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About this item

At a glance

Target Book Club
Target Book Club


Suggested Age: 14-18 Years
Number of Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Sub-Genre: LGBT
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format: Hardcover
Author: Jas Hammonds
Featured book lists: Target Kids Book Club - Young Adult
Language: English
Street Date: November 29, 2022
TCIN: 83985688
UPC: 9781250816559
Item Number (DPCI): 059-12-2064
Origin: Made in the USA


Book Synopsis

An absolute must read. --Buzzfeed

A gripping portrayal of the South's inherent racism and a love story for queer Black girls. --Teen Vogue

Family secrets, a swoon-worthy romance, and a slow-burn mystery collide in We Deserve Monuments, a YA debut from Jas Hammonds that explores how racial violence can ripple down through generations.

What's more important? Knowing the truth or keeping the peace?

Seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson is convinced her senior year is ruined when she's uprooted from her life in DC and forced into the hostile home of her terminally ill grandmother, Mama Letty. The tension between Avery's mom and Mama Letty makes for a frosty arrival and unearths past drama they refuse to talk about. Every time Avery tries to look deeper, she's turned away, leaving her desperate to learn the secrets that split her family in two.

While tempers flare in her avoidant family, Avery finds friendship in unexpected places: in Simone Cole, her captivating next-door neighbor, and Jade Oliver, daughter of the town's most prominent family--whose mother's murder remains unsolved.

As the three girls grow closer--Avery and Simone's friendship blossoming into romance--the sharp-edged opinions of their small southern town begin to hint at something insidious underneath. The racist history of Bardell, Georgia is rooted in Avery's family in ways she can't even imagine. With Mama Letty's health dwindling every day, Avery must decide if digging for the truth is worth toppling the delicate relationships she's built in Bardell--or if some things are better left buried.

Review Quotes

An absolute must read. --Buzzfeed

A gripping portrayal of the South's inherent racism and a love story for queer Black girls. --Teen Vogue

We Deserve Monuments is an absolutely beautiful achievement. I felt this book in my heart, in my very marrow itself. --Christina Hammonds Reed, New York Times bestselling author of The Black Kids

We Deserve Monuments is an exquisite story about the value of family, the danger of long-held secrets, and the beauty of first love. I can't wait to read everything Jas Hammonds writes. --Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of The Voting Booth and Little & Lion

A breathtaking debut that explores love and family in a tender, honest way, with beautiful writing and a mystery that grabs you to the end. --Kim Johnson, bestselling author of This Is My America

This is a powerful, quaking meditation on generational trauma that effortlessly blends the South's honeyed sunshine with its rotten secrets. Hammonds has written a blazing debut. --Kelly Quindlen, bestselling author of She Drives Me Crazy and Her Name in the Sky

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds is a beautifully poignant novel. Readers will be drawn into Avery's story as she discovers long-hidden truths about her family and navigates young love, ultimately finding herself in the process. This was an amazing read! --Maika & Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine and One of the Good Ones

We Deserve Monuments is at once tender and riveting, drawing you in with its sweetness before sinking in its teeth and never letting go. Hammonds has crafted a profound story about family, history, and the burden of secrets, leaving no stone unturned or truth unexamined in this sincere debut. -- Kyrie McCauley, award winning author of We Can Be Heroes and If These Wings Could Fly

A pull-your-heart-out-with-its-teeth novel. . .[these] characters feel like real people, and so their big love, aches, and humor feel real too. Though the prose, plot, themes, and characters are expertly executed, Avery, the protagonist, carries the voice. Queer kids, Black kids, biracial kids -- and everyone else -- will find so much of themselves in her. -Chicago Review of Books

"I don't know how Jas Hammonds managed to weave so many beautiful, intricate layers into this story, but We Deserve Monuments is an absolute stunner. An intergenerational mystery, a tribute to first love, and one of the best YA books I've read in the last decade."-Nicole Brinkley, Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY

"A phenomenal and emotionally captivating debut that weaves together small town secrecy, intersectional identity, and America's violent history into one stunning, poignant, and sure-to-be influential novel. The kind of book that will keep you up until 2 AM - or at least, it did for me."-Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

"This is the kind of book that will take root in your heart and never leave. I flew through this story of generational trauma and queer girl-next-door love with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Trust me when I say you need this book!" -Kassie King, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

About the Author

Jas Hammonds was raised in many cities and in-between the pages of many books. They have received support for their writing from Lambda Literary, Sundress Academy of the Arts, and the Highlights Foundation. They are also a grateful recipient of a MacDowell James Baldwin Fellowship. We Deserve Monuments is their debut novel.
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Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 1.25 inches length x 5.38 inches width x 8.25 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 1 pounds
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4.6 out of 5 stars with 8 reviews
100% would recommend
5 recommendations

Great YA easy adult read

5 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
NotaTargetNovice - 8 months ago, Verified purchaser
A unique twist to coming of age theme. Beautifully demos the complex relationship of expectation and authenticity and how it can steal relationships.
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Beautiful & stunning read!

5 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
Book boi - 8 months ago
What a marvelous book with nuanced characters and dialogue! if you do you get this book, know that you'll be enveloped during the entire read. The actual drama and soft mystery really kept the story going along with super well-rounded characters. I love mama Letty as a beautiful character, the way she communicates with humor and honesty and connects to the protagonist Avery was such a wonderful arc to read. There is a cute coming of age, romance, and love interest with Simone that really pulls the heartstrings, as well as demonstrates how thoughtful characters can really come alive on the page. To be honest, this book did break my heart with so much it's tackling. The immense systemic racism and wonderful community main character Avery uncovers in the south while conspiring her sick grandmother were each written radiantly with care. Love this queer Black and multigenerational story that definitely showcases some incredible writing by a debut author. Hammonds will undoubtedly have a remarkable career in the future. Tbh going to gift this to everybody!
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emotional YA fiction

4 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
bostieslovebooks - 9 months ago
Headed into senior year, Avery’s life abruptly changes as her family moves from DC to small-town Georgia to be with her grandmother who’s terminally ill. Things aren’t going well due to longstanding conflict between Avery’s mom and grandmother and no one is willing to talk to her about it. She finds solace in new friendships with her neighbor, Simone, and Jade, a classmate. As Avery begins to discover things about her family’s past, her friendship with Simone turns into romance. Will Avery keep searching for the truth about what happened years ago at the risk of affecting her relationships or will she let it go? WE DESERVE MONUMENTS was a fantastic YA contemporary fiction book. The author captured an array of emotions in a raw and vulnerable way that felt so real. The characters were great. I really loved Mama Letty and how her relationship with Avery developed. The story is very character-driven so for those used to action-packed books, it may be slow, but I felt the pacing worked well overall. Many themes are explored including family, racism, trauma, and coming-of-age. Something that was revealed toward the end surprised me and was completely not on my radar which made the conclusion interesting. Upon finishing reading and reflecting, it’s easy to see why the title chosen is the perfect fit. WE DESERVE MONUMENTS would be a great read for fans of YA or queer fiction. Thank you to Roaring Book Press for the giveaway copy.
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Is Ignorance Bliss?

5 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
nomussfussreader - 9 months ago
The book left me with the question, “Would ignorance of this knowledge be better than having to know it?” After reading the book, you will be able to answer that question for yourself.
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Powerful, beautiful and heartrending

5 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
lurkykitty - 10 months ago
We Deserve Monuments follows Avery, a lesbian, biracial high school senior who moves to her mother's small Georgia hometown with her parents to help her dying grandmother, Mama Letty. She doesn't know Mama Letty and barely remembers her. Her mother and grandmother start fighting almost as soon as they arrive, and Avery is determined to discover their secrets and end the hostility. Avery initially resolves to complete her senior year with no involvement or drama, but makes two friends, one of whom becomes a love interest. This book is a deeply complex character-driven story which navigates intergenerational trauma, the ugliness of southern racism, white privilege, homophobia, police brutality, female friendships, family secrets, and identity. This coming-of-age debut novel is beautifully written, powerful, emotional, gripping and utterly heartrending. We Deserve Monuments deserves awards.
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