TITLE: The Hate U Give
AUTHOR: Angie Thomas
PUBLISHER: Walker Books
GENRE: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
RATING: 4/5 Stars
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.
What I Liked:
- Books like this will create dialogue, and that's what I loved most about it. Thomas wrote her amazing concept really well. It's a story we have all heard before - a black youth being shot by a police officer because of the assumption of 'being up to no good'. This book gives a voice to friends, families, and the community of the victims. It realistically shows how the media and different races see the situation. And it breaks your heart and opens your eyes at the same time.
- I liked the characters. Especially Starr's family! The relationship between Starr's Mum and Dad was just a joy to read and I loved how they handled Starr's dilemma. Seven, DeVante and Chris were great to read as well, especially when they began to cast their differences aside. I felt that, despite Khalil leaving the story early, Thomas did a great job of letting us get to know him.
What I Disliked:
- There were things I disliked. This was a long read, especially for contemporary fiction and I could definitely point out a few parts that weren't really needed. I also felt that Thomas was taking a lot of her own frustrations about white people out on her white characters. In some ways this was clever as it is so often done to PoC side characters in fiction, but in some ways it felt a little hypocritical that they weren't really developed beyond 'raging accidental racist' and 'the butt of the joke'.
I enjoyed this read. Great concept, fits into the political climate well and displayed some great character development. Starr was a good MC though I found her sassy attitude a little grating at times. I definitely think Thomas did a great job writing from a teenager's perspective. There were some great parts to this book but I didn't feel like it blew me away as I would expect a book with so much hype surrounding it to do.