Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction,
Published On: February 28th 2017
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
My Rating: ★★★★★
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.
The Hate U Give is SUCH a powerful and emotional book. It’s nearly impossible to express just how much this book made me feel. It’s rare to come across a book that does so much in such an unbelievably great way. Angie Thomas manages to create a moving, powerful story with a message that NEEDS to be heard.
But at the same time, she incorporates so many elements of everyday teenage life – friends, school, romantic relationships, familial relationships. LITERALLY EVERYTHING.
I feel like she really brings Starr and the rest of the characters to life. She makes you fall in love with Starr. I usually like the protag in most stories, but I don’t always LOVE them, so it was nice to fall in love with a character again. The best part is that Starr is flawed and admits it when she’s wrong.
Some of my favorite moments in the story were when Starr is arguing or disagreeing with her parents. In those moments, even when she’s wrong or she knows she’s being petty, she admits it (at least to the reader). It makes her more realistic.
The scenes with her family are probably my favorite because her parents are genuinely wonderful, loving parents. Most YA has sketchy, horrible parents or parents that are practically non-existing. But Starr’s parents are funny, strict, and loving. This is probably the best portrayal of what it’s like to be a teen and have a good relationship with your parents that I’ve seen in YA so far.
While The Hate U Give gives a depth portrayal of Starr’s life, the plot is centered around a very traumatizing event in her life. Starr witnesses her best friend being shot and murdered by an officer. She knows her friend, Khalil, wasn’t doing anything wrong and that the officer wrongly shot him, but she faces obstacle after obstacle as she seeks justice for his death.
This book provides a well-rounded portrayal of a tragedy that so many people misunderstand and misconstrue every day in real life. Angie Thomas explores all aspects of the tragedy to give as accurate a portrayal as possible. Hopefully, this book teaches its readers a thing or two about empathy and prejudice, and how sometimes what you think is an innocent comment can really be harmful.
The Hate U Give has received lots of hype so far this year, and it 100% deserves it. While this may not be a fluffy beach read, it’s absolutely a book worth putting on your summer reading list!