First Review of the Year! The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, 5 Stars

So I’ve completely my first book of the year! And I have a stack of books just staring at me. And I have about 4 reviews to write on books I’ve recently read. But it’s a New Year, I’m feeling refreshed (or hoping to soon). And I’m getting my review on. Got to knock these out!

My book club (the one that ACTUALLY reads a book each month unless it’s the holidays and we get super busy), chose The Hate U Give as our selection I think in October…maybe November. Anyhow I was super backed up with books to read and even though everyone was saying that it was amazing, I thought there was a small chance it could be more political than what I usually am into so I put it off.

And I put it off some more. Then, in November, when only a couple of people had actually gotten around to reading the book, the feedback was so amazing that we decided to keep it as our selection for the next month and really give this a go. And I waited. And we never met in December and I picked it up on December 31. And finished it the next day. It was that good!

From the Publisher:

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.

My Review:

Politics and hot button issues aside, The Hate U Give was compulsively readable. I did not want to put it down. And every excruciating moment spent away from the book during the 36 hours I was into it was spent shooting the book longing looks and hoping to get back to it ASAP.

Starr Carter is a fierce female heroine who is stuck between worlds. By day, she attends a mostly white fancy suburban prep school. By night, she lives in a poor black neighborhood in a dangerous part of town. So she has her diverse (but mostly rich) suburban friends and her friends she grew up with in her neighborhood. Her Uncle, a cop,  also lives in the suburbs, having left the neighborhood for a safer life for her family.

Part of what I love about this book is that the author isn’t overly political about any of the racial inequality issues, although it is very easy to be. She just spins a realistic story of a girl living in two worlds but has so many diverse characters with unique perspectives that the story is extremely well-balance and I think realistic.

She has the childhood friends, Starr’s parents who have somewhat checkered pasts but have risen above and are strong role models for their family, she has the privileged white boyfriend who while definitely naive on social issues, is trying to understand Starr’s world, friends who don’t understand or care to understand the other side and other minority friends who deal with completely different issues with their cultural identity.

I can definitely see this book becoming required reading in schools and I think that would be fantastic. As a white woman, I like to think I understand racial inequality. But I do firmly believe that those of us who feel we have made great strides in this area, cannot possibly understand the challenges that still exist for minorities in our country. The Hate U Give really offers a genuine story from an honest perspective.

Buy it Now:

Indiebound

 

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