The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: Contemporary, YA,
It is hard not to give this book a five but there are some elements that made me cringe and some parts that could have been done better. However, the topic matter is handled honestly, and forthrightly, and I felt that this is important. The book is easy to read and enjoyable while capturing your emotions. It deserves this rating, but it isn’t poetry.
When Starr witnesses the murder of a friend at the hands of a person she is supposed to be able to trust, the world is thrown into chaos. It isn’t because Starr was naïve, it’s because now Starr is in the middle of a world that is all too real, a world that those living in her neighbourhood face every day. A world of discriminate and hate, that only seems to beget more hate, and Starr has no idea how to make it stop.
“What’s the point in having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be.”
When I began this book, I was sceptical. It starts with a party scene, and the use of dialect and the general vapid conversation, made me so bored, that I felt like I shouldn’t continue. In fact, I almost put the book down and discounted it.
I was so wrong!
This book broke my heart. The first instance is when Starr and Khalil are initially pulled over. Starr is thinking to herself that she just needs to stay still, not talk back, keep her hands visible. Her fear is palpable, but also extremely foreign to me. I am a POC, yet I am never afraid when I see a police officer. These thoughts would never occur to me. They should never occur to anyone. It was from this early moment in the book that I was hooked.
This was a mirror into a cultural world that many of us are vaguely aware of, yet to ready to deny. The police are supposed to be trusted, and I think the betrayal is so much worse because it comes from a figure of trust. This book made me want to discuss this with people. Is terrorism actually as scary as the fear that you can trust no one? I didn’t really know how to deal with that, and the fact that there are people in the world, old and young, dealing with these thoughts every day, proves that we are doing something wrong. As people, we should be doing better.
There were other scenes in this book that gave me the same, horrified, frustrated, and appalled feelings – when Starr’s dad deals with a police officer, for one – and by the end of the novel I was also ready for Starr to stand up and protest. I was ready to stand up with her.
The Hate U Give is a powerful novel that makes you ask questions. That’s what is most important about this. You think. For that reason, I would suggest anyone, and everyone reads it.
If you liked this…
This time I’m going to suggest a non-fiction because it is heartbreaking and incredible, and something that should be read. It isn’t Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge isn’t about racism or police corruption and brutality, it’s about gun crime. But while the topic is different, it is no less important, and something which we should all be informed about. It’s a beautifully written account of one single 24 hour period in America and the deaths which occur during this time.