03 April 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Publication: February 28th, 2017
# of Pages: 464
Source; Library Copy

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.
THUG LIFE - The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody
I've been staring at the blank space of this paper for a while and it seems that every time I go to write some words I don't feel as though they are even remotely good enough to justify the powerful essence of this book. Angie Thomas has taken one of the most controversial and important movements of our time and has created a work of art that will blow any reader away. As stated by many Youtubers and bloggers, if you don't read anything but one book this year I would highly recommend picking it up. 
The first thing that stood out to me in this book definitely was in the realm of the main character Starr. I've been in situations before where I've felt the need to play two roles. In fact, there are moments now where I still fall victim to that philosophy. There is a certain way I act in front of my black friends and a certain way I act in front of my white friends. I don't want to seem too "proper" in front of one group and too "ghetto" in front of another. It's a shame that I even feel the need to have this mentality; however, you would be surprised at how many people actually feel as though they are torn in between two worlds. Starr is caught in this same issue/problem. She doesn't know exactly where she fits in and it's hard for her to confront her issues with her identity. This; however, all changes when her long time friend is shot and murdered by a police officer. Starr's world is flipped upside down and what I love most is that her reaction and the way she handles the incident isn't perfect. She has doubts. She wants to speak up and then she wants to remain silent. She wants to hide and then she wants to be out in the open. It's beautiful because as a reader I really got insight to her internal struggles. To me she was the epitome of a great character.

The most interesting aspect of this book was the plot. It simply flowed with such ease and kept me entertained, intrigued, and awakened emotions in me that I didn't know were there. I couldn't put this book down. I would literally stay up all night just to figure out what happened next. Once again, there are no words that I can put here that could even begin to explain how beautifully the plot captured the essence of the black lives matter movement. And when I say captured, I mean that Angie Thomas made sure to illustrate the good, the bad, and the ugly. She painted a picture of truth, hope, pain, and strength. The plot in itself amazingly covered topics and interwove them into a bigger picture. Nevertheless, what I loved most about the plot was the incorporation of Tupac and Harry Potter. For two things that are so startlingly different, Angie Thomas made it work for our story and if anything it made me relate more to the characters.

To be honest, I could go on an on about this book. I could talk about the beautiful writing, the wonderful characters, the intriguing plot, the fact that this book made me cry; however, the only thing I really want you guys to know is that you NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. The hype is worth it. Every second of it. And I'm glad that everyone is enjoying it and it's getting the respect and attention it deserves. If you can't tell I highly recommend this book and I hope that more and more people read it this year.


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