The Hate U Give is a powerful and moving novel, that is an essential read (in my humble opinion).
YA is powerful. It used to just be my escape from the world, back when I was in high school. I was lifted away to fantastical realms where the girls were in love triangles and were “special”. Their love interests were vampires, werewolves or sorcerers and the girls were fairies or the chosen ones. Nowadays, we still have those escapism books but YA tackles the tough issues too. I went into this book based on a recommendation from my little sister (it is her favourite book and she wants me to watch the movie), and I knew it would be a smash if she loved it.
So, the actual story: Starr lives in a poor neighbourhood but gets to go to a fancy prep school. One night, she goes to a party where shots start ringing. Her old bestie, Khalil, helps her escape and they get into his car. As they drive off, cops pull them over. This isn’t good, because we all know how some white cops get when they pull over people of colour. And, to no one’s surprise, this cop is just like “those cops”. Khalil, unarmed and just trying to check on his friend, gets murdered cold blood. This ignites a war in the city, one that will leave you breathless and heartbroken.
This book opened my eyes a lot. It has a strong voice and makes you see things you might not have seen before. You see everything on the news and you know not every story is accurate. There are fifty sides to every story and you don’t get to hear all of one side. This book did that for me. As a reader, we get to see all of one side and all of the reactions and consequences of one person’s decision.
My emotions were all over the place with this book. You feel so whimsical at times, seeing Starr and her relationship and feelings. She’s your typical teenage girl experiencing life. And then you hear about the horrors of her life, and you feel empathy and just want to give her a hug. But then there’s the brutality, and your heart aches and you get angry over how things are going down. Why aren’t there consequences for these things? Why does none of it make sense?
Even the side story of the racism among friends hurt my soul. I was so confused on the other girl’s perspective on why she was right, yet I know there are people like that out there. It wasn’t just one out of tune joke, it was many.
This book is 100% worth your time. It is a longer book (almost 500 pages, wow. And I binged that in a day!) and that is the only negative I could see – it’ll take a while to read. That being said, it’s an important story and there isn’t anything I would remove from this book. It’s just the perfect length and gives enough information to make you understand all of this story.
As I said, YA is powerful. Having YA introduce and discuss these topics is a thing of wonder. Literature is powerful and it’s giving people a voice. A voice that may not be able to be shared without these forms of mediums. Thank you Angie Thomas for sharing an important story and making it so well written and so darn good. Now give me more books like this, ASAP!
Also: Tupac being the one to inspire this title blew my mind. I never connected the dots until the book pointed it out! I’m impressed x5.
Five out of five stars.
Here are some other books on my blog that you might enjoy if you liked The Hate U Give:
#BookReview #BookTour Baller Boys by Venessa Taylor
#BookReview I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan
#BookReview Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles
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