Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: April 2017
Genre: Contemporary, YA.
Goodreads rating: 4.72
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.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
My Rating and General Opinion
A must read! Not perfect but near it! Most importantly, this book approaches a theme that’s been so common and broadcasted in this past years, one that deserves a clear shouting voice!
I was planning on giving this one 5 stars, because it does deserve it, but I ended needing more from it. It was good but wasn’t enough. It turned on a flame inside this head of mine that I haven’t been able to put out.
I don’t know if it’s me or what, but are newbie writers supposed to capture an atmosphere this clearly?? The writing was so REAL, approachable and well constructed. The “street” language (I don’t know how else to describe it) was on point (I assume at least!haha) and helped to create the world that is at the end of a lot of corners, especially in the US. The vibe that Thomas’ words detached reminded me of those 90s shows aka Fresh Prince (like Starr, I’ve always been a fan, and also know the theme song in spanish from heart! ;)) and similar, because that’s the only contact I’ve ever had with this environment. Still, without any actual first contact (by myself), I pictured everything that was happening perfectly.
The story was separated in different parts. The intro was a bit too sudden because I wanted to get to know better that dimpled boy, but from there on we analyze the situation with brief time jumps. This helped things getting along, but from my perspective it also left some things loose and not properly or more profoundly analyzed.
I missed some overdue evolution in each character. Change happens and they have to get used to it yes, but I wouldn’t have minded if we had gotten the chance to get into some other perspectives. There were a lot of times when I was very curious about what was going in Mav’s head (and not only his) and I think that would have improved the whole experience.
The plot in itself is very well described on the synopsis. Starr is an impressive young lady of color who lives with her family in the bad part of town (you could say so) and who lives a double live: normal kid by day, spy by night… (😂😂 I wish… Just lighting up the mood a bit because this is not a particularly fun story, but one that must be told.)
As I was saying, Starr lives a double life because while she does life in the ghetto she goes to a very fancy school. This shouldn’t matter at all (at least in my humble opinion) but she kind of develops another person so that she can blend in better (which you know, I am of the opinion that you shouldn’t try to blend, I myself might have tried some, but I always brought that awkwardness of mine everywhere I went to and I am glad). This is important because this serves to establish the inner mind works of Starr, which develop and evolve along the novel. You know what happens then, after some brutality and most of all some SERIOUS stupidity on 115’s part, her world comes crumbling down. Times passes, riots come, justices/injustices as you may want to call it happen but the same situation goes on, same bad people are still out on the streets…
Like I’ve mentioned before the story progresses rapidly. We follow Starr and the whole Carter family as unbelievable things keep happening. The most unbelievable thing is that I can picture everything as it was happening right in front of my eyes. Bad people keep winning (or do they?¿?) and honest people keep losing all sorts of things except for themselves.
Starr’s life changes completely. Some things do change for the better, because it’s only when something really bad happens that you truly know who has your back and who doesn’t. But most of all she ends up losing everything she had worked on for the last six years…
Important message: Use Your Voice + Think For Yourself.
They say information is power (which is) but you shouldn’t let them mute you. Use your voice, because that’s a weapon no one can take off you! I am all onboard with rallies but if you get to the point of riots then you lose your power, your voice and your message.
☮☮☮ ☮☮☮ ☮☮☮
This books leaves you with a lot of ache, WTF, WTH and How does THIS keep happening?? And between the questions left open, there’s: is change possible? It is, I believe change is natural in the human being. The problem is the society is completely corrupted in all of its branches… and to change and clean everything would take a tremendous something! Optimist much huh?? Yes.
(I could ramble on for a very looong time, but I think this has been more than enough!)
We have a great assemble of characters here, from both worlds. Some coexist without any problems, some not that much.
First we’ve got the Carter family: both parents, big brother (Eleven), Starr and little brother. Starr being one of the main protagonists of this story and the narrator, takes a lot of spotlight but that doesn’t mean the rest of her family isn’t crucial to the story, especially her father. Big Mav, as Starr’s father is called, is in my humble opinion, the best character you’ll find here. Starr is great yes, but Mav has seen so much and although he has to control himself a lot of the time, the important thing is that he ends up keeping control over himself, his actions and his moral. I truly think he is a great example for not only his children but fo the rest of the neighborhood The moments both parents have together, even when fighting, are so important and so sweet that I was with Starr being happy and embarrassed at the same time! Another thing that makes Big Mav the best is that in this crude world we live in, he knows how to put a smile on you face, even in the hardest of times. Did I mentioned he is the comic relief of this whole thing??
Then we’ve got the rest of the family: Starr’s uncle (the policeman) and aunt, grandma, and little cousins. These too have an important part on the story, they represent the biggest support and mix-up between both ecosystems represented in this story.
Then we’ve got the rest of the players in Starr’s life: the fancy school’s kids, mainly Starr’s group (who reminded me too much of the one we can find in Before I Fall), her neighborhood friends and the damn thugs.
Yes I think you should read this book!I recommend this one to both younger readers and adults! I think this is a great first step on the right direction! 😉
Funny fact, just after finishing the book did I go online to see if it was going to be adapted, and it turns out it will, and who will play Starr’s role?? Well, none other than the little woman I was picturing during the whole thing!! Amanda Stenberg!! 🙂 🙂 You may know her from Colombiana (portraying little Cataleya, later portrayed by Zoe Saldana, a great action film about vengeance), The Hunger Games (I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched those movies, especially the first one, and Rue always makes me ugly cry like crazy!!), Everything Everything, The Darkest Minds… do I see I trend here?? Is she about to become the YA adaptation go-to?¿?