The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Released Date: February 28 2017
Thoughts: Heartbreaking. Relevant. A necessary read.
Rating: 5/5 stars. Forever on my favorites list.
“People like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.”
Some books exist to entertain us, and then there are books which forces us to face reality. The Hate U Give is a book worthy of being on everyone’s TBR list. This is the sort of book that I would call a necessary read. The Hate U Give is the kind of book that will open eyes and shape character.
I cannot say that it begins with our protagonist, Starr Carter, for the issue of discrimination has been going on for too long. Starr Carter, a sixteen year old girl, from Garden Heights has just witnessed the murder of Khalil by a cop. Now, before I proceed, I want you to know that I am not a Black woman, nor have I ever been in a situation as Starr’s.
Even so, The Hate U Give was hard to read through in one sitting. I had to put the book down several times to stop myself from crying (and this is from someone who doesn’t cry over books). Inspired not just by the Black Lives Movement but also from Angie Thomas’ childhood, readers get an unapologetic look at the unfair and brutal treatment Starr and her community are subjected to. We are faced with the shooting of unarmed black people, with bias in the justice system, prejudice from people once considered friends. Let me tell you, The Hate U Give is an emotionally charged book which does not give one time to get adjusted to the scene. After all, we are a part of it. We are living in it. Some more so than others.
The Hate U Give focuses on Starr Carter’s fight with the system and her relationships. We watch her fight with her fight her fear to go up against the police, the media, and the nation. I’ve always been aware of the the media’s tendency to twist truths and garner publicity through sensationalization but reading about it from the perspective of Starr turned my stomach. We get a full view of how innocence is never an option from someone from a poor, black neighborhood.
The relationships portrayed by the author was not overshadowed though. Starr’s relationship with her family was full of warmth and joy, positivity in spite of the harrowing conditions. I loved the familial dynamics, especially that between her parents and Seven. Then we have Starr with her white classmates. Those relationships was quite complex; we all know a Chris, the ones who are confused yet willing to learn, and the Haileys, ones who refuse to listen to anyone else.
No matter what race you are from this book will open your eyes. For some, it maybe to the insidious prejudice they are not aware of while for others it will pull aside the curtain to their privilege.
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
I would recommend parents have their children read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. A little forewarning though as there are some mature language which is used by both adults and children, and a little bit of sexual content. But besides that, there is no reason this book should not be read by teenagers. If you are looking to add a book to your summer reading, this is it.
Educate yourself a little more, my dear reader. Learn to cry a little bit for others. There is much healing needed in this world, and no matter what race you are, your help is needed.
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