Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End in this gripping, evocative novel about a Black teen who has the power to see into the future, whose life turns upside down when he foresees his younger brother’s imminent death, from the acclaimed author of SLAY.
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.
About the Author
Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY, The Cost of Knowing, and The Jump, and has written video game narrative for Insomniac Games’s Marvel’sSpider-Man 2 for PlayStation 5, Unknown Worlds’s Subnautica: Below Zero, and Soma Games’s The Lost Legends of Redwall. She is the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club. She holds a BA in economics. You can find her online at AuthorBrittneyMorris.com and on Twitter or Instagram @BrittneyMMorris.
“The Cost of Knowing is a tense and timely portrayal of powerful Black boys growing up too soon with knowledge that the past and future are aligned against them. Morris writes the best kind of speculative fiction, the kind where reality is close enough to touch.” —Lamar Giles, author of Not So Pure and Simple and Spin
“Emotional. Tense. And full of teen boy angst, Morris offers redemption and a fresh start for two brothers crushed by the world around them and at odds with each other. Pick it up for the super powers. Stay for the brotherly love and unsolved mysteries.” —Gabby Rivera, author of Juliet Takes a Breath and Marvel’s America
“The Cost of Knowing is taut and powerful, with a beautifully rendered sibling relationship at its heart. I was deeply moved.” —Rory Power, New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls and Burn Our Bodies Down
“An essential read relevant to our times. This story matters." —Jennifer Kraar, City of Asylum Bookstore (Pittsburgh, PA)
“This is a novel that covers the facets of #BlackLivesMatter in a piercing and intimate way, from generational trauma to present-day struggle, from stolen heritage to ancestral power. Go ahead and put The Cost of Knowing on every award ballot and "Best of 2021 list"; this book is too brilliant and powerful to ignore.” —Sami Thomason, Square Books (Oxford, MS)
“Final Destination meets Ghost Boys, The Cost of Knowing slowly builds tension and raises the stakes for both the characters and the reader!” —Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore (Richmond, VA)
“An emotionally nuanced story layering grief, masculinity, and generational trauma that will leave readers with a powerful message about regret, choice, and knowledge.” —Jessica Palacios, Once Upon A Time Bookstore (Montrose, CA)
“As a white person in America looking for ways to be a better ally, this blew me away. With a realistic contemporary story and a bit of magic, Morris tackles fear culture and “accidental” racism.” —Elizabeth Rice, Kids Summer-Fall 2019 Indies Introduce Panelist (Chicago, IL)