The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Synopsis (Taken 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.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
My Review: This book. THIS BOOK YOU GUYS. This is such an phenomenally written debut novel, I find it very difficult to find the right words to explain how this whole thing made me feel. It made me feel all the things; often one feel right after the other. It was such a roller coaster.
Starr is such a great character. Shes strong, she’s flawed, she’s so very real. After seeing an old childhood friend shot & killed by a police officer on a normal ride home after a party, she struggles to coming with terms with who she is & how the world around her really operates. Her character arc is a wonderful thing to experience. She learns through the course of her story that bravery is NOT about not being scared. It’s about being scared and continuing to stand up for what you believe in. She comes into her own & finds her voice to fight back against the corrupt system we all live in.
This book broke my heart. It made me laugh, & scream, & cry like a baby. One of the reasons? Everything that happens in this book? This is real life. These things HAPPEN. That’s what makes this book so very important. It can be easy to look in from the outside & keep it in the background. To have nothing but what the news focuses on in the event of a tragedy. There are ALWAYS multiple sides to every story. And, too often, not all sides are ever even allowed to come to light. And that hurts.
This book lets you see other sides of events you may never get to see in real life. You get to see what goes through someones head watching someone they care about unnecessarily killed. How the things people say can seem perfectly harmless to the speaker but the damage & pain it can cause to the ones who hear it. The anger, the fear, the grief that people experience when the unthinkable happens. The strength of family, community, & friends coming together to fight against the injustice of the world.
The Hate U Give is a powerful novel of loss & love & finding the strength to stand up for what you believe in. No matter how hard it is. Because your voice, your words, they are weapons. So arm yourself & fight.
If you read no other books this year, at least pick up this one. Because Black Lives Matter & this book is so absolutely important.