With all the talk about this book, I had to pick it up, especially since it’s different from anything I had ever read before. And oh boy, it was amazing. Some books deserve all the hype they get, and even more. This is definitely one of them.
I finally finished reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and it was a lot to take in. This book is so powerful. A bit of a punch in the heart, and a well deserved one. It is definitely a book that will make you think, and realise how much we still have to do to make this world a better place. Well, at least, that’s what it did to me. And I think everyone should read it.
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
My rating: ★★★★★
Starr lives two different lives. She lives in a poor neighbourhood where her father is a shop owner known by everyone. And she attends a fancy suburban high school. She always makes sure those two worlds never collide.
But when her best friend Khalil is unfairly shot by a policeman, and she is the only witness, the balance is about to be broken. Starr is teared between speaking up for justice and staying put to protect her life and that of her family.
But the media is describing Khalil as a drug dealer and a threat to everyone, when Starr knew very well that he was more than this, and that he was clearly unarmed that night. And as her community cries for the truth, she eventually has to come up with the right decision.
It’s a bit hard for me to gather my thoughts on this book, and I really want to say the right thing. At the same time, I also really want to talk about it because I feel like it’s important, so let’s get into it.
I picked up this book hoping for something mind-blowing, something life-changing concerning a topic I unfortunately don’t know enough about. And that’s exactly what I got. As a white, european student, I can’t say that I relate to Starr, the main character. However, what I can say is that reading the world through her perspective was an incredible experience. It made me realise how important her fight was. How much work we still have to put into this world. It is scary. But it is also so, so important.
The fact that we live in a world full of inequalities is something that I am concious of. And the fact that some people have the guts to still deny it really sickens me. This book is a jab, a reminder of how much work we still have to do.
The Hate U Give was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and deals with topics I have only seen on the news, topics which are dealt with from the inside, with the insight of a character who was the witness to such a horrible and unfair crime. Throughout the book, the reader sees how hard the situation is on her. She has been witness to a murder and the entire world seems to believe Khalil deserved it. When clearly no one deserves such a cruel death, especially not a sixteen year old unarmed teen.
I believe this book was extremely well written, complex and deep. It pokes where it hurts, and that’s why it is so important.
Please, read this book if you haven’t read it yet.
And please let me know if you feel like I should add or correct something in this blog post.