Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Walker Books
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.
This is hands down one of the most important, if not the most important book I have read both in 2017, and of all time. The Hate U Give is a book that most of you have probably heard of. It is a powerful book that deals with the topic of police brutality in the United States. It is a sad but accurate portrayal of how police brutality cases are dealt with but this book focuses more on how seeing police brutality with your own eyes can affect you and how you must become a voice for those that have suffered from this violence.
One of the books I knew I had to read this year was this one. So many people have spoken about it since its release in early 2017 but I hadn’t quite got to it. It’s not hard to see why this was at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list for so long, nor why it’s won a Goodreads Choice 2017 award. It’s currently in production for a film, and other than the sensitive topic that this book deals with, I also knew I had to read it before the movie came out. I can’t promise that this review will be fully coherent but I just want to type out everything I feel. If it’s messy, I’m sorry but I just feel like this book is so deep and deserves to be recognised and read by everyone.
I don’t really know what to say in regards to this book. I want to tell you how amazing it was, how Starr is a great character to follow but at the same time, this book is just so sad and it’s very frustrating too. It’s frustrating because you can see just how wrong things are in this book and it’s so unfair but you’re powerless to change anything in this book. It reflects how unfair the current system is too.
I think that’s the thing with this book. It is instantly relatable to events that have happened in real life, what with people who have been killed that haven’t had the justice that they deserve. It’s a very truthful book which almost makes it a little difficult to read sometimes. The one thing that I will say about it is that I loved that it gave a different view to police brutality. When something happens, we see it all over the media. We see the protests, the Facebook posts, the tweets, all of that side of it, but we never see how it affects the people that have witnessed it. I feel like this book gave such a unique view. We saw how Starr dealt with the killing of one of her childhood best friends and how that has affected her. We see the effects that it has on her neighbourhood and the people. We see how Starr, at first, doesn’t exactly want to talk about it. We see how she feels about her image at her school and how it might affect that. We see the vulnerability of Starr and just how much it has affected her and how past events have also contributed to how she feels now.
This book has so many different layers which makes it feel even more real. It’s a powerful book because we see the events in this book unraveling in real life and it makes you really feel things. I felt powerless, sad, annoyed and frustrated reading this book. I love Angie Thomas’ writing in this book because it really felt as if I was with Starr myself. I really just wanted to give her a hug and help her out.
In terms of the characters, I really liked Starr’s family. They were a very down to earth, at times funny and supportive. I can’t pick any one character out of them because I liked them all. Starr’s boyfriend was also a good character as well as one of her best friends. It’s difficult to talk about her friends much because I didn’t feel like they were fully involved as Starr didn’t talk to many people about her experience of what she had witnessed other than her family. This book really showed Starr’s family as her biggest rock and supporters.
I don’t know how I can encourage you or anyone else to read this, other than saying that this is one of the most powerful books you will ever read so if you get any opportunity to pick this up, then you definitely should.
You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!