Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Young Adult

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Plot: 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.

Pros:

  • The way the audiobook was adapted — with all the emotion and the pausing — really brought this story to life
  • This is another one of those important reads, and I’m so glad it’s getting a movie
  • Like Justyce in Dear Martin, Starr struggles with her identity, with her voice, and with her truth; she’s not the only one
  • The way she stood up to her friends was brave
  • This book was graphic — it didn’t sugarcoat any of even the worst moments — and made the story so real
  • I really loved Chris
  • Her family was the best

Cons:

  • I couldn’t really get into it in novel form, but the audiobook — just having someone tell me the story — changed that
  • The resolution with King seemed kind of easy, but after all of the turmoil in the rest of the book, it was okay

My Thoughts: *deep breath* I don’t even know. This book is still so fresh in my mind, that it’s hard to really form my opinion into words. This book was more than just a statement against police brutality — honestly, in the grand scheme of things, police brutality wasn’t all that important. There is no sugarcoating and Angie Thomas is 100% sorry not sorry about the social commentary within this story.

Starr grew as a character so much throughout the course of this novel. She struggled with her identity — acting one way at school, and one way at home — but eventually found her own voice and came to terms with herself and her place as a black girl in the United States.

Starr’s family was so great. Her parents were firm but supportive, and did what they could to give Starr some semblance of normal, despite how very not normal her circumstances were. Seven was such a great big brother, and her little brother reminded me of my own in so many ways. Even her extended family had a way of making me feel welcome in their narrative.

All in all, this book was heavy. The subject matter was very real, and it made my blood boil. But it also made me realize the importance of every voice. I jumped into this book knowing that I was strapping in for an emotional roller coaster, but this book was honestly eye-opening — and I mean that in the least cliche way possible.
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Angie Thomas

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