The Hate U Give [Book Review]


A three-time winner of Goodreads Choice Awards

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.

|CW: Murder, racism, PTSD, panic attacks, alcohol intake, drugs, cursing |


5 stars

5 heart wenching stars for The Hate U Give.

Racism (institutional and casual; subtle and outright), prejudice, hate, the fight for justice and equality. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give is a masterpiece.

The Hate U—the letter U—Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. T-H-U-G L-I-F-E. Meaning what society give us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out.

Firstly, I should say that I don’t think I’ve read a book and will read a book as powerful as The Hate U Give. THUG has to be about the realest book I’ve ever read in my entire life and it makes me so happy yet so sad that this book exists and that Angie Thomas is able to capture this struggle perfectly in a book.

The Hate U Give highlights the unfairness and the injustice of the police brutality on innocent young black people and similar injustice they face in the legal justice system.

It shows brilliantly how the victims are blamed for their own unfair murder. How the victims are demonized by the media and people around. How the perpetrators of this crimes are excused and sympathised with as if they were the ones who were unduly shot and murdered. How far, how unnecessarily far and hard in a country that is supposedly developed, the loved ones of the victims and the community would have to go to get justice for the murdered, the justice they deserve. The Hate U Give shows everything wrong with our society.

Alongside the institutional discriminations, The Hate U Give also shows the micro-aggressions, those inappropriate questions POC are often subjected to; and the way black people have to tone themselves down to avoid being tagged an “angry black person ” or “ghetto”, because apparently we don’t have the right to express ourselves.

“Hustle! Pretend the ball is some fried chicken. Bet you’ll stay on it then.” What. The. Actual. Fuck?

“Do you remember that time she asked if my family ate a cat for Thanksgiving?” […] Hailey asked if we ate a cat. Because we’re Chinese.

Williamson Starr doesn’t use slang—if a rapper would say it, she doesn’t say it, even if her white friends do. Slang makes them cool. Slang makes her “hood.” Williamson Starr holds her tongue when people piss her off so nobody will think she’s the “angry black girl.” Williamson Starr is approachable. No stank-eyes, side-eyes, none of that. Williamson Starr is nonconfrontational. Basically, Williamson Starr doesn’t give anyone a reason to call her ghetto.

The Hate U Give is an unapologetically loud book. A book that’s truly needed.

That’s the hate they’re giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life.

The plot was important, but it was the characters and their relationships that made the story whole.

The crying, the puking don’t mean anything anymore. My daddy’s got me.

Another thing I loved about the The Hate U Give, is how it didn’t rely on its brilliant plot alone to drive it. The characters also were equally as brilliant.

All the characters were real and genuine, both the good and the bad. From Starr’s friends, neighbours to her family, none of the characters were exaggerated to seem larger than life, especially Starr. Starr isn’t portrayed as some brave, extremely courageous girl with a hero complex but a regular sixteen year old black girl, with sixteen year old girl problems, emotions and relationships. She’s just a scared girl, and rightfully so, finding support in her family and community after witnessing her best friend’s murder, and that endeared both her and book to me.

One more thing I adored in this book was the relationship between Starr and her family. Its heartwarming to see such a supportive and real family in YA. They were always there for Starr, encouraging and protecting her. And the cute and humorous little moments they shared were wonderful and relaxing, taking some of the seriousness of the book and making me laugh or smile sometimes. And I can quite say the same for Starr’s relationship with Chris, her white boyfriend, even if this relationship was different from the one with her family, it was just as precious (ok, i think familial relationships are superior, but they’re that cute.).

The characters in many ways were the backbone of this book. The way they evolved and grew, their emotions and motivations was what drove the plot. The Hate U Give wasn’t the kind of book that sacrificed its characters for the plot, but used to both in telling a powerful story.

Overall, its such a perfect book…

We want freedom. We want the power to determine the destiny of our black and oppressed communities.’ […] We want an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of black people, other people of color, and oppressed people.’ […] Complete freedom, justice, and equality, by any means necessary.’

From the characters, to the wonderful and significant plot, to its execution. The Hate U Give is a book deserves all the love it can get. I really don’t think I was to accurately capture what I feel in this review or that I’ve even made a point, but its an amazing book. Its a 200% recommend for me. Its a hands down one of the best books I’ve read in my entire life, if not the book. To cut this short, I loved it. A lot.

Have you read The Hate U Give? What do you think of it?


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4 thoughts on “The Hate U Give [Book Review]

  1. I really enjoyed reading your review like, it’s rare where I’m enraptured by a review lol, I have this and cannot wait to start reading it, I feel that it is going to be the sort of book that just everyone needs to read and I hope will become the norm as part of a school reading curriculum.


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