Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
5 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
Starr lives in the impoverished neighbourhood of Garden Heights but goes to a fancy prep school. She walks the line to avoid seeming “ghetto” or sassy with her white friends while keeping her school and home life separate. When Starr witnesses her friend Khalil’s death at the hands of a police officer she has to make a choice. Will she speak out and risk ruining the image she’s cultivated? Or will she let injustice go unchallenged?
You need to read this book.
Upfront, there are a few moments that seem a tiny bit out of place and preachy but the story and every message taught are incredibly important. Impressively poignant and extremely relevant for current society. Starr’s story is exciting, tragic and impossible to put down.
For many readers, this story will be all too familiar. We have seen the news. We have see the court proceedings, we have seen them over and over again. For white readers, this book is an incredibly valuable insight into the emotions and lives behind the news and perhaps the closest we can hope to get to trying to understand.
There are a few jokes at the expense of white people, which seems to bother several reviewers. I personally thought they were just sort of silly harmless stereotypes (like white people loving their dogs too much) and I can’t really see how anyone was offended. Do I think you should read this book at the risk of being uncomfortable? Yes, but ultimately that is your call and I’m all for full disclosure.
Messages and importance aside, Thomas is a brilliant writer. All of her characters feel like reflections of the real world. She knows how to make people feel like people, even if they do a few bad things. The emotions this book evokes are incredible. I still shudder when I think of the scene Starr witnessed and how well it was written.
There are plenty of books that have important messages, but when you find one that’s exciting and well written it’s like winning the lottery. The Hate U Give is an important book before anything else, but it’s a great read too.
I try to avoid tired old review clichés but The Hate U Give is a must read.