Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Source: Borrowed from library
Review by Candy
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One fateful night Starr Carter decides to attend a party in her black neighborhood. It’s something she knows her parents would never allow and something she has never done before. When gun shots ring out at the party, Starr flees with her childhood friend, Khalil. Blocks from the party, Khalil and Starr are pulled over by a white police officer. The traffic stop ends with Khalil dead and Starr as the only witness who can say for sure what happened. Starr knows she need a to step forward but she also knows what she has to say has the potential to destroy her neighborhood. Will Starr testify about what happened? Can her community survive this racially charged incident?
I rarely read YA books because as an adult in forties, the subject matters are rarely things I can relate to. I do make exceptions every once in a while and this book is one of those times. After seeing the buzz on Litsy about this book, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did because this is easily one of the best books I have read all year.
Thomas has given us a brutally honest look at race relations in our country. Her story telling looks at both sides of the story from both races. Through Starr we see her black community struggling with the aftermath of the shooting (one haunting image that has stayed with me: the description of tanks rolling through down her street as police try to stop the violence that has broken out) and the white view on the events via her friends as her affluent private school. Thomas’s unflinching presentation of the events during the traffic stop had me wiping away tears. Her descriptions of the protests that erupted had my heart racing as violence breaks out.
Thomas could not have created a better main character than Starr Carter. Starr straddles the two communities in her life and fluidly moves between both. As the story progresses, she realizes that that she has compromised who she is in order to fit in and be accepted at her private majority white school. Gradually, Starr finds her courage and her voice to stand up for her friend Khalil.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a fictional but all too real account of events that have happened in the U.S. Thomas doesn’t shrink from her subject matter and has written a heartbreaking novel of what it means to be a young black person growing up in America today. I encourage everyone, regardless of your political affiliation and what you think has happened in our country, to put aside those notions and read this book with an open mind.
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