Luz has just celebrated her first year anniversary living at St. Therese Home for Boys and Girls in New York City. She is a seventeen-year-old Peurto Rican female with gang affiliation, a background with drugs, and anger management issues. After her brother was killed by a police officer a year ago, she began to spin further out of control. With the support of St. Therese Home, she is finally beginning to come to terms with her brother’s death and with her own feelings of isolation, insecurity, and fear. The horrors of inner-city drive-bys, robberies, and disrespect are described through Luz’s journal entries, poetry, and conversations. Luz offers the authentic voice of a young minority who has been tested, shocked, and hurt by people and the world around her. As Luz forms relationships with adults and her peers, and as she matures as a person, she begins to come to terms with the violence that surrounds her, and ultimately recognizes her beloved brother’s participation in dealing drugs, and his role in his own destruction. While the presence of pain is obvious, the novel is not overwhelming, and it concludes with visions of acceptance, appreciation, and tolerance.