The Hate You Giveby Angie Thomas
Published on February 28. 2017 by Balzer + Bray, Harlequin TEEN
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
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.
This book…THIS BOOK…I honestly have no idea where to start and I’m not even sure if I can make this review anything other than gush. Before I continue, I just want to state that these opinions are my own and I will try and convey them in the best way possible, however, I encourage you to seek out reviews of this amazing book that are written by bloggers of color in order to understand the full spectrum of what this book is trying to convey.
I think for this review I’m mostly going to talk about the characters, because they are incredibly important. Firstly, Starr. She is such a strong character! She isn’t afraid to feel what she feels but she still seeks out her parents, and others, advice in order to make the best decisions she can. She isn’t without her faults, but no one is and I liked that Thomas made her feel so realistic. With every feeling, action, and situation that Starr faced, Thomas made sure that the reader faced them too. She brings you so solidly into her world that before you know it, the book is over and you’re left wanting more. Wanting to rage at the world for being so despicable.
Two more characters that I really loved were Starr’s parents. Lisa and Maverick were AMAZING. They were the parents that every YA book should have in it! They loved each other so much that you could feel it pulsing off the page. They fought and they had their own opinions, but they worked it out they way every couple should. They didn’t up and quit the moment things got hard. Their goal in life is to do the best they can for their kids and you see that in every interaction, every scolding, in every breath they breathe. They’re the parents I wish I had, honestly.
Sekani, Starr’s little brother, was one of my absolute favorites as well. He was so incredibly adorable that I couldn’t help but smile at almost everything he said!
I really liked that Starr and Chris already had an established relationship. I hate books that start with a premise for so much amazing and then everything is overshadowed by the romance aspect. The Hate You Give isn’t like that. Chris and Starr, though they have their problems too, are already in love with each other. And it’s easy to love their relationship because they are adorable. My favorite interaction with Starr and her father after he finds out she is dating a white boy is when Mav is worrying that he didn’t give her a good role model for a black man but Starr says “You gave me a role model for what a good man should be” and it is the sweetest moment her and her father have together. I love that Thomas addressed that.
And then there is the political side of this book. As you guys probably know, this book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and it was so interesting and heartbreaking to get a glimpse inside what it’s really like for a person of color. I admit that I have a lot of privilege and it’s a struggle to not say or do the wrong thing but I’m trying. It is such a learning process but I think this is an important book in that process. If we were to take the time to listen and read things that people give us then maybe things wouldn’t be so bad, but unfortunately. No one wants to listen. And that breaks my heart. So I promise, I will always listen and learn from my mistakes. I HIGHLY recommend The Hate You Give to anyone and everyone!