The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (28th Feb 2017)
Format/Source: ARC (sent by HarperCollins USA International for review)
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.
Towards the end of 2016, there was this one book that was getting so much attention from the bookish community. I only dreamt of reading it because ARCs are really limited and hard to come by. But lo and behold, I felt like the luckiest duck in the world when I received The Hate U Give in the post. My most heartfelt thanks to HarperCollins USA International for giving me the opportunity to read one of the most authentic and realest books I’ve ever read.
“What is Tumblr anyway? Is it like Facebook?”
“No, and you’re forbidden to get one. No parents allowed. You guys already took over Facebook.”
“You haven’t responded to my friend request yet.”
“I need Candy Crush lives.”
“That’s why I’ll never respond.”
I have so many feelings for The Hate U Give. It’s been such a long time since I read something so truthful. The Hate U Give rings with unflinching honesty and I thought the author, Angie Thomas, did an incredible job in writing characters you’d root for. Right from the start, I was rooting for Starr and her family and friends.
“I wish people like them would stop thinking that people like me need saving.”
The Hate U Give was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and it’s an eye-opener for someone who doesn’t know much about this movement. Aside from the fact that The Hate U Give is the author’s #OwnVoices story, it was evident that Angie Thomas did extensive research on the issues in the book. And it was so refreshing to read a story written by an author who didn’t need to hold back. The Hate U Give was bold and everyone should read it.
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
The issues in the book were handled brilliantly and I just need to remind myself to tell people to read The Hate U Give. It’s important, it’s enlightening, it’s impactful, it’s a fucking stunning book. This book was one of the earliest books I read this year and up until now, Starr’s incredibly moving story is still on my mind.
“Faith isn’t just believing but taking steps toward that belief.”
Probably because The Hate U Give gave me such an impact. I read and learned about things I didn’t know and I implore you, please give The Hate U Give a try because you won’t regret it.
I loved the balance between the humour and the serious tone of the book. Starr is a character who was comfortable living in the bubble of her life, but slowly realises that there are horrors out there that could ruin lives. Talk about character growth. I loved the positive messages that were conveyed in the book. Starr’s journey from being affected by her friend’s death to her belief in herself. Her belief in herself that she could use her voice for a greater good. Her belief in herself that she could make a change. And that was only one of the triumphs of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give.
“We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. 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 is a powerful story about family, friendship, community and believing in yourself. I loved Starr and her family, their family ties were messy and complicated but that’s the beauty of life, where nothing is perfect. I couldn’t stop laughing when Starr’s Momma put her children in their places. I can totally imagine my Mum being all protective and loving and sassy.
“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared, Starr. It means you go on even though you’re scared. And you’re doing that.”
All in all, The Hate U Give is fantastically written. The MC is sassy and brave. The story is brutally honest. The realistic elements of the book made it unforgettable. And can we please just agree that Angie Thomas deserves all the love we give. A unique, important book about speaking out and using your voice as a weapon that demands to be read.
Quotes were taken from the ARC and are subject to change in the actual, finished copy.