July 21, 2017
“At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”
― Angie Thomas
Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Date of publication: February 28, 2017
Page Count: 444
Rating: 5/5 stars
This book is everything I expected it to be and more. I truly believe Angie Thomas properly portrays an issue that everyone is aware of, but is something no one digs behind-the-scenes to observe all the action takes place.
The Hate U Give focuses on just that. This novel opens with main protagonist Starr and her everyday life – only it becomes more complex as she is a witness to her best friend’s, Khalil, unruly death, caused by a police officer. During this hectic journey for peaceful justice, Starr meets some victims along the way who shared the same potential as Khalil. This spirals into particular realizations that cause Starr to reevaluate some of her judgments towards Khalil, and other individuals caught up in the drama of Garden Heights. Not only does Starr realize potential issues in the world around her, but she discovers her own faults and strives to fix them.
This review does contain spoilers, so read at your own risk!
This book was so incredibly realistic; not only did Starr battle with the murder of one of her best friends, but she continues to struggle with the people around her, making this book more and more relatable. The Hate U Give demonstrates how friends that once were like-minded, grow apart over the years and end up complete opposites. This being the sudden close-minded expression of another one of Starr’s best friends. Of course, this book mainly focuses on the negligence of society, but seeing it within Starr’s friend circle made her problems more effective, causing stress in an area where Starr needed tranquility.
Constantly throughout the book, Starr struggles with herself as “Garden Heights Starr” and “Williamson Starr” (two very different versions of herself which she created) frequently switching back and forth between them. As a result of this, she loses herself along the way, not realizing the correct way to express her feelings during the trial of the officer who shot Khalil. Eventually, she finds herself in a new light, conquering her fear and facing the trials. Khalil gave her courage and lived on within Starr, igniting the fire in her bones.
Khalil’s death also had an effect on different individuals worldwide; it meant something to each person. The injustice we face in our world today is people not being respected and are diminished because of their race or any other pointless aspect to an equal human being. This is why The Hate U give broke ground with its release; it discussed a difficult topic that needs attention.
The Hate U Give made me realize how blinded some of us are by accusations and hate. Because of this, we lose sight of humanity in these victims of police officer crimes in our real life. Obviously, this isn’t the case for everyone, but I found it to be true in my own life and decided to change my outlook on certain situations. I also contribute an expression of high praise to the realistic features in The Hate U Give, because of how Angie Thomas so brilliantly painted the practical side of riots and protests. I, myself, have never attended a protest; however, I did quite enjoy the fact that anger and sadness were expressed throughout each and every protester.
Another lovely aspect of this book that I most enjoyed was the amazing characters that supported Starr throughout her obstacles. I actually loved every character in this book (besides her close-minded friend, Hailey… she was horrific). Each character experienced some sort of character development; characters who faced difficulties in different areas of their life expanded into their true potential with honesty and patience, which are two virtues we need more of in our world today.
Overall, The Hate U Give is a groundbreaking novel that fearlessly attacks an extremely common issue in our society today. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is willing to listen and understand the struggles many innocent individuals face. This book changed so many of my thoughts and I hope if you read it, it will change yours too in some positive way.
xx – Devynne