Book Review: ‘The Hate U Give’

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Written to shine a bright light on the Black Lives Matter movement and the controversial issue of police brutality, Angie Thomas brings us “The Hate U Give”.

Angie Thomas is a young adult/fiction author, who is best known for writing the novel “The Hate U Give”, published on February 28th, 2017. Thomas is an activist, producer, public speaker, and author. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University, a private Christian college in Mississippi. Thomas is from Jackson, Mississippi, and still resides there.

The Hate U Give” is a story that follows the protagonist, Starr Carter, a high school student from a neighborhood called Garden Heights. Starr finds herself navigating between living in her neighborhood and attending a largely white school called Williamson.

One evening, Starr decided to go to a spring break party, which was interrupted by a gang dispute that caused shots to be fired. She and her childhood friend, Khalil left the party together. After leaving the party, Khalil was pulled over in his car by police officer One-Fifteen. One-Fifteen had pulled him over for one of Khalil’s tail lights being out. The situation escalates because Khalil wants to know why the officer pulled him over. After being patted down by the officer, Khalil opened his car door to ask Starr if she was alright. One-Fifteen then shoots Khalil three times.

After that night, Starr has nightmares about the day that her neighborhood friend was hit by a stray bullet during a gang-related shooting at the age of 10.

As a result of these traumatizing events, Starr takes the initiative. She testified about Khalil’s shooting. The police weren’t going to pursue legal action against One-Fifteen. Lawyer and activist, Lisa Oprah, tells Starr that she will legally represent her pro bono.

At first, they weren’t going to prosecute One-Fifteen, but then a grand jury decided that they would hear their case. Oprah got Starr a televised interview to shine a light on her witness of the shooting.

Starr becomes an activist for Black Lives Matter. She leads protesters in a chant when handed a megaphone. She vows that she will continue fighting for justice for Khalil and any other black people killed by police officers.

This book definitely made an impression. At some points in this novel, I honestly cried. I had never thought that I would enjoy reading a book that had anything to do with police shootings and Black Lives Matter. However, I really enjoyed this book. This book does not make me feel any different about the police force. I support them, but police shootings aren’t a conversation I want to be a part of since I am stuck in the middle of that fight.

I would definitely recommend reading this book to everyone, with the exception of kids who aren’t at least in high school. There is profanity in this novel, but it is not an overbearing amount of it. This book I would rate a 10/10. I can’t wait to read everything else that Angie Thomas writes.