Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
Author: Angie Thomas
Part of a Series: No. Standalone.
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins
No. of Pages: 450 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Social Issues
Huge thanks go to my friends from HarperCollins International for sending me an ARC of this title, as well as providing an e-ARC for this blog tour. This did not, in any way, affect my opinion about the story.
I love reading books that tackle politics and/or social issues. It reassures me that people think about certain topics that are timely, and relevant. Not just the typical romance or fantasy stuff that, yes, deeply entertains and keep people occupied for years without end. Every once in a while, books like The Hate U Give deserves to be read, not just by Young Adults such as myself, but also those who cares enough to know that even if we’re living in a cruel world, their are people, such as Angie Thomas, who’s brave enough to tell stories that are raw, and unflinchingly honest.
The topics (racism, racial oppression, bullying, etc.) were all impressively tackled. I don’t think I’ve read any book that has accurately personified the aforementioned social issues into Young Adult Literature better than this book did. And what astounds me is that Thomas was able to tackle these issues while maintaining an impressively entertaining tone through Starr, and all the other characters, allowing for their story to not just be moving, but it also be able to touch readers.
The Hate U Give, if I can remember correctly, is the first book I’ve read that’s straight up narrated by a black MC. Albeit the story was emotional, and honest to what is timely and true, the humor and entertainment aspect was still there. There were tons of funny dialogues between Starr and the other characters that stood out to me. That is basically why I had no problem breezing through the entire book.
I adored the brother-sister dynamic between Starr, and Seven. They were there for each other in such trying times, even if they didn’t need to be, since they have different mothers. But still, up until the end, they both had their backs, taking good (but rather violent) care of one another. The same goes for all their brothers and sisters. Characters are often the way to my bookish heart, and I was more than delighted to have met Starr and her family.
On a more negative note, however, what lacked that 0.5 star for me was the insufficient back story about Officer Brian Cruise Jr., a.k.a. Khalil’s killer. Maybe it’s just me, but I really wanted to know a hell of a lot more about him. I wanted to know if he’s an actual racist who does and says the most racist things. I wanted more detail about his character so my hate for him would be 100% justified. (Weird and confusing, I know.)
“And to conclude, The Hate U Give really is a thought-provoking and eye-opening book. It might be hard to believe but we do live in a world where racism, albeit being fought endlessly, is rampant. And I hope, with the help of this work of art, we could somehow educate ourselves and as well as our friends and family about how every one of us fights a different fight and that we should strive hard to understand one another, regardless of race, color, or religion.”
Characters – 4.50
Plot – 5.00
Writing Style – 5.00
Pacing – 5.00
Ending – 5.00
TOTAL – 4.9 / 5 ★
“Good-byes hurt the most when the other person’s already gone.”
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Check out all the reviews from other participating bloggers:
Josiah from The Bookish Fanboy
Hazel of Stay Bookish
Inah from The Bibliophile Confessions
Nicka from Read by Nicka
Jasmine from Jasmine Pearl Reads
About the Author:
Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books.
Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.