Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Summary: 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.
So I had hoped that I would enjoy this, I thought maybe I’ll give it a 4 star if it’s not so good maybe a 3 star but I did not expect for the hype to be this real. This book is an incredible masterpiece of a debut young adult novel.
As you all know I don’t always jive with YA, I find it ridiculous, packed with either stupid or unlikable character and tedious plot devices such as love triangles, bad boys with hearts of gold, unrealistic parents, slut shamming, and tons and tons of white people having first world problems. This book however turns all of that on it’s head. In this story we meet Starr who is born and raised in the ghetto but she attends a mostly white rich school on the other side of town. The book starts her attending a party in the hood where she meets up with childhood friend Khalid, they’re happy to see one another when they suddenly have to flee because there’s a shooting. Khalid and Starr are driving when they get pulled over and before you know it Khalid is shot and killed by a white police officer, Starr the sole witness.
I cannot fault this book at all, no, it’s not a highly literary novel that makes the literary elite wet their pants. However, this is an incredibly real story with real people, true dialogue and a wonderful mix of horrible moments and fantastic happy moments. I could clearly see so many moments of this book truly happening. However, above all of that Thomas crafted the adult characters in this book to another level. Starr’s parents are beyond wonderful, their actions, their words, everything is just perfection. To me, they made the book a 5 star read and they are an intricate part of the story, they’re not in the background, they’re there with her each step of the way.
I am a big supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and have been since we had the shooting here of Trayvon Martin about 40 minutes from my house. This book encompasses some serious truths, there’s so many delicious references to Fresh Prince and Tupac and the truth behind Tupac’s words that are still relevant today. I cannot recommend this book enough, even if you’re not a YA reader, please give this book a chance, I truly think you will enjoy it.
P.S. I hear the movie has been optioned out, they should just give them the Oscars now because the tension and drama in some of the scenes will be incredible.