The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Paraphrased from Goodreads
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.
This book is incredible and completely blew me away. I loved everything about it and flew through it, despite it being a fairly long book.
I really liked the relationships in this book. I loved Starr’s family. Close family relationships are not very prevalent in YA books, so I loved that they were so close. I loved the relationship between Starr and her parents. It was so supportive and sweet and it was very clear that they all love each other.
I also loved the friendships. I love the added layer of complexity with Starr’s friend Hailey: on the one hand, she’s been Starr’s best friend for years, but she’s also subtly racist and refuses to own up to it. I loved that this book explored this, and really emphasized that it was okay to leave these friends.
I liked that Chris (Starr’s boyfriend) was white. It also added another layer. He’s white and rich, whereas Starr is black and poor. However, he loves Starr and wants to support her, even when he doesn’t understand what she’s going through. I liked that he accepted there are some things he’d never understand, but he was still wiling to try and support Starr.
There were just so many layers to this book, and it was fantastic. They all added so much to the storyline, and I loved it.
I also think this is such an important book. With the current racial climate in the US, this is very timely. It was so well-done and I thought approached the topic of racial differences in such a good way. It didn’t sugar coat anything. It was very black and white, and I loved that.
I also loved that it didn’t try to make white readers comfortable. I recently read a review where the reviewer mentioned they didn’t like that Thomas made generalizations about white people, like that white people kiss their dogs on the lips. But, this is a book about an unarmed, innocent black child being shot by a white police officer. This book shouldn’t cater to white people. We need to realize that we’re at fault here. We need to understand the struggles of black people and it needs to be told to us in the exact way this book did. I’m glad Thomas didn’t cater to white people and even tried to make us uncomfortable. This isn’t the book for that and that’s not something we should demand.
Overall, I loved this book. It made me cry more times than I can count. It made me remember why I’m an activist and what I fight for. This book deserves all the hype and more.
Let me know if you’ve read this book and what your thoughts are!
Thanks for reading! xx