Heartrending and thought provoking

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Forgive Me Not follows fifteen-year-old Violetta Chen-Samuel who has been incarcerated after her drunk driving led to the death of her younger sister. The book is set in an alternate reality in which young offenders are subject to one of three outcomes: forgiveness and a return home, traditional incarceration serving time in prison, or undergoing Trials to earn forgiveness. The victim or the victim's family decides on the fate of the young offender. In Violetta's case, the victim is her family.
The story is also told through the point of view of Violetta's older brother Vince, who is grieving the loss of his sister, worried about Violetta, and facing his own challenges. His perspective sheds light on the flaws and hardships within Violetta's family.
Forgive Me Not is a thought-provoking examination of the juvenile justice system. The "trials" were designed to improve upon a broken system, it's evident that the same biases remain: racism, sexism, class and privilege. Additional themes are explored including grief, trauma, teen drug and alcohol abuse, family dynamics, relationships and peer pressure.
Forgive Me Not is absolutely heartrending as the reader has sympathy for Violetta, Vince, their parents and the other young offenders. The world building is skillfully executed, and characters are complex and well developed.