Book Review Life

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | A Book Review

hate

The Hate U Give is a stellar debut novel by Angie Thomas published early this year in February. I actually went to the bookstore to search for new reads, and stumbled upon the book during its release week at Barnes and Noble. The book synopsis on the jacket was interesting enough for me to blind purchase. Once I arrived  home with my haul I looked at Booktube reviews of the release and was intrigued enough to dive right in.

Book Jacket Synopsis: The Hate U Give

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.

hateMy Thoughts

Stop reading this review and order your copy….right now. Seriously, hop into your vehicle, head to the bookstore, and buy this novel. Better yet, pick up a few copies for all the young people in your life. Black people, this book is for you.

In The Hate U Give, Thomas successfully captures the thoughts and emotions of a collective race surrounding the continued experience of black people’s relationship with police in America. While reading, at times, I shed a tear. Other times I could hear the song lyrics and feel the catharsis they provide post shooting by police of each and every black man or boy. I would add a little Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Really Care About Us to her lineup, but that’s neither here nor there.

This is a young adult novel, so the writing is accessible at that level. However, as an adult reader, I did not feel as if the prose was too simplistic. For caucasian readers, this book gives an authentic voice to the thoughts and emotions blacks go through in relation to police brutality. It gives voice to the violence that often occurs in response to police brutality, juxtaposed against the dry wit of Thomas’ writing style.

The novel is a journey as well as a coming of age story. Thomas truly captures the dichotomy between how minorities present themselves around whites as opposed to other minorities. What I enjoyed most about The Hate U Give is the authenticity behind the words. She immerses the reader in black culture without feeling the need for an explanation. As a black, female author, Thomas was able to give voice to her thoughts without creating spectacle or preaching. I look forward to reading more by Angie Thomas.

My rating: 5 stars

I gave The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas five stars and purchased a copy for my twelve year old nephew.

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