The Cost of Knowing | Sticky Note Reviews

Hello readers!

Welcome to my backlog of Sticky Note Reviews. I’ve written a bunch that I haven’t posted. So once again, I’m trying to rectify that. We’ll see how it goes.

So Brittney Morris. The Cost of Knowing. Let’s go.

Navigation — click a link to go directly to that section.

  1. Six Word Summary (tl;dr book summary)
  2. What it’s really about and why I read it
  3. Sticky Note Review (tl;dr book review)


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 to 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. 

From Goodreads

Why I Read It

Here’s the bit that I had to delete from the up front several times. I was just so excited to tell you why I read this book.

So I read Slay in 2019. I read it on my way home from the NCTE conference and ALAN Workshop in Baltimore, MD (which was a great time, let me tell you — I’ve never felt so myself as an educator as I did at that conference) and immediately told my friends they needed to read it.

So when I heard Morris’s sophomore effort was coming out during the ALAN Workshop in 2020, I knew, without a doubt, that I’d be reading it. I actually received a digital ARC from Simon & Schuster after ALAN was over, but managed to forget about it (Walden Award reading will do that to a person).

Additionally, it was billed as They Both Die at the End meets Dear Martin. (Aside: I have not forgiven Adam Silvera for that one yet.) I loved both of these novels, and so here we are.

And the sticky note says…

#StickyNoteReview of The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris #SNRtbs Brittany Morris dedicated this novel to all the Black boys who had to grow up too early. And this idea is evident throughtou The Cost of Knowing. The protagonist – 16 year old Alex, can see the future of anything he touches. When he sees his brother’s death, he does everything he can to stop it. 

It’s a novel no only about this relationship that became strained after the death of their parents, but also about generational trauma – how e trauma of one generation affects the entire familial system. It’s an interesting take on the idea – one that I want to talk more about (but I also don’t want to give anything away). It’s tense, as it should be, and a fabulous read. 

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