Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Pages: 450
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Source: Library
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "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. 




Starr Carter is an African American student at the prestigious Williamson Prep school where mostly well-to-do white people go.  But unlike her classmates, Starr lives in Garden Heights, which is an African American neighborhood that can be rather dangerous.  She is part of both worlds, but often finds herself often torn between the two.  One day Starr is on the way back from a party with her best friend, Khalil, who is fatally shot by a white police officer. He was even unarmed and didn't do anything wrong! Obviously, this becomes a big news story and Starr is right in the center of it as she was a witness to the shooting.  Of course some of the media outlets paint Khalil in a negative light by calling him a drug dealer, thug, and the like, while all of this creates turmoil as well as protests in Starr's neighborhood of Garden Heights.  What should Starr do as she is the only witness to the murder? Will she bring danger to her family if she speaks the truth? Angie Thomas's debut novel, The Hate U Give, is an important and moving story that feels like it has been ripped from the headlines.

I really enjoyed the character of Starr in The Hate U Give. I appreciated her struggled between her "school world" and her home life.  She also struggled with how honest to be with the media; how much should she tell about the night that Khalil was killed? What are the consequences of this? Because if she tells the truth this will put her as well as her family in the national spotlight.  Doing what is right isn't always easy and Starr is faced with many difficult decisions and situations in The Hate U Give. I think many young people would appreciate her story, especially if you follow the news as this is, unfortunately, something we are hearing more and more of.


One thing that I loved about The Hate U Give was author's use of voice. It felt so authentic and easy to read. The voice is really strong, and in turn, it made the story seem very real.  Also, the dialogue felt authentic and not contrived at all. There were parts that made me laugh out loud and parts that truly tugged on my heartstrings.  Thomas did a fantastic job bringing Starr, her community, and the people to life.  


If you are looking for a powerful read this year, I urge you to check out The Hate U Give. It's a timely story and one that will surely stick with you.



2 comments:

  1. This book sounds very nice ! It will be on my Christmas list !
    https://bookslipsticksandtravels.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. I hope you get to read it! Thanks for visiting, Alex!

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