The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Balzer + Bray | February 28, 2017
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.
Angie Thomas holds nothing back in her debut novel, The Hate U Give. The story is fiction but is definitely based on things that happen all the time in the real world. Thomas captures the racial injustice that a lot of minorities face every day and how little the justice system does to fix these problems. She shows us through her novel that no matter what color your skin is, you can and should fight for what you believe is right.
I feel like this book is important. I feel like it touches a subject that people are either too afraid to talk about or just don’t care enough to discuss — racism and racial stereotypes we are all guilty of. Khalil was shot because he was black, living in the ghetto, so he must be a drug dealer. The Hate U Give tackles subjects we wouldn’t openly talk about on our own, and I think it’s wonderful.
There was so much hype for this book and I can honestly say that it did not disappoint. I’ve never read a book more relevant and eye-opening than this one. On top of covering topics such as racism and stereotypes, it also opens your eyes up to how the media portrays such events and the difficulties family and friends face during the aftermath of it all.
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
— Lisa (Starr’s mom), The Hate U Give
There are so many amazing characters in this book, but by far Starr is my favorite. Not because she is the main character and the narrator of the story, but because we get to follow her from the moment Khalil gets shot to the moment she begins to use her voice to fight for the justice he deserves. We watch her fight herself throughout the book and pretend to be someone else around those who are supposed to be her friends until she eventually learns that they’re not really your friend if you can’t be yourself. I also was a huge fan of her dad who was born into the gang life and got out and was now helping others get out. I loved the whole family dynamic, how they were all so close and there was no doubt that they were all there for each other.
The Hate U Give is heart-breaking and so powerful, and I enjoyed every page of it. Not only is this a book that touches many relevant topics, but it’s also a story of a girl finding her voice and learning to use it. This is a book everyone should read, it is definitely an eye-opener.
“To every kid in Georgetown and in all “the Gardens” of the world: your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be roses that grow in the concrete.”
— Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give