Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Published: April 6th 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: 438 pages
Source: Pre-order from Waterstones
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
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.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
It’s rare that you see a book blow up on social media in the same way that this one has, especially a debut book, but it makes so much sense in this situation. This book is important for the time that we’re living in. It sends a message to people. It educates. As a white girl who doesn’t live in America but still sees the stories like the one in this book, it was an insight into a world that I will never know and it was also a harsh look at the reality of how people of my own race can look down on others, believing everything they see on the News or hear through rumours.
Starr lives in a poor neighbourhood with her family but she goes to a posh school in the suburbs. Torn between the two worlds, Starr tries to keep them from meeting, but when she witnesses her friend, Khalil, a young black boy from her neighbourhood, being shot by a police officer, she’s the only person who knows the truth and she must decide if she’s going to speak out.
It’s hard for me to put into words how powerful I found this book to be. There’s a line in the book somewhere that says people like Starr and her family become hashtags and that just made me stop. The voice is so authentic, it’s heart breaking. This is a world that I will never know about, not truly. I’m the person who will see the hashtags on social media but never feel like it could be me or my friend. So I think that this book is so, so important for everyone to read. It’s a problem that needs to be spoken about.
It’s interesting seeing the contrast between Starr at home with her family and Starr at school, where she is one of a handful of black kids. The struggles that Starr had to deal with on a day-to-day basis were unreal. I honestly couldn’t believe how strong that girl was.
This books is an education. It shows the life of a normal girl, with a loving family and a community that generally looks out for its own. It shows how the media can twist things. How standing up and speaking out can be dangerous. How quickly things can turn from bad to worse. It’s so powerful.
It was an emotional ride. I’m legit tearing up just thinking about this book again. I started reading this book slowly, taking it a chapter at a time because it was heavy. Reading the first-hand account of an event that I have seen on the news so many times was hard. This is why people need to read it though. This is the side of the story that people have to fight to be seen.
If you only read one book this year, make sure it’s this one.
About the Author
Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.
*Picture and Biography from Goodreads