THE HATE YOU GIVE
Written by Angie Thomas
Published by Harper teen, February 28, 2017
My star rating: 5 glowing bright shiny stars!!!!
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. (Goodreads)
Anyone who reads has heard of this book. The hype surrounding this book was just everywhere! I was really scared to read it thinking that there was no way this book to live up to the hype. And I was right. This book went so far above and beyond the amount of hype and expectations! It was downright incredible. I know that this book has some strong language but I will be making sure that my 12 year old daughter reads this ASAP. If there is ever a book that I would suggest to any and everyone, this is it.
Before I go into my thoughts on this book I just wanted to say that I feel very fortunate to have been born and raised where I am. The small town I live in in SW Ontario Canada is full of diversity. Just outside of town is a Native reserve and the other side of town is Uncle Toms Cabin (Yes, the very one you’ve heard of a million times and was actually mentioned in this book!). There are many Asian and Indian families that moved here to put down some Canadian roots. And, being a farming town, many people travel from Jamaica to work in the summer. Also, Detroit is about 45 minutes away. I was raised knowing that not everyone looked the same and that’s what made the world beautiful. While yes there are always pockets of hate/ignorance, I live in a place where differences aren’t seen as differences. They’re just not seen. People are people. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized racism was real. It’s confusing and makes me sick. This book is a fantastic way for people to really see what’s happening, how people are being treated, and how people live. It’s sickening that a book like this is needed at all. It’s sick that the contents are so real and people are actually going through this. But it’s happening, and it needs to change.
“Your voice is your weapon”
And how true that quote is. There are many injustices in this world and this is one of them. But nothing will change unless the world uses their voice and stands up for what’s right. Starr Carter has seen two people die before her eyes. Is she scared to tell the truth? YES! As she would be. She saw the very people that were supposed to protect her kill an unarmed man. So speaking out and telling the truth, knowing that there would be consequences and backlash, would be horrifying. Even though she was scared she used her voice.
The characters in this book were just INCREDIBLE!! Most of all I loved her parents! They were so hard working and supportive. I loved that Starr is facing so many awful things and they were ALWAYS there for her. Holding her when she needed it and supporting her no matter what. They lead by example and helped her understand that there was a right and wrong way to handle things. Your emotions may motivate you to take one course of action but ask yourself “What would that accomplish?” Lashing out will only alleviate your anger but make things worse in the long run. The right way isn’t always easy, but you can’t right a wrong with another wrong. They always showed her that you need to work hard to overcome things in life but with the support of your friends and family you will make it through. In fact all the characters were so well written!! The support that friends and family showed each other was just such an emotional thing to read. A lesson learned that no matter what happens they have each other. But Starr’s nana made me laugh literally every time she spoke!!! She may be a dramatic drunk but damn she says it like it is – I can totally appreciate that!!
Starr herself was such a great point of view. It was so interesting hearing her thoughts as she went about her daily life. Changing her personality depending on who she was with because she was afraid of what people would think of her. The emotions she was feeling as she came to terms with being a “witness”. And as a teenager you always wonder if it’s ok to be yourself. It took me the longest time to accept the person I was and be comfortable with it. But to have to deal with that on top of witnessing a murder – I just can’t imagine.
I also love that the police aspect was seen from two different sides. Yes, officer 115 was a man that made an incredibly wrong decision, but not all police are like that. Starr’s uncle was on the force along with the officer and it showed the side that was actually working to make positive changes. It’s sad that police are sometimes seen as a force that’s there to take people down instead of protect. Of course there are always some bad seeds that change people’s perceptions, but isn’t that like racism itself? If you decide that no police officer can be trusted then you’re making a decision about a group of people without knowing them. I understand the apprehension of knowing who to trust but there are some really great cops out there that are willing to do anything to help. This book did an incredible job showing that a person can go through what she did and still not lose faith and hope in the police force. Angie Thomas wrote this in a way that the anger was directed towards one man in particular and not the force itself.
What I also loved was how Angie Thomas wrote the surroundings. The vast differences between the neighbourhoods and the dynamics within those neighbourhoods. Seriously spot on. One thing might be totally normal in one neighbourhood where it’s completely unheard of in another.
I could honestly go on and on about this book. I loved every bit of it! There are some books that hit you on such an emotional level that you can’t get them out of your mind. And there are some books that change or amplify your thoughts and emotions and impact your life going forward. I will recommend this book to EVERYONE!! This is now one of my favourites of all time and I plan to reread it very soon. I can’t wait to get this into my daughters hands so we can talk about it together. This book………
Thank you Angie Thomas. Thank you.
Until next time, happy reading!
So this just happened! I’m so very new to Twitter and have a hard time understanding how to use it to its full potential. But this happened and made me do a little squeal while in the middle of working (yes, I was on my phone on the job, don’t judge! The customer was still browsing lol!) This made my day!!