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07 Feb 2019

Review: The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas Featured

In The Hate U Give we enter Starr’s world.  She is the only witness to the shooting of an unarmed black boy, who also happens to be her childhood best friend. We are there from the start to the finish, from the shooting to the grand jury verdict and we observe and read each scene and experience a wave of emotions; shock, sadness, anger, defiance, hope, and hopelessness. All the while hoping that this will be the time when justice is finally served.

Throughout the novel Starr manages to navigate through her daily life, school, her friends and home life while dealing with the trauma of having witnessed her best friend’s murder. This book is unique because it offers an interesting perspective of what happens to the loved ones of those that are murdered. We see the difficulties they face in getting past the trauma and carrying on with their own lives.  With Starr there is an overwhelming feeling of guilt and self-consciousness. What will people (both black and white) say when they find out she was there and witnessed the incident? How will they react to her?

Starr comes from a close knit nuclear family that is there to offer her support as she navigates through this traumatic situation. Kudos to the author Angie Thomas for portraying a strong family since Black American families are often not portrayed this way. Of note is her Dad, an ex-con who has turned his life around, is there for his family and helps Starr come to terms with the incident.

The Hate U Give is something we all needed. A work of fiction that imitates the unfortunate reality of the police brutality against Black America.  This novel demonstrates how things can spiral out of control quickly when the black community is disrespected and wronged and how there is a need for us to have our voices heard when we are not treated fairly.   The book has recently been adapted into a movie starring the talented cast of Amandla Stenberg, Russell Hornby and Regina King.

This novel succeeds by blurring the lines between fact and fiction and in doing so brings us a story that is unique but unfortunately all too familiar.

Rating: 5/5

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