The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: April 6th 2017
Format: Paperback (438 pages)
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.
My Rating: ★★★★★
Something a little different from me for this incredibly special debut novel by the wonderful Angie Thomas. It has been over two weeks since I finished reading The Hate U Give and I’ve tried on several occasions to write a review and I just can’t do it justice. I also do not feel that it is my place in this world to review a story that is so meaningful and personal. Who am I to ‘review’ and critique a book that taught me so much? Rather than review, what I would like to do is just talk about why I loved the book so much and why I think it’s a book that everyone (and I mean everyone) needs to read.
It would be easy to say that The Hate U Give is an important book and stop there. I think this book is much more than important. It is POWERFUL. Angie Thomas is writing from such a personal position that it is impossible not to be affected by her and Starr’s story. When I got to the end of this story I just sat still for a while. I needed time to let the profound effect of this book settle on my shoulders whilst I also marvelled at what Angie has done. Not only is she showing young black people that they can succeed in their dreams but she is not afraid to call out white privilege and I loved that about this book. Angie herself at the even in London told us that whilst touring she has met young black children who were amazed that she was black and an author. This book and this wonderful woman are literally changing lives and paving the way to brighter futures for so many young black people who will be nothing but inspired by Angie. Incredible.
I loved everything about this book and it evoked a lot of emotion in me. I felt anger and despair at the situation and more importantly just completely sickened knowing that this isn’t fiction. This is real life and this is happening all the time. I can’t get my head around it and that in itself shows my own privilege as a white person, I’m so lucky that I’ve never had to experience this kind of situation and it felt like a complete privilege that Angie has shared such an emotional and poignant event with us all.
This book is phenomenal. I will be actively encouraging as many people as possible to read this and hopefully then you will understand exactly how I feel about this book. Not only has it captured my heart but is has evoked feelings in me that I didn’t know I possessed. The Hate U Give is surely the classic book of our time and I honestly believe it will be life changing for so many who read it.
Thank you, Angie.