Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend he can be to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector he can be over his little brother, Isaiah. But as much as Alex tries, he often comes up short.
It’s hard for him to be present when every time he touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future. When he touches a scoop, he has a vision of him using it to scoop ice cream. When he touches his car, he sees it years from now, totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the precipice of breaking up, and that terrifies him. Alex feels these visions are a curse, distracting him, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life.
And when Alex touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother’s imminent death, everything changes.
With Alex now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present.
The Cost Of Knowing is a quick read that speaks about black joy as well as black struggles.
I enjoyed the way the familial relationships were handled in this book. The bond between Alex and his aunt as well as the bond that developed between Alex and his brother, Isaiah after Alex had seen his grave.
I was a fan of how Britney Morris managed to make this story about the struggles that Alex and other black people have to face without making it the sole important aspect of the story.
I appreciate the author giving Alex a burden and then made it clear that it was something he could overcome.
The pacing towards the end was a bit rushed and I do wish some aspects of the story were more fleshed out, for example Alex’s relationship with Talia.
Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY, THE COST OF KNOWING, and MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES – WINGS OF FURY. She holds a BA in economics from Boston University and has written for video games including The Lost Legends of Redwall, and Subnautica: Below Zero. She spends her spare time reading, playing indie video games, and enjoying the rain from her home in Philadelphia. She lives with her husband Steven who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods because he hasn’t played enough horror games, and her darling (and especially wiggly) son. Brittney is the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club and looks forward to NaNoWriMo every year.