The Hate U Give (Review)

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

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.

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Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared. Sixteen year old Starr Carter has seen both of her best friends die. When gunfire breaks out while she’s at a party, she escapes with her best friend Khalil. But on the way home, they are confronted by a police officer. As the only witness of unarmed Khalil’s shooting by a police officer, she has a choice to make. Will she use her voice to fight for the arrest of police officer she knows as One-Fifteen, or will she choose to remain silent and hope to salvage the already uneasy balance between the worlds of her school and home?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is such a realistic, honest story reflective of how black teenagers are treated in modern day USA. It’s a wonderful #OwnVoices novel based on life experiences, which makes the story just that much more valuable. Starr’s story needs to be told and heard worldwide, and I hope it helps spread awareness. Angie Thomas’s characters are well thought out, each having a purpose in developing and improving Starr’s tale. Their personalities are unique and well developed, their actions helping define their role in this story.

Williamson Starr doesn’t give anyone a reason to call her ghetto. Starr is stuck between two worlds; the world of her black neighbourhood, Garden Heights, and the world of her predominantly white prep school, Williamson. Throughout this book we see her struggle with her identity as she is torn between the two differing sides of her life. Hailey, Maya and Chris show different views from Starr’s high school life; Hailey is quite prejudiced, Maya has also experienced racism, and Chris is supportive even if he hasn’t gone through the same experiences himself. Kenya, DeVante and Khalil represent the struggles of living in a poor neighbourhood and the bad choices it can lead to; Kenya is an average teenager from a more unstable area, DeVante is an example of what bad choices can lead to, and Khalil is the one who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Brutally honest in her storytelling, Angie Thomas doesn’t withhold any horrifying details in The Hate U Give, recounting everything in detail. She has no qualms talking about the outrageous lies the officer’s dad tells on national television, or how even when so much evidence has been brought forward the judge still rules in favour of the police officer when there is little reason to other than prejudice. This book covers a lot of topics which the media likes to suppress such as the extent of police brutality or the unfairness which goes on behind the closed doors of a courtroom when it comes to trials against police officers. The Hate U Give breaks away from telling stories through the media, and tells a captivating and powerful story to anyone who will read it.

I can’t stress how much I love this book. It’s a beautifully told tale using the voice of a relatable teenage girl to call out for more recognition about police brutality and gun violence, especially in the US. The characters are well written and realistic of people you would find in a real life situation like this, each with a unique personality developed and built upon a stereotypical foundation such as one of white privilege and black injustice. Starr is a teenage girl thrust into a world of hate and inequity while trying to find her own identity.

~I received a copy from Walker Books Australia and willingly reviewed it~



What’s a hyped book that didn’t disappoint you one bit?

 Xoxo, Cas
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