This review was hard to write. Why? Because I can’t find a way to put my thoughts adequately into words. Are there even words to describe how important this book is? Most likely not, but I’ll try!
Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: February 28, 2017
Length: 464 pages
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Synopsis: (via 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.”
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
First off, shame on me for waiting so long to read this book! I actually listened to it via audiobook and wow, I flew through it! It’s books like these that makes me thankful I have a desk job so I can listen to amazing books like this one!
It’s quite difficult putting my thoughts about this book into words. I’m not black, so my review of this book may come across quite skewed, nor I have ever experienced anything on the scale of what the main character, Starr Carter, her friends, and/or her family experienced throughout this novel. I was able to relate on a low level to Maya, Starr’s Asian-American friend and classmate.
One thing is for sure, though. I’d absolutely love to be a part of the Carter family. As a whole, I felt the book demonstrated how important family and community are, especially in the neighborhood they live in. I loved Starr’s comments about how in love her parents are. Overall, I loved Starr was a person. She was the absolute perfect narrator for this book and Khalil’s story. She navigates her own–and very often others’–feelings, doubts, struggles, and triumphs. She experiences things no sixteen-year-old ought to, but the hard times are balanced with a lot of good, and I don’t think Angie lets us forget that Starr is still a teenager. She doesn’t have everything figured out, and that’s okay! (All the Harry Potter references, for the win! 😛 ) But the amazing thing is that you hurt along with Starr–with her family and friends, and you long for justice to be served right along with her.
And for me, this book was an eye-opener. We scream and yearn for justice, but things don’t always work out the way we want them, too. I think, all in all, we learn together with Starr. It was nice to see she no longer had a strong need to completely separate who she is at home and who she is at school, though it was sad she felt like she had to do it in the first place. Throughout the book, I think she realizes she can’t separate these two things anymore, and it was heartbreaking to see her fight this battle within herself. She wants to say true to herself, and I’m glad we get to see some fulfillment with that.
I’m not even sure this review make sense. But I’ll tell you, and everyone else, to read this. This is one of those hyped books that deserves all the attention, awards, and recognition. And I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see it as required reading now and in the future. It’s incredibly important and deserves to be widely distributed and made known yesterday, today, and tomorrow.