had taken place around him right after the fictionalized riots in the story Wherever he went he saw the extent of the ruin the cooled remnants of days of
Unchecked Wrath Where THERE wrath Where THERE BEEN BUILDINGS THERE WERE NOW BUILDING FRAMES had been buildings there were now building frames children s pictures scribbled in pencil gray and blurred and skeletal on the verge of disintegration Roll up doors defaced by graffiti and ash the metal warped so they d never close again Rubble and trash littered the streets like fallen teeth like dead skin the rot of a ravaged body This was actually the reality of what I saw as well many years later and even now nearly 3 decades later some remnants of the devastation still exists albeit in smaller pocketsTo come across a book like this one that captures a history and time period and even elements of a culture that I was once so familiar with on a personal level THIS is one of the reasons why I read With that said I did struggle with the rating on this one wavering between 45 and 5 starsin the end I decided on 45 stars mostly because I m not sure how I feel about the story s ending and the way things played out Needless to say this is a book I definitely recommend though word of warning this is not an easy one to read especially if you have a personal connection to parts of the story like I did Received ARC from HarperCollins Ecco via NetGalley YOUR HOUSE WILL PAY is one of the best and most important books I have read this year Los Angeles 1991 Just after the brutal beating of Rodney King and the police shooting and killing of an unarmed black teenager tension and unrest in the communities are at an all time high Shawn and his family will be affected Years later in 2019 Shawn now an adult is still dealing with the events of the past Grace and her family live ust outside of LA and her and Shawn s world are about to collide in ways neither of them expected This is the story of an African American family and a Korean American family and how they will both deal with the conseuences of the pastas well as the prevalent problems that haven t seemed to change almost 30 years later This book was released last year but could not be read at a better time It touches on so many issues that the nation is currently experiencing Author Steph Cha dives deep into the Black Lives Matter movement police brutality racism riots protests and murder It s eye opening heartbreaking anger inducing and one of the most powerful books I have read I wasn t aware of the racial tensions between the Black and Korean communities during and after the LA riots I feel that I learned a lot The book really delves into both of the families and care is given to make sure each character has a strong background that helps explain their actions even though you may never fully understand them firsthand There is so much I d like to say but I don t think my words can convey how astounding and special this novel is An interesting item to note is that while this is a work of fiction the author based it on the 1991 murder of 15 year old Latasha Harlins The author s note gives information on this that I won t reveal here and also. A powerful and taut novel about racial tensions in LA following two families one Korean American one African American grappling with the effects of a decades old crimeIn the wake of the police shooting of a black teenager Los Angeles is as tense as it’s been since the unrest of the early 1990s Protests and vigils are being staged all over the city It’s in this dangerous tinderbox that two families must finally confront their pastsGrace Park lives a sheltered existence living at home wit. .
Lets us know that if we would like to learn about Latasha we can read The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins Justice Gender and the Origins of the LA Riots by Brenda Stevenson I very much look forward to reading it Thank you to my friend Christina whose fantastic review of this powerful and meaningful book put it on my radar This is an ambitious book It s trying to tell a very specific story tied deeply to a particular place and time exploring the repercussions of an often forgotten set of racial tension between Black and Korean people in Los Angeles As Cha notes the specifics are often lost in the larger story of Rodney King and the Watts riots While it s very specific it will also feel relevant to anyone living in the US right now a time of protests and memorials and repeated unspeakable lossesWe see this story through two sets of eyes Shawn grew up in the worst of it and got caught up in gangs and violence but he s found his way through and settled in to a kind of stable adulthood supporting his cousin s family while he s in prison Shawn s sister Ava was gunned down as a teenager before there was a Black Lives Matter movement and he still feels the loss Grace is the dutiful daughter of Korean immigrants working in her parents pharmacy moving aimlessly through her late 20 s reading terrible stories in the news and feeling bad but detached Shawn and Grace are connected without realizing it but as the story unfolds they will find old secrets coming back to lightI think Cha builds a really interesting and current story with lots of layers to peel through But I think she paints herself into a NOW AVAILABLEwhen i heard about this book the first thing i thought after what a fantastic title that is was that it would be a readalike for All Involved which was a sharp and gritty piece of crime fiction in which gang affiliated characters used the racial tensions and violence of the la riots in the aftermath of the rodney king verdict as an excuse to seek revenge for longstanding grudges leading to a back and forth killing spree leaving many intended targets dead along with unaffiliated innocents caught in the crossfiresbut i was wrong wrong wrong and while its central dramatic conflict occurs as a tangential result of the racially charged atmosphere in los angeles following king s beating this is a different take altogether far less violent and nihilistic and closer in tone to a book like Ask Again Yes it s a tragic but redemptive family drama with such strong current day relevance and moral complexity that discerning book clubs should take note cha s novel is based on a real life incident the death of fifteen year old african american latasha harlins here ava matthews who was shot in the back of the head by a korean convenience store owner named soon Professor Astro Cat's Human Body Odyssey ja du here yvonne parkjunga han in 1991 two weeks after the video of rodney king s beating surfaced du had accused latasha of shoplifting a bottle of orange uice and their verbal altercation escalated into the physical before the fifty one year old woman grabbed a gun and fired killing the girl when police arrived on the scene they discovered that latasha had the money for the uice in her hand du was convicted of voluntary manslaughter but served no What Is a Googly?: The Mysteries of Cricket Explained jail time an outcome contributing to the unrest that culminated in the riots Your House Will Pay is set in the summer of 2019 after yet another police shooting of an unarmed black teenage boy provokes community outrage the city is a simmering powder keg of tension an atmosphere of violenceust about to erupt as cries for ustice and the unhealed wounds of those still feeling betrayed by the ava matthews verdict rise up during a vigil attended by an influx of the sneering red hat wearing western boys drawn to the scene by social media doing what it does best riling people up and adding fuel to the fire while the presumably responsible professional media is no better and tensions are highthis increasingly fraught atmosphere is the backdrop for a tragedy of shakespearian proportions as the members of the two families most directly connected to ava matthews death find their fates knotted together once in the wake of another violent crime the story is shared between ava s brother shawn who was with ava at the crime the story is shared between ava s brother shawn who was with ava at the of the shooting and yvonne s sheltered daughter grace who wasn t even born when the incident occurred and knew nothing about it until now these two characters are the anchor points around whom swirl the events of the past and present and the wide ranging emotions and actions of their families and friends building a richly drawn and compelling story of the weight of secrets shame and guilt and the effects of a legacy of violence and injustice on families and communities in a country approaching its boiling point it s a helluva book and cha resists applying the disingenuous balm of easy answers onto a conflict too deeply layered with scars and emotional pain to resolve smoothly but she offers the
"possibility of healing of recovering from the loss and rage and resisting the expectations of a world where "of healing of recovering from the loss and rage and resisting the expectations of a world where tragedies become public spectacle sensitive and astute it s a book we need right now and it s a book that lingers offering plenty to think about He remembered those six days of violence fire and havoc wherever he looked stumbling bodies and stunned bleeding faces He watched his city go up in flames and under the sadness and rage the exhilaration of rampage he recognized the sparkle of hope Rebirth that was the promise of destruction The olive branch the rainbow the good men spared to rebuild the earthBut where was the new city And who were the good menLos Angeles this was supposed to be it The end of the frontier land of sunshine promised land Last stop for the immigrant the refugee the fugitive the pioneer It was Shawn s home where his mother and sister had lived and died But he had left and so had most of the people he knew Chased out priced out native children living in exile And he saw the fear and rancor here in the ones who d stayed This city of good feeling of tolerance and progress and loving thy neighbor was also a city that shunned and starved and killed its own No wonder was it that it huffed and heaved ready to blow Because the city was human and humans could only take so muchcome to my blog A taut novel that explores Korean and Black racial tensions that arose amidst the LA race riots of 1992 Steph Cha fictionalizes a real life event in 1991 Soon Ja Du a Korean female convenience store owner shot and killed Latasha Harlins in the novel Ava Matthews a 15 year old African American girl While Du was tried and convicted of voluntary manslaughter she received no ail time In Your House Will Pay Cha writes about the aftermath of this event in the present day from the perspectives of the families of the victim and the perpetrator These families find their fates intertwined once when another act of violence occurs which sets the stage for both further injustice and a chance of hard won understandingI appreciated the complexity in which Cha writes about race relations between Asian and Black communities within Your House Will Pay She avoids easy or pat resolutions to ongoing and nuanced issues I like how Cha portrays the Korean American characters honest emotional responses both the older daughter of the shooter s political fieriness as well as the shooter and her younger daughter s reprehensible collusion in anti blackness Cha does a nice ob of subtly yet assertively pointing the fin. H her Korean immigrant parents working at the family pharmacy and trying her best to understand why her sister Miriam hasn’t spoken to their mother in years The chasm in her family is growing wider by the day and Grace is desperate for reconciliation and frustrated by the feeling that her sister and parents are shielding her from the true cause of the falling outShawn Matthews is dealing with a fractured family of his own His sister Ava was murdered as a teenager back in 1991 and this new.
Free read Your House Will PayGer at the police showing how conflicts between Asian and Black communities serve to uphold white supremacy and the police state The novel reads like a thriller and I always felt compelled to flip further whenever I picked up the book I wanted some interiority from the characters especially toward the end of the book of a sense of their growth and understanding and emotional ourney and resolution or lack thereof Still I would recommend this book especially to my fellow Asian Americans and others who are ignorant of the LA race riots or race relations between Black and Asians within the United States broadly I recognize that this novel may be hard to read given its in detail descriptions of violence anti blackness police acting in unhelpful and racist ways etc especially for those who already experience those stressors in daily life Thanks to Steph Cha for writing this and fellow Asians let s address our community s anti blackness and band together with other racially marginalized groups to fight white supremacy This book is shortlisted for the 2020 TOBYvonne Park an elderly Korean woman is shot while closing her store Bloodleaf just after seven o clock in the evening However Yvonne Park is not the name she was born with Jung Ja Han is the woman s birth nameYvonne changed her name to hide from an incident in which she shot and killed a young black girl back in 1991 Yvonne thought that the girl was trying to steal a bottle of milk and when she confronted her a fight broke out between them and it ended with Yvonne shooting the young girl in the back of the head as she walked away killing herThese are pretty much the only details we know at first and these details are only slowly given up by Cha as the narrative unfolds Is there a connection between the two shootingsThe narrative structure will switch perspective with one chapter covering the dead girl s family predominantly from the view of her brother Shawn and the next chapter the Korean family mainly through the eyes of Grace Yvonne s daughterThe narrative will alsoump back into the past to help fill in gaps like a The Confusion: Books Four & Five of The Baroque Cycle jigsaw puzzle bringing the reader closer to what the real story isWith this structure the reader gets to see how the shooting affects both families and that both families are targeted and harassed and how the damage passes through generations The two families of different race are forever linked together by these five seconds of history Grace finds it particularly difficult as she was never told about the shooting and kept in the dark by the family about the whole incidentAfter an incident with a young man who works for an online news site Grace finds her email account is inundated with hate mail Savage ravings and racist threats They are all from people she does not even know a knife twist to the world of hyper social media where people can hide behind there keyboards Social Media in the modern world can be dangerous and vicious Information can spread uickly regardless of whether it is true or false Opinions can be rocketed off into cyberspace almost immediately after an event has happened Millions of people able to vent and rave having only a fraction of the full story A snippet of video footage Social media becomes saturated with opinions and innuendo And these opinions inevitably spread like a cancerous growth But really don t we have ourselves to blame Don t we crave these stories Don t these stories metastasize into monsters because of our cravingsThe police suspect that it may be a revenge shooting because of Shawn s sister being shot by Yvonne back in 1992 Matters are not helped by the fact that Shawn s cousin hasust spent the last ten years in Mismatch jail and both Shawn and his cousin used to be members of a gang called the crips Things get worse when the Crips take credit for the shooting and Ray is arrested This novel is wonderful because of its confrontational nature What would you do if your mother shot a girl in the back of the head Would it change your perception your love for her What if your mother had worked her whole life to provide a decent life for you Would you uestion your beliefs about your mother Did she shoot the girl in shock after being attacked or did she do it in anger Could you forgive somebody for shooting your mother The novel really gets you thinkingIt also gets you thinking about ourustice system and its flaws is true ustice always served Of course not Is the Judicial system biased against racial minorities Do the rich get a better defence than the poor and how can this system be changed Justice is supposed
To Be Eual Forbe eual for but it simply is not The vital uestion is how do we change and improve itI loved this novel It is loosely based on an event that truly happened but the narrative that Cha creates around this event is wonderful The characters so real and believable The uestions that you will find yourself deliberating upon finishing will stick with you We live in an imperfect world a world flawed in so many ways but we must never stop trying to improve it for everybodyGreat book 45 StarsOh I almost forgot to mention the briliance of the title of the novel and how it has different connotations Both families or houses are paying in so many ways The house reference can also be used to describe the gang related payback SuperbThere is also a wonderul interview with Cha here I ve been working on this book since the end of 2014 and while I get maybe one shot at sifting for typos I think I can finally say it s done It s a bit of a departure from my PI series a literarysocial crime novel about two Los Angeles families a contemporary story with deep roots in the blac UNDERRATED BOOK ALERTOh shoot Wow This book packs a punchI highly recommend the Audiobook It S Chef S It s chef s Set in LA this novel examines racial tensions grief and absolution through the lens of two families tied together by a decades old crimeOur protagonists Grace Park and Shawn Matthews aren t even aware of their connection to one another until after Grace s mother is shot outside of the family owned pharmacyAs Grace tries to grapple with why anyon This story is set in Los Angeles and is about two worlds colliding one Korean American family and one African American It is based on a true story of the shooting of Latasha Harlins in 1991 by a convenience store owner This story also starts in 1991 one week after the beating of Rodney King when Ava Matthews her brother Shawn cousin Ray and friend Duncan cut school and go to a movie which is cancelled due to overselling A riot and looting follows the cancellation as much due to the tinder dry atmosphere in LA post King it took little for there to be an eruption of violence A few days later Ava is shot dead whilst trying to buy milk by Korean store owner Jung Ja Han Han is charged with manslaughter but served no ail time to the horror of Ava s family She then disappears Shawn goes off the rails for a bit after this and served some Test logiciel en pratique jail time but got his life back on 35 Stars A potent story based on an actual event during the 1992 LA race riots when a black teenage girl was shot and killed by a Korean shop owner This fictional novel moves between that timeline and current events to detail the aftereffects of that death on the lives of the two African American and Korean American families involved The characters are imperfect and the book s resolution is complex reminding me the reader that sadly not much has changed in race relations in the last 25 plus years Well written and thought provoking. Shooting is bringing up painful memories Plus his cousin Ray isust released from prison and needs to reconnect with their family after so many years away While Shawn is trying his best to keep his demons at bay he’s not sure Ray can do the sameWhen another shocking crime hits LA the Parks and the Matthewses collide in ways they never could have expected After decades of loss violence and injustice tensions come to a head and force a reckoning that could clear the air or lead to violenc.