Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Details & Summary:

Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
Release Date: February 28th 2017
Pages: 464

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.

My thoughts…

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

I don’t think I’ve ever read a more hyped book than this one. It’s THE book to read in 2017. The IT book, if you will. But I don’t think those titles do the book justice. This isn’t the kind of book you should read simply because you want to read what everyone else is reading. It’s not the kind of book that should rise to the top in 2017 only to be forgotten when the next big thing comes around.

This book should be read because it’s an honest account of what’s happening in America right now and it’s important that everyone is aware of it.

I’ll be perfectly honest here: as a white, non-American citizen I didn’t know how bad it was / is. Yes, I saw it on the news. Yes, I read the articles. Yes, I saw the anger and outrage on Twitter. But we all know the media can twist things around and show things the way they want you to see it. Simply put: I didn’t understand until I read the Hate U Give and I know there are a lot of people (American or not) who’re in the same position.

That’s why I’m really happy this book has gained the attention it deserves. Because it will force people to understand and see the truth.

Aside from its sociopolitical importance, the Hate U Give is also a well-written, powerful, and amazing book about a sixteen-year-old girl who’s trying to find her voice. It’s not easy because Starr’s fear of the system, a system that’s working against her, is palatable. Fear of the system is what keeps her from speaking up for most of the story even though she’s outraged her best friend Khalil was murdered.

I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve Tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down.
Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.

But with the support of her loving family and through figuring out complicated friendships and her relationship with her boyfriend Chris, she finds her voice and speaks up.

“The truth casts a shadow over the kitchen—people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.
Maybe this can be it.”

Angie Thomas found a good balance between the fight for justice and the different relationship dynamics. It’s all intertwined and it comes together beautifully in the end. And while the way she portrays the fight for justice deserves to be applauded, she also deserves credit for building complex characters and relationships. I loved how there was room for jokes and laughter and family bonding and typical high school drama amidst the chaos and the injustice.

“You still got that old laptop? The one you had before we bought you that expensive-ass fruit one?”
I laugh. “It’s an Apple MacBook, Daddy.”
“It damn sure wasn’t the price of an apple.

The Hate U Give should be mandatory reading. It delivers an important and timely sociopolitical message inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and shows that there’s always two sides to a story even when one side is silenced. But it’s also a stunning, well-written book about a sixteen-year-old girl who finds herself and her voice.

Rating

15 thoughts on “Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  1. Great review! Although I pre-ordered this book and got it weeks ago, I haven’t gotten around to actually read it yet.
    Your review is brilliant; it makes me want to read it far stronger than ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. AAAGGGHHH I reeeeeeeally need to read THUG! I’m too broke to buy it (although I’m going to the bookstore this weekend to buy a paperback??? what is this??? can I just go buy like the five million other books on my TBR???) and my library is slow in getting new releases. I loooove that it covers racism — we really do need books like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will hopefully be getting to this one next week! I’m very excited. Hyped books scare me – especially when they’re this hyped. I’m glad to see that people are loving it and it’s getting hype for all the best reasons!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful review! I’m so happy you enjoyed this book – I hope to read it soon. It seems like an intense but important read for sure, and I love how you mentioned the dynamic relationships in this. I love this in books. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was definitely intense, but the humour helped 🙂 Oh, you’re going to love this then. The relationships were on point. I especially loved the family dynamic. It’s nice to see a loving, supporting family in YA fiction

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I need to read this. Its on my to-do list but I’ll get to it. I’m so happy for Angie and the support and hype this book has gotten. Stories like these need to be told. Even though I’m black it wakes me up as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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