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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.
I had this book on my bookshelf for about three years before actually reading it all the way through. I picked it up twice before, read the first chapter, and decided to put it down again. I previously dismissed this book as ‘too intense’, believing that it would make me feel uncomfortable.
However, recent events have shown me that I need to read more books like this one. I need to experience that discomfort. I need to read more books that show me a world that is vastly different to my day-to-day life, but that is a reality for a lot of people. Books are one of the greatest tools that we have for learning, and avoiding books that I think will make me feel uncomfortable is something that I will no longer do.
“What’s the point in having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments that you shouldn’t be?”The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My initial impressions of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas were correct. It was a tough read. It did make me feel uncomfortable. However, I am so glad that I read this book, because I know that it is one of those books that I will never forget. This book opened my eyes in so many ways.
The Hate U Give is one of the most intense, emotionally devestating, and wonderful books that I have ever read. Normally I am a quick reader, but I purposefully took it slow with this book. There were times when I needed to just stop, take a deep breath, and cry. Other times I could not put it down. While reading this book I took extensive notes of my own thoughts and impressions, and I would encourage anyone else to do the same. These notes are ones that I will go back to when I need a reminder of what I learned through reading this powerful book.
“People like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.”The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This book taught me so much. It taught me that I need to use my voice. That I need to stand up for racial injustices. That I need to put myself out there and learn more about what is going on in the world around me.
This book hit home in so many ways, because it made me realise that I have lived an incredibly privileged life. I grew up in a neighbourhood very much like the one in which Starr attends school. The vast majority of people in my neighbourhood where I grew up live in mansions, have multiple cars and homes, and do not expose themselves to the real world. It is a world of wealth and privilege, and there is no racial diversity whatsoever. Looking back, I realise that there was not a single black person in my school, and the vast majority of my teacher were middle-aged caucasian men. This was my world growing up. It was sheltered, and it was really not until I moved away for college and then later moved to another country that I was exposed to the real world.
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right”The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The world is full of injustices. It is full of wonderful things too, but to ignore the injustices in society is fundamentally wrong. I have been learning this lesson over the past several years, and The Hate U Give really drove that lesson home for me even more.
If you, like me, have been putting off reading this book, please read it. I implore you. It is a tough read at times. It is emotional, and it will probably make you cry. But lean into that, because there are also lighter aspects. The Hate U Give is a book that everyone should read at least once.
Thank you for reading my review. If you could take the time to sign this petition I would greatly appreciate it.