Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 2 comments


Book Review The Hate U Give {living outside the stacks}

Author: Angie Thomas

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: 28 February 2017

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 444

ABOUT THE BOOK {from the inside flap of the book}

Sixteen~year~old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor black neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these two worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. 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 destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.

Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was having an article about her in Right On! magazine. She holds a BFA in creative writing. The Hate U Give is her first novel.

You can learn more about Angie Thomas on her website, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

MY OPINION

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel. Some of the people that I follow on Instagram had written glowing reviews, but I wasn’t sure that I’d “get it.” But I did get it and it broke my heart, got me angry, made me chuckle, and swept me up in waves of nostalgia.

Starr’s story is inspired by the Black Lives Movement, but it goes deeper than what we see on the news and that’s why I believe this book is destined to end up on school reading lists. The writing, the dialogue, the raw emotion is everything and then some. Thomas has created characters who are sympathetic, engaging, strong, compassionate, and relatable. First of all, the interaction between Starr’s family is very real. They argue, they tease, they love, and they protect. Then there’s the community that acts as an extended family: everyone looks out for each other, but they also call each other out when needed. And, last, but certainly not least, there’s the victim: Khalil, who is either another hashtag or another thug, depending upon your point of view. But as the story develops, we learn that he was more than that , he was a person who made choices out of desperation and love. He had hopes and dreams. He was someone’s son, brother, friend. He mattered.

This is a YA novel, therefore, much of the novel takes place in “teen world” and from a teenager’s perspective, but don’t let that discourage you from picking up this book. Because the novel is written from a teen’s point of view, adult readers will get insight into the way that teens absorb culture and politics, which can lead to so many interesting discussions {especially if parents read this novel and discuss it with their kids}. I think this novel would make a great read for teen book discussion groups and for people who are trying to understand the relationship between African Americans and police. Other topics worth discussing: media portrayal of minority neighborhoods, gang/drug culture, what makes a family, education and opportunity, and so much more.

I challenge you to read this novel and not think differently about the people behind the hashtags and headlines.

This novel contains some language, violence, and discussions about sex and drugs.

I received this novel as part of a monthly book subscription service called My Lit Box, which celebrates diverse authors and themes. You can see what I received in the box by clicking here.

MY FAVORITE SENTENCE/PASSAGE

…Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.

page 154

RATING
★★★★★

PURCHASING OPTIONS

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Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Let’s discuss…

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

 

 

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  • What a powerful story. Going to save this on Goodreads. If your favorite quote is any indication, the writing is excellent and meaningful. Have you read Small Great Things? Reading now but in small doses.

    • This is one of those novels that is out of my comfort zone, but I’m so happy that I read it. “Powerful” is the right word. The writing is tight and full of emotion.

      I haven’t read Small Great Things, but I will check it out. Thank you for the recommendation.