At just sixteen-years-old, Starr Carter witnesses the shooting of her friend at the hands of a police officer. Khalil, Starr's friend, was unarmed, and his death makes national headlines. As Starr lives in a poor neighbourhood and attends a fancy suburban prep school, she hears two different opinions of what people have about him. Some are calling him a thug, while people in his neighbourhood know what he really was. Starr must decide whether she should stay quiet or speak up and give Khalil the justice he deserves.