Book Review: The Hate U Give

The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

Published by: Balzer + Bray
Form: Hardback
Big Themes: Racism, Family, Friendship, Community, Police Brutality, Code Switching, Interracial Relationships

Summary 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.

What I Loved:
Strong characters. Starr, Big Mav, Khalil, Seven, Devante. These characters all show incredible strength throughout the novel. I also love how they are well-rounded characters with passions and goals. Big Mav is passionate about helping his community, loves gardening, and fiercely protects his family. For people who are not part of the black community, it is so important to see black people in this light–not the stereotypes we see in media or news.
Thoughtfulness of plot. Each scene was purposeful and captured something essential to the story of Starr but also the story of all black people living in America today. From code-switching to interracial relationships, this book tried to offer a glimpse at the various ways race impacts everyday life.
Bravery. Angie Thomas tackled a hot topic despite the tension, emotion, and opinions that came with it. Black Lives Matter needed this book. It’s a much needed glimpse into what black America is facing in our country on a regular basis. This book should be required reading for all white people, but especially those who don’t have an understand of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Overall:
Five big, beautiful stars. Don’t understand the #blacklivesmatter movement? Know someone who doesn’t get it? This book. Should be required reading for all white people. #weneeddiversebooks

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