The Hate U Give is one of the best books I have read in a while. It is so significant and relevant to current issues that are being faced in the United States and around the world right now.
In The Hate U Give, Star is a 16 year old girl who is driving home from a party with a friend, Khalil, who is pulled over by a police officer and is shot. The cop thought the hair brush in his car door was a gun. Star is terrified to speak out about the incident; what if the police harass her? What if it starts riots? But she ends up using her voice to speak out and try to seek justice for her friend being shot. She has to confront a lot of uncomfortable truths, like why people in her neighbourhood get involved in gangs, and understand how her uncle can be a great police officer but that there are systematic problems that allow bad police officers to get away with these sorts of things. Her and her family have to deal with a lot of things, like whether to keep living in the neighbourhood where the gangs have become a problem for them. The chapters depicting the riots were so devastating. I can’t imagine having to witness something like that firsthand; it sounded like a war! Star and her father are the strongest forces in trying to unite people for social change and I think that it conveyed a great message that I am going to try to circle back to in a minute.
I feel like the realities that are faced by black people, especially those who live in poorer neighbourhoods, is something that everyone should try to understand. I think it is Angie Thomas, the author of this book, who I recently read a quote by saying something about how writing can be a form of social activism. I think that she succeeded her because she has written and provided the world with a captivating novel about a social issue that is devastating and has to be faced. I loved how the message that was conveyed was that this is how things are but they don’t have to be like that. She didn’t paint an overly optimistic picture of how things should be but I feel like people could have walked away with a better understanding of how to take action on these issues.
The Hate U Give is a must read book for everyone. I can’t emphasize that enough. Whether you are interested in social activism or not, the perspective you will gain from reading this book will be life changing. The point of view is one that I feel like is so important because it doesn’t demonize anyone just because they fit into certain social archetypes. Angie Thomas did such an amazing job at demonstrating social problems and making clear that racism is alive and well, and that that needs to change because, in this case, even though there are good police officers, there are also bad police officers, and there are certain social conditions and systematic problems that exasperate these issues.
|Title||The Hate U Give|
|Genre(s)||Young adult, Fiction, Social issues|
|Publisher||Balzer + Bray|
|February 28, 2017|