This is a novel about gentrification in a Black neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, but it's also a novel about sisters, friends, growing apart, growing together, and change.
It's told from the point-of-view of Maya, known to be "more Black" than her identical twin sister Nikki. You can glean from their names that they've been instilled with Black pride and that their parents have supplemented the PDX public school curriculum. It's their senior year, and the twins' shared best friend and across-the-street neighbor, Essence, is displaced. Essence and her mom's landlord fixes all the houses problems to, you guessed it, sell the place, and guess who buys it? A white family of do-gooders. The mom partners with this coalition or that to save the local public schools, and the dad teaches in a middle school.
Maya is pissed about the Jacobs displacing the Jacksons and clings hard to her friendship with Essence. Nikki, the betrayer, becomes friends with the white girl in Essence's former house, Katie. Both Essence and Nikki further let Maya down by losing sight of their dream to go to Spelman College together. Then the worst thing of all happens. Maya falls for the white boy in Essence's old house.
The relationship may or may not be a metaphor for gentrification. I bet some see it as a "if you can't beat 'em, date 'em" thing, but Maya's resistance to her high school principal's all lives matter approach to improving the school and school relations is too real to be dismissed. It's a coming-of-age novel, so something has to be lost for something to be gained. Maya and her friends to figure out what to accept and even embrace, vs. what to say "hell, no!" to.