I finished The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas a few days ago and I decided to review it because it’s such a good and important book. It has become one of my favourites!
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
This review will be spoiler-free!
This book is amazing for so many reasons. The first one being that it tells such an important story in a great way. The book was heavily inspired by the BlackLivesMatter movement and although this was a work of fiction, they are so many real stories alike. Too many. I think what made it so impactful is that it speak about problems and things going on right now in our world. I knew about these problems, but reading this book I gained a lot of knowledge. It made me truly see how bad the problem is. The book talks about policy brutality, white privilege and when to make your voice heard. It does all of that in an amazing way.
I loved the main character, Starr. She was funny, smart and loving. She felt real. I cared for her right from the start. She is very strong. As a mere sixteen-year-old, she has seen two of her best friends being shot. Her voice was very strong and it’s what made the book so impactful.
What I loved even more though, was her family and how they all cared for and loved each other. Starr had the parents YA literature needs. They were loving and caring. They taught Starr what she needed to learn. They supported her. They were protective like parents should be. Yes, they and Starr did have fights. No, It didn’t matter, they still loved each other. The fights made it feel real. Starr respected her parents and I loved that too. It’s another rare thing in YA.
I also loved Starr’s relationship with her brothers, Seven and Sekani. Seven was very protective of her, but it came from a place of love and Sekani was there to be the cute younger brother. He could be annoying. He didn’t always listen. Every time someone swore, he was there to ask for his dollar. He was a perfect younger brother. I loved the family relations in this book. The basketball match, was my favourite scene to showcase that. I loved that scene!
Uncle Carlos was a character I highly appreciate. Not only because he was loving and caring and his relationship with Starr was great, but also because he was a police officer. It was a very interesting add to the story. He walked a fine line. He was black too and he hated that Khalil was shot. It showed that there are good police officer too.
The story also talked about white privilege. It mainly did that through Hailey, a friend of Starr’s. She was not a good friend. She was racist and oftentimes made Starr feel invalid, like her opinions and emotions didn’t matter. On top of that she was controlling and made everything about herself. Her character showed how real white privilege is. As a white reader, you have to except that and go on from there. I’ve seen some bad reviews out there and most of the time the dislike for the book stems from the unacceptance that white privilege exists. So people, when you read this book, please don’t be a Hailey. Just don’t.
Next to being a story about police brutality and white privilege, it’s also a story about a sixteen-year-old girl trying to find her place in the world. Starr feels thorn between her life in a poor black neighbourhood and her life in the preppy, suburban, mostly white school she goes to. To her, they feel like completely different worlds. Throughout the course of the novel, she learns how these intertwine. Her boyfriend Chris being white is also a part of the journey.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that one character is frequently slut-shamed. The character was questionable for many reasons, but it was frustrating how often it was drawn back to how she looked and how she dressed.
I liked how it ended. It felt real. I wont say more because of spoilers.
I loved this book, because it made me feel so much. I laughed out loud several times. Starr was funny and I especially loved the HP references. I got choked up several times too. The story is very emotional and the only reason I didn’t full-on cry was that I was travelling while reading the book and every time I got emotional I had to put the book down and go do something. I’ll probably cry upon re-reading it. I also got mad, because of the unfair treatment of Starr. Overall I loved it. In my opinion it definitely deserves five stars.
That was it for this review. Thank you for reading it. I hope you liked it. I’d highly recommend this book!
Before I go, I wanted to apologize I haven’t been very active in the blogosphere lately. With travelling it has been very hard to keep up. I also want to apologize for not posting on Thursday. The wi-fi didn’t work properly where I slept and that made it kind of impossible. I hope you understand.
Sending you lots of love!