Reviews

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

melaniexyz's review against another edition

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reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

A must-read. Heartbreaking. Real. Breathtaking. 

I saw some reviews critiquing the writing style of this book - it is a young adult book meaning it’s not going to have a massive vocabulary or perfect diction. 

It’s a heavy read, but a necessary one.

thelexingtonbookie's review against another edition

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5.0

This book has been on my radar for a while, and with a 4.57 rating on Goodreads, I know I'm not the only one. I went to check it out from my library and ended up on the waitlist, but then I noticed that the waitlist for the audiobook was much shorter, so I took that route instead, and wasn't disappointed. The audio was fantastic, as narrator Bahni Turpin yet again nails the strong voice of the lead character, Starr.

Starr is the daughter of an ex-ganglord, and everyone knows her as "Big Mav's daughter who works in the store, like it's the name on {her} birth certificate or something." She grew up on Garden Heights, a neighborhood known more for it's gang fights and turf wars than anything else. When she was ten, one of her best friends, Natasha, was shot on a street where a bunch of kids were out playing in the spray of a broken fire hydrant. That moment changed Starr's life in many ways, and her concerned parents sent her and her brothers to a private school, Williamson, in the suburbs, where she and one other boy were the only black kids in her grade. At age twelve, she had "the talk" with her parents- not just the one about the birds and the bees, but instead the "what to do if a cop stopped you" talk.

Balancing the life between what's expected of her in Garden Heights, and what's expected of her in private school Williamson, and always felt like there were two of her. There was one that fit in with the kids at her school, who spoke a specific way and reacted to things differently, than the Star who lived at home and worked at her father's neighborhood grocery store. She wanted to just be herself, but the duplicity she felt kept her worlds separate. So when she was tugged along to an infamous spring break party with Kenya, Starr wasn't quite at ease until a familiar face from the pass showed up. Khalil and Starr grew up together as toddlers and were very close to each other until Starr started at Williamson, and they lost touch. As they were catching up with each other, chaos ensues, and they leave together. Shortly thereafter, they're pulled over by a cop.

Although terrified, Starr remembers the talk with her parents and stays silent, but Khalil wants to know why he's been pulled over. Though Khalil is compliant and passive, things escalate quickly, the cop gets forceful, and as Khalil is turning to ask if Star is alright, the cop has opened fire on Khalil.

Leaving Starr as the witness to what really happened that night, the rumor mill and media churn out stories and allegations that make it out like Khalil was a threat and that it was better that he was off the streets. Though the incident was being investigated, there was little hope that there would be actual justice for Khalil. Starr's internal debate about where she belongs and who she is converge, and she decides be herself, share the truth, and take a stand for Khalil.

Now, without getting too political (though I want to because I have SO MANY THOUGHTS), in direct correlation with current events that puts our justice system under evaluation, Thomas' novel shares an example of one story that reflects many in the Black Lives Matter movement. And I think it's very, very difficult to write something so powerful that is both a gripping novel that doesn't push the author's agenda AND reflective of a VERY hot and controversial topic. In my personal opinion, it’s important to read The Hate U Give because it gives the reader a chance to understand the point of view from the victims of these hate crimes, police cruelty, and social injustice. Many people are disassociated from these tragedies, or in denial because of the privilege of their skin tone and social class. The Hate U Give puts the reality in the forefront of the reader’s mind, and makes it hard for them to forget that injustice can only continue if we don’t speak up against it. It gives the readers an opportunity to discuss a topic that has become difficult to have a conversation about.

Everyone should read this book. Everyone.

madeline_is_so_cool's review against another edition

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4.0

Contemporary YA isn't really my thing, but this was a book that makes you think and has a message that matters. I'm not going to forget about it. That's a pretty high compliment for a book (from me) because I usually forget a YA book (the characters, the plot, whether I even read it) hours after I finish reading them.

tiareadsbooks25's review against another edition

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5.0

•recently read•

4.5/5⭐


❝The Hate U—the letter U—Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. T-H-U-G L-I-F-E. Meaning what society give us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out.❞
—Page 17

❝Something to live for, something to die for.❞
—Page 37

❝Good-byes hurt the most when the other person’s already gone.❞
—Page 66

❝Once you've seen how broken someone is it's like seeing them naked—you can't look at them the same anymore.❞
—Page 83

❝Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.❞
—Page 154

❝What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?❞
—Page 252

❝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.❞
—Page 264

❝When you fight, you put yourself out there, not caring who you hurt or if you'll get hurt.❞
—Page 290

❝Brave doesn't mean you're not scared, Starr. It means you go on even though you're scared. And you're doing that.❞
—Page 331

❝I can't change where I come from or what I've been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me?❞
—Page 441

•••

Years ago, I've watched the movie The Hate U Give and I love it so much. Then I've discovered that it's an adaptation movie from a book and I wish to read it. Unfortunately, when I got the book last year, I completely forgot to read it right away. I guess NOW is the right time for me to read it.

The Hate U Give probably the first book that has written by black authors that I've ever read. Angie Thomas did a good job writing such a story that is so emotional yet very real too. She portrays issues such as racism, discrimination, police brutality, prejudice against minorities, and injustice of the law in a fine way. No wonder this book received so many awards back then.

The story is about Starr Carter, a 16-years-old-girl who had to the shooting of her best friend—Khalil—by a police officer. Starr's life couldn't be the same when Khalil's death made national headlines. She's scare to speak up. It took time for her to find her voice for the truth. About her awareness of her identity.

I'm so impressed with this story. Starr is so powerful and inspiring, my favorite character for sure! I do love the Carter family so much. They love, support, and protect each other which shows how important family is. The humor is nice too!

A must-read book! I do recommend you guys to read this book or watch the movie. Not only because the story is relevant to the current situation, but it may change your perspective towards the issues.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
P.S. I can wait for the sequel of this book, Concrete Rose—story about Starr's father, Maverick Carter.

jeshirley's review against another edition

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challenging emotional hopeful informative fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

heatheristhebrain's review against another edition

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5.0

This book talks about the serious, real issues that face our children and young adults today. This is such a real, heart wrenching book. It's tragic to think about how these things actually still happen today.

tatiana70's review against another edition

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hopeful informative inspiring reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

5.0

espiri_reads's review against another edition

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5.0

Admittedly, I am not a big fan of YA literature. But I love that this is a young adult novel because it makes this very important topic easily accessible to a wider audience. I can imagine teaching this to a class of middle schoolers and being able to facilitate an engaging discussion about the use of excessive force in law enforcement, media bias, double consciousness, why it's not divisive to say black lives matter, riots v uprisings, criminalizing an entire group of people, critiquing law enforcement as a system, and so many other relevant topics that surface when an unarmed black man gets killed by law enforcement. Overall, I think it's an important book.

Here is what I loved:
• Starr, the main character is so easy to like. She seems like a very genuine person. I feel like she is very relatable to people from all walks of life because she allows pieces from all the different worlds she belongs to to form part of what makes her Starr. I love that she is a Harry Potter fangirl and a sneakerhead, too. But I love even more that she struggles with reconciling these sides of herself because it is a very human experience to struggle when your worlds collide.

• I really like how the Carter family was able to create a functional family out of a dysfunctional situation. People were flawed but their love for each other wasn't.

• The author tackled complex topics in a simple, yet intelligent way.

•The struggle with balancing between commitment to community and commitment to family/self is one I personally relate to. Sometimes you have to say to yourself this is bigger than me, and commit yourself to acting upon an issue to improve the collective well-being of your own community. And other times you have to do the opposite and understand that a commitment to everyone else might force you to deprioritize the love, time, and labor of the people you love the most, including yourself, which is hurtful to your personal well-being. The Carters go back and forth between these two ideas.


What I didn't love:
The "I am Spartacus" ending was a little bit too Hollywood. It wasn't bad but endings like this always make me wonder if the author was writing with the forethought that this would become a movie.

weecha22's review against another edition

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5.0

Read for book club. Seriously amazing. The characters and writing were perfect. I felt a sense of hope at the end. It’s heartbreaking in so many ways, especially given that it feels like nothing has changed. But even after everything, you can’t give up the fight.