Book Reviews

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

‘Lock the door, stay inside, and don’t let anybody in, you hear me?’

Those aren’t zombie survival tips. Just normal instructions for latchkey kids in Garden Heights. (118)

The Hate U Give is current, on point, and refreshingly real. Real. That is the best word I can describe this book with. It does not shy away from the uncomfortable, does not give us a cookie cutter ending for the sake of a book deal, and does expose the complexities and issues of her community. This book is so damn good from page one and just keeps going.

Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right (154)

The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr, a gifted young girl who has her feet stuck in two vastly different worlds: her poor black neighborhood where she lives and her prep school. She keeps these two worlds far apart, but that wall is about to come crumbling down as she witnesses the shooting of her childhood best friend. This death changes everything around her, from her family dynamics, her school friends, and the country as it becomes a national headline and trial. Starr becomes the center of a tug of rope game between her two communities and her silence, or testimony, are just as dangerous.

I censor myself (168)

It should come as no surprise that this book is incredibly current and touches upon so many issues that are currently being talked about: prejudice (in the police force), racism, and economic inequality. It is an incredibly complex situation and Starr goes through some real issues of identity. She is being pulled in two different directions and worlds, so when they crash into each other, she has to ask herself if a new identity can be formed.

I see the fight in his eyes. I matte to him more than a movement. I’m his baby, and if being silent means I’m safe, he’s all for it. (171)

Starr’s family is amazing and one of my favorite parts of the book. They are supportive, funny, and are not afraid to call each other out. Starr herself is a fantastic character, at times funny, naïve, and wise. It is a pleasure to read this story of her journey and political awakening. Her journey is moving. You ache with her pain, you feel her identity conflicts, and you see the danger in her world. Starr learns the price that both silence and speaking out can have and makes that choice for herself.

Daddy once told me there’s a rage passed down to every black man from his ancestors, born the moment they couldn’t stop the slave masters from hurting their families. Daddy also said there’s nothing more dangerous than when that rage is activated. (196)

The story is realistic about what we can and cannot do and the stakes that people face each day. We get pushed into situations with impossible choices. The story is riveting and real, balancing our first boy friends with our identity politics. For Starr, and all of us, our personal choices are political. It can be difficult and heartbreaking to read in some places, but we have to, because it is essential. The moments we push through are the ones where we come out on the other side realizing everything we know has changed. Those little racist comments, for instance, become important, systematic, and intolerable.

Good-byes hurt the most when the other person’s already gone. (66)

This entire book is totally real and amazing. It is a phenomenal portrayal of such a compelling main character. I highly recommend it to absolutely everyone. It’s also a best seller, so if you don’t trust me, maybe you trust the masses. You can but it here, add it to Goodreads, and visit the author’s website.

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2 thoughts on “Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  1. I am looking forward to reading this book. It is on my TBR pile for the spring but it sounds like it should be moved to the top. I am pretty sick of YA books which are especially well written or the characters seem kind of flat, or the adults are hopeless, etc. Happy Spring!

    Your comment buddy, Anne

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