Updated: Aug 16, 2018
Title: The Hate U Give Author: Angie Thomas Genre: Contemporary Series: none
Blurb Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor black 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, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protestors take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. 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 destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.
What I Liked The unapologetic honesty of this entire book was a firm but gentle slap in the face. I like that Khalil wasn’t perfect, but he was trying his best and he certainly didn’t deserve to be shot. Starr’s dance between her neighborhood and school personalities was very well done and sympathetic. When I was younger and read To Kill a Mockingbird, I was horrified that the things happening in the book had once actually happened to real people. I think future generations will read The Hate U Give and feel the same way: how could we have let this happen? Why didn’t anyone do anything?
What I Would Have Liked to See A different outcome. But that’s wishful thinking on my part. It wouldn’t have been a good ending that way.
My Favorite! The relationship between Starr and Chris. I was afraid Chris would be a secret douchebag, but he wasn’t, and that was unexpectedly wonderful.
TL;DR This book should be a must-read for teens. My kids are still too young to read YA, but once they graduate to this level, I’m going to have them read it. This book is a punch in the gut, but one that we all need.