Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.
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.
In my opinion this is one of those books worthy of reading because of the message it sends. I didn’t know anything about the “Black Lives Matter” movement until I read this book (http://blacklivesmatter.com/) and that is also what I like about it, it drove me to do some research. The shooting of unarmed black people is not an issue we experience in the country I currently live in (don’t get me wrong, we have other kind of BS and violence going on… I mean it only because there are not that many black people here) but it is equally important because it can be applied to so much more than race (gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.) because of the inequity of the justice system.
The author lets us in on how Starr, the protagonist, copes with the aftermath of the murder of yet another one of her friends who did absolutely nothing wrong. I felt her fear to face the system, to speak out about her experience, I felt her anger and her sadness and made all her feelings my own. That is what makes it a very powerful book.
We all thought that police officers would protect us and look after us but lately they are not as trustworthy as they once were and Starr gets a very serious talk about how to behave and be smart around police officers so she doesn’t get arrested.
Starr is at the same time a scared high school girl who fights herself out of that fear to seek justice for her friend which makes it a compelling, realistic plot. The characters have depth: they have sense of humor, emotion, personality and, more importantly, determination to fight for what they believe is right; all of them have a storyline.
Our world needs this story to be told, YA fiction needs to put fantasy aside for a little while and see what the world is becoming unless we do something about it. And last but not least, the world needs more Potterheads too.