The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give totally lives up to the hype around it. What an incredible book around a really tough subject.
Starr is 16, black, and living in a predominantly black neighborhood. However, she goes to a mostly white prep school about an hour away. One night after a party (and this isn’t a spoiler), she and her friend Khalil are pulled over. The white police officer shoots and kills Khalil. And so begins the all too familiar story of a young unarmed black man being killed by the police.
This story is incredibly written. The voices are authentic, and while the story is heartbreaking, it’s important for everyone to read it. Books like this show why fiction matters; I’m reading it from the perspective of a white person and empathizing with the black families, wanting to learn more about why this type of injustice happens all the time, and wishing it would stop.
Not only is the book timely, highlighting all too real issues faced by the black community, but it’s also a remarkable coming of age story. Starr not only seeks justice for her friend, but also must navigate between her two worlds and come to terms with her own identity. On top of this, she is seeing racism in small insidious ways that she never had before. There are also the complex issues within her own neighborhood, including family drama, gang violence, and the riots that follow Khalil’s death.
In the end, The Hate U Give leaves us with the powerful message that the pursuit of justice and equality must never end and that our voices are our biggest weapons.
This is an absolutely inspiring read and everyone should read it.
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