Title: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
This book has to be the best book I have read this year. Angie Thomas is a phenomenal woman for writing this story that is so relevant for what has been happening in America.
The Hate U Give deals with an array of issues but the plot focuses on the unlawful killing of Starr’s friend Khalil by a police officer and the process in which she and Khalil’s loved ones must go through in a fight for justice. The plot is so relevant to the news that is often coming out of America and the Black Lives Matter movement. This may be a Young Adult Fiction but I honestly think it is a must read and it can teach you so much about Malcom X and the Black Panthers.
Overall this story is about hope as Starr hopes for justice over Khalil’s death but it’s a heartbreaking tale outlining the unfair justice system, gangs, white privilege and police brutality. There are also issues covering Rich VS Poor society, the projects, gangs, domestic abuse and interracial relationships. There is SO much going on in this book but it is all relevant and each detail packs a punch on how unfair society is towards people of colour.
I think overall Angie Thomas did an outstanding job writing this book as she has developed a perfect balance between the hard-hitting reality facing Starr and the Black Lives Matter Movement and the more comedic moments Starr and her family and friends share. I don’t want to say any Spoilers but this book will most definitely have you angry throughout.
I really liked so many characters in The Hate U Give especially Starr who I found so brave and strong but rather than ranting my pure love for them I’m going to mention one character I hate. Which was one of Starr’s friends; Hailey. Now Hailey is an interesting character for Angie Thomas to include because she seems to be one of Starr’s best friends but she is actually racist and has made numerous offensive comments and refused to apologize for it. I found Hailey to be so ignorant and she kept annoying me, when the girls stand up for themselves and educate her on her behaviour I really wanted to applaud them.
Overall there are so many different types of characters in The Hate U Give each dealing with different issues from there background or reality such as Starr’s dad – Big Mav. Big Mav is extremely caring, protective, funny and just all round lovable throughout The Hate U Give and he has a story himself. He wasn’t their for Starr at the beginning of her life because he was in prison, but he turned his life around for his family. On the opposite scale of that we also have African American Characters who live in a rich area such as Starr’s uncle who is also a police officer. Between these two types of characters, the EX-Con and the Police Officer we see how they both differ in their opinions at the beginning of the book, how their different life styles create tension and how that relates to their sense of place in the Black Lives Matter Movement. For Big Mav he is right in the centre of it, not wanting to leave his home but build it back up and regain it from the gangs whereas Starr’s uncle is on the outside having left that neighbourhood and seeing any violance from a police officers point of view. Both of the two characters creates an interesting character dynamic especially when paired with the gangs which surround them.
The Hate U Give is without a doubt a 5 star read for me. I’ve truly tried to reign in my fan girl to write this review because I loved it so much and found it so relevant and emotional. My friends always say I go on these Civil Right’s rants because I get so passionate talking about the Black Lives Matter Movement and, Islamophobia and basically just angrily ranting the injustices of the world so when I saw this book I knew it would be for me. It was so interesting to read a YA fiction book that was so relevant and hard-hitting. Definitely one to check out and add to your TBR’s. It’s easy to get into, hard-hitting and you won’t want to put it down.
Let me know in the comments if you have read The Hate U Give and what your thoughts on it were!