The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 28, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Eye opening, hard hitting, and honest, this book needs to be read by everyone. In a time with so much political and social turmoil, The Hate U Give stands out and talks about the hard topics no one wants to dive into. This is one of those books that we desperately need in times like now when there’s so much violence and injustice, we need a voice to give the other perspective, not usually broadcasted by the media, in a raw and real way. This book has been incredibly popular, making waves through the book community. It has been adapted by Fox 2000 and will be coming out in theaters this fall which I am beyond excited for. This book made me have so many eye opening moments and allowed me to experience a perspective that I don’t experience and start to really understand the world around me in a way I haven’t before. I’ve seen so many other people say the same or similar things about this book and if it’s been making such an impact on the book community, I hope it has the same momentum for the rest of the world who may not know this book when the movie comes out in October.
The Hate U Give is about a sixteen year old girl named Starr who saw her unarmed best friend, Khalil, shot fatally by a police officer. The reader follows her as she learns how to cope with this loss and the territory that comes with these types of crimes. The news is calling Khalil a thug, gangbanger, or a drug dealer, and there are protests in his name and riots, but all of this goes on with only what the news is feeding the public. The only person who knows what really went down that night is Starr and she has to decide if and how she wants to use her voice and what consequences there are to her actions.
Hate has been raved about for a long time and with so many books that get the amount of praise Hate has been given, it’s easy to assume the book won’t live up to the hype. The Hate U Give lives up. It dives into those tough moments and digs in deep, staying there until the impact is made on the reader. It doesn’t just make an impact for those who know this perspective but it digs in long enough to make those who never have experienced these types of experiences uncomfortable. Hate is not a comfortable read and it’s not supposed to be. You are supposed to be uneasy and angry with how the media and police handle Khalil’s death because it’s a reflection of what goes on in America way too often. Hate gives a voice in a way that I haven’t seen so far. Starr is such a relatable teenager and watching her navigate the rocky territory that becomes her life, it hits you and it hits you hard.
This book brought up so many emotions that are hard for books to dig up. I usually don’t cry in books, it has to be intense for me to shed one or two tears, but I literally ugly cried (and I mean, sobbing) through an entire chapter of this book. Every time I read, I got angry and upset for Starr and her community and I found myself wanting to jump inside and fight the good fight. It has given me realization that I want to participate in my community more and when a situation like this comes around, I want to use my voice to help those who no longer have one. After all, one of your most powerful weapons is your voice and it can be used in a number of ways to get things changed. And things desperately do need to be changed.
Hate shows an ugly side of America and what goes on here. Despite this is a work of fiction, what went on in Hate is not without it’s roots in reality. These are things that happen every day and only a handful make it to national news. Hate has inspired me to get more active and I hope it has inspired others to be more active.
Angie Thomas did an amazing job writing The Hate U Give. I really don’t have a bad thing to say about this book because I loved it so much. Her writing is so easy to get invested in right off the bat and I was reading at least 50 pages a sitting. I definitely will be keeping an eye out for any other books she writes and I definitely recommend you look into her profile.
Without hesitation or doubt, I recommend The Hate U Give to anyone that clicks or reads this review. Yes, it’s Young Adult and if that’s not your genre, I still recommend it. Starr isn’t your typical teenager going through a typical situation. The Hate U Give is for any age or background and I think everyone should pick it up. It’s so important that we support books like this so we can see more diversity and representation in books and movies. This is the type of book we need as a community and I hope more like Hate will follow.