This book guys. This book.
I don’t even know how to introduce this review other than to say this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and I was extremely lucky to get an early copy.
Let’s dive into The Hate U Give!
(Found on Goodreads)
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
*Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
I’ll just say it right now: I don’t have anything to complain about with this book.
I loved it. I sped through it SO quickly.
This is one of those books that is just so important to the world. In a world where we’re surrounded by technology, news and stories of violence every day, books like this are needed to bring some emotion back into the stories we’ve been desensitized to.
And while this book does cover a sensitive topic, it’s not all heavy hearted. There are lighthearted, even funny moments in this book, balancing out the story to fit with everyday life. There’s family, friendship, courage along with fear. There’s just so much to it, it felt so realistic.
The family unit is by far one of my favourite things about this book. Why? Because it’s difficult, and yet so, so truthful. Petty arguments between siblings, even though they’d fight for each other. A joking, loving atmosphere in the family home, but the parents still having the overall rule. And it’s about damn time! In this book, if the teenagers do anything wrong, they’re called out and punished for it. You don’t get that magical all-boundaries-lifted treatment most YA books are given, making it easier for the main characters to have full reign. If mom or dad say no, you’re not doing it.
And even the characters within the family. They all have such huge personalities – not in the way that they’re loud or whatever, but in the way that you could know exactly who was talking before it even mentions them by name. You know their personalities inside and out, how they’d react to situations, the way they hold themselves. All this, without it being obvious. Subtle details in the story provide all this character building, and I just loved it. And Starr, the main character, is such a wonderful point of view to read from. Not that her story is a nice one, but it’s sobering and empowering. You see her fears and worries, you see her learning. It’s just…so, so well done.
I knew I was privileged to be born in the position I am, but even so this story made me realise it even more. As a white English person, I’ve never had to feel fear when police are around, just in case I move too quickly. I’ve never purposefully changed my accent, so that I don’t give the wrong impression. Little reminder like that, I want to see around much more. Sure, we’ve come far, but it’s essential we keep learning and understanding. Because as this book very clearly shows – those built in prejudices that are still around can take someone’s life.
It’s very hard to gather my thoughts on this one. I hope I’ve done it the slightest bit of justice, at least. And while it’s not a full 5 stars, I have no reason why. Probably just because contemporary isn’t my favourite of genres – though this book is DEFINITELY one of my favourite contemporaries now.
Share your thoughts!
Have you read this book? What did you think?
If you haven’t read it, do you plan to?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
Come and visit me!