The Hate U Give is a book that has been at the top of everyones TBR, splashed across Instagram and featured in every other BookTube video.
Because it's that damn important and it's that fantastic.
This is an own voices novel meaning that the author in some way relates to their main character and/or the situation the character is in. Angie Thomas herself is a PoC and from what I've learned from her interviews lived in a place with very similar elements to her characters home town.
Starr Carter is a sixteen year old black girl living two lives. She attends a very prestigious private school where 99% of the students are white middle-class. But she lives in a place called Garden Heights, a very poor neighbourhood known for its gangs. Her two worlds collide when Starr witnesses her best-friend Khalil shot by a police officer. In the middle of a media storm Starr tries to fight with her most powerful weapon, her voice, to get justice for her friend whose crime was having a hairbrush in his car.
"A hairbrush is not a gun."
Starr is a character I will carry in my heart for years to come. Throughout the novel we saw her grow, fight for her best-friend and find her voice. She was determined and so very real. Her family dynamic was by no means perfect, her parents fought and her brothers teased her but you could see how much they loved and protected each other. There is one particular scene that sticks in my mind, when Starr's father is forced to the ground by a police officer with Starr watched. At the age of sixteen she's seen two of her best friends shot. Natasha was shot in a drive by and Khalil was shot by a police officer. To read and feel her terror in this scene was awful but in the best way. When a book gets a reaction like that you know its doing something right.
I read Emma Giordano's review (Emmmabooks on Youtube) and I couldn't agree more with what she said. To paraphrase what she wrote, although, this book's focus is the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality the overriding message seems to be use your voice. Words are, as Dumbledore said, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it. That is something that Starr definitely learns to utilise. Her interview was so inspiring and powerful. Reading this book I felt like I knew Starr and that with every chapter I was rooting for her, her family and the cause they were fighting for even more. When I started blogging I never thought I'd be able to say that I was proud of a character, but I am.
This is a book I believe everyone should read and a book that everyone will gain something from.
I will read anything Angie Thomas publishes and I hope one day I actually get to meet the lady behind this incredible book.
Name: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Walker Books
Have you read The Hate You Give? What did you think?