Title: The Hate U Give
Series: The Hate U Give #1
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre/Themes: YA Contemporary, USA, Black Lives Matter, Racism, Police Brutality, Unlawful Killings, High School
Blurb from Goodreads
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
“When I was twelve, my parents had two talks with me.
One was the usual birds and bees…
The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me.”
Just thinking about that quote…
When I was twelve…
When I was twelve I was falling in love with pop stars. I was just beginning to figure out who I wanted to be… I was a child. Society allowed me to be a beautifully innocent child….
Books like this one are why I love reading. Not only is this a nicely written novel, it is vitally important. It’s grounded in so much harsh truth.
The characters for the most part are very human and well drawn.
The storyline is completely compelling and often times chilling. It paints a searingly accurate picture of a world that many of us don’t know enough about, providing a voice to a frequently misrepresented minority and gives us that chance to see our world through someone else’s eyes.
Thomas’ is so subtle at times with how she reveals the everyday horrors that Black people, especially Black teens, in the USA have to live with. The way she describes things such as the racial micro aggressions experienced by main character Starr are absolutely devastating to read about and truly makes any reader understand why support for the Black Lives Matter movement is so vitally important.
If I’m to quibble with the writing somewhat then I would say that some of the minor and supporting characters were not as well written as Starr and her family were, and at times Thomas dared to venture into the realms of cliché and stereotype with those characterisations, but taking the book as a whole then I would have to say it was an enjoyable reading experience with a truly compelling storyline.
This is a book about understanding.
About courage and about humanity.
It is an incredibly powerful read and this is one of those rare times that you can believe the hype. A book that has revitalised my faith in the relevance of the contemporary YA genre.
You need to read this.