Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (US), Walker Books (UK)
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Synopsis: 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, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. 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 destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.
When I kept seeing “Must Read” on Goodreads within people’s reviews and read the synopsis, I instantly knew that this was a book I had to read. The topic it surrounds is one that (unfortunately) we hear quite often in the news. I was very hesitant to see how the author would approach it, but let me just say that Angie Thomas did an amazing job.raised.
The characters she created seemed so real that, as I was reading it, I felt like I was watching a documentary of someone actually telling this story and seeing the impact such events have on their lives. I think every young adult (and even adults) should pick this book up because these stories aren’t just fiction, they do happen, and awareness must be raised.
I would have given this story 5★ hands-down without thinking twice, but there was one issue I just couldn’t get over. Firstly, let me just give a warning that this book contains very strong language – I’m personally not a fan of this in novels at all, but I do think it helped bring the characters to life and was necessary for this story in particular. Moreover, I completely understand why the author wrote like this. However, I didn’t take 0.5★ off because of this. Angie Thomas approached so many different social problems in this book, from drug-addiction to gang violence. However, one character (Starr’s grandmother) at one or two points throughout the novel was said to have been/is an alcoholic. I understand that this book wasn’t anything to do with alcoholism, nor did I expect the author to focus on this, but it was brushed off a little too lightly. Alcoholism is just as severe as any other addiction and it isn’t something that should be taken lightly or not given importance. I didn’t understand the necessity of having a character with this issue if it was then forgotten about within 2 paragraphs. It didn’t add anything to the story, it felt unnecessary and not dealt with appropriately. Alcoholism, just like drug-addcition, affects not only the individuals with the disorder but also all surrounding friends and family. Although it may not seem a major issue for some, I personally just couldn’t get this out of my head as I was reading the book.