The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
get it here
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.
“That’s the hate they give us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life.”
The Hate U Give is an important read. Especially with the numerous cases of police brutality. I recommend you to read it before the movie comes out. Of course, if you aren’t a reader, watching to movie is good too but there’s only a few parts that could be captured in 2.5 hours.
It was a funny yet heart-breaking read. Some moments made me want to cheer, some made me ugly cry. (It happened in the college library but luckily there was no one around.) There was even a chapter that made me boil with rage. Although this book is considered fiction, it felt way too close to reality because I believe somewhere in this world, it is happening.
Thomas writes about a community. A group of people who has each others’ backs but there’s also some threats from the local drug lord. It shares the duality of the people from the hood. My most favourite part would definitely be the part where there were many people who supported the case, using social media as a platform to get your thoughts known. The voice is a tool. Combined with social media to gain support, it’s a powerful tool.
I also loved the tiny details in the book such as minorities working together and the issue of friendships in this story. Race is a very important thing, it’s a sense of belonging to a group and we can also share and relate to one another’s pain through it. For Starr, a Black girl attending school in a White neighbourhood, she is bound to face a sense of unbelonging. She starts to realise the offensive things her friends say that she used to disregard. Making her question her friendship and relationship with her White boyfriend, Chris.
Furthermore, police brutality is one of the main themes in the book. It is terrible since they are the ones who we trust to protect us. Who can we turn to when the ones who are supposed to protect us turn against us? There’s of course, two sides to everything. Despite her lack of trust in the police after what happened, her uncle is a Black policeman and he is willing to risk it all for justice.