I saw this book displayed at Barnes & Nobles over the summer, yet I hesitated picking it up mainly because it’s classified as a YA novel (and I’m hardly young, and adult is debatable too!). It didn’t help, that I had already picked up over 20 books to haul back to Qatar in my suitcases.
However, I recently joined the Diverse Book Clubs, on Good Reads and The Hate U Give was one of their September reads. Naturally, I had this shipped (priority delivery), along with 3 other books to add to my ever-growing to- be-read pile!
There has been so much hype around this book all year. In fact, it was probably the most anticipated reads of 2017. And you know what? It was completely worth it!
This book centers around Starr – an African-American sixteen year old, who lives in a poor neighborhood of Garden Heights but attends a posh predominantly white high school in the suburbs. One night she witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend Khalil by a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. As news reports emerge of the incident, Starr’s world is shattered. There are riots in the streets, threats are being made to Starr’s family and a grand jury trial awaits. What Starr says or not says could destroy her.
This book was inspired largely by the Black Lives Matter movement and the title is derived by rapper Tupac Shakur’s THUG life tattoo.
The Hate U Give is an engrossing read from start to finish. I don’t think there was a single moment that dragged in this entire book! But more importantly, this book has given a fresh perspective on racial profiling, police brutality and the difference between what the media portrays and the actual reality of it.
Starr’s character is so well written, I felt like I knew her. She is your average teen with fears and worries, yet confident and inspiring. She is constantly struggling with an inner battle! She wants to speak up about what she saw the night of the shooting, but is drowning in fear.
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”-
The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
The family dynamics between Starr and her family was depicted really well. They weren’t by any means perfect. but were a close-knit family with their fair shares of struggles. The conversations between Starr and her parents were honest and funny! There were references to Facebook and Candy Crush lives, and some great Harry Potter references too.
I think this book left me with a message that we all struggle with. We know what is right and what is wrong, but if we were ever put in a situation, are we brave enough to speak up?
For a debut novel, Angie Thomas knocked it out of the park with this one! She is truly a gifted writer. Even though this book is a YA genre, it transcends age.
I wouldn’t wait too long to read this, because it is due to come out as a movie soon. And you know the rule – book before the movie. Always!
I’ll leave you with some of my favorites quotes from the book.
“At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”
“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”