I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long, long time. I think it brings up important discussions about race. It also provides a really unique insight into a young adult’s life.
The main character in The Hate U Give is Starr Carter. She’s sixteen, and a very likeable (and relatable) character. If she was an actual person, I feel like we would be great friends. It’s rare when a character and novel make you feel like that.
I could understand Starr being nervous and scared to speak out. In many cases, people don’t believe the witness. I want to be clear, this book does not bash or talk bad about police officers. In this book, Starr Carter has an uncle in the novel who is a police officer. His name is Carlos, and while he understands how Starr feels, he also knows that being a police officer is a hard job. The Hate U Give talks about two main things, one, justice, and two, telling the truth is hard, especially when folks make assumptions right off the bat.
Synopsis from The Hate U Give
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.
The Hate U Give – Thoughts
I’m so glad that I read this book. It brought many things into perspective. Starr is one of my favorite book characters. She speaks the truth, and understands the injustice that happens in many cases like her friend Khalil’s. This book made me want to cry, laugh, and be angry. Laugh only because Starr’s family could be funny, her father and mother were important and good characters as well. Starr is brave, even though throughout the whole book she says that she’s not, that she’s scared to speak out and tell the truth. She cared about Khalil, and more that anything, she wants justice for him.
This book paints the hard, cold truth about what Starr has to go through. About what happens to Khalil. This book doesn’t sugar coat anything, as it should. Starr has a friend who makes a racist comment in one of the chapters. It was so painful to read it, but, sadly and unfortunately, it happens. One of the many raw and unflinching truths that this book displays.
I loved Starr’s family. I loved Starr’s community, even though, and I quote, Starr called it (and thought of it) as “The Hood”. While there is some violence, Starr makes a good point. The people who live there really don’t have a choice about their lifestyle. They need to take care of their families, and that I can understand. I would do anything for my family, so it’s sad to know that people feel like they don’t have a choice.
The Garden Heights community feels real, like the neighbors, and the store owners. Mrs. Angie Thomas made you feel like you’ve known Starr and Garden Heights forever. I love books that are important, honest, and characters that feel real. I think that’s why many people can understand this book. There are people like Starr who feel stuck between two worlds.
To Sum up
I highly, highly recommend reading The Hate U Give. It’s a book that makes you think about hard topics. It demands attention, and speaks the honest truth. Starr is very relatable, I could understand her actions and feelings. Her family, and most of her friends support her when she finally found the courage to speak out, and let everyone know what really happened. Definitely the best book I’ve read this whole year.