The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | Book Review + Discussion

THUG Design
Artwork Credit: Kevin Dones / Cover Image Credit: Epic Reads

Title: The Hate U Give

Author/s: Angie Thomas

Publication: Kindle Edition, 464 pages Published February 28, 2017 by Balzer + Bray

Source: Personal Purchase

Get Your Copy Here:

Book Depository | Amazon Kindle

Thoughts in General:

Right off the bat, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was immediately added to my TBR due to the hype it has gotten all over social media (yep I’m a bandwagon kind of reader) and truthfully the premise just sounded so powerful. Upon reading it, I did not expect to love it as much as I do right now. This is such a well-balanced novel that isn’t all about making a political statement. The book tackles important and relevant issues with an entertaining tone.

The Hate U Give is certainly a novel that should be included in every country’s required reading list for schools because of its authentic approach to the topic of unnecessary police violence, dark implications of the illegal drug industry, and the enigmatic contemporary lives of African-Americans. It has been a really long time since I read a book that sparked this kind of reaction in me and I am not ashamed to say that I am truly a THUG trash! In my opinion, Angie Thomas should be included among the ranks of modern classic writers such as Harper Lee and Maya Angelou.

Aesthetics

I LOVE THE COVER of THE HATE U GIVE. If you’ve been reading my blog, you all know how much I love a well-illustrated cover and the simplicity of the whole design is just perfect. I like how she’s holding the sign with the title of the book like she’s protesting, which is reminiscent of some of the scenes in the novel.

Since I only read the e-book edition, I did not get the chance to see the back of the cover that features Khalil. However, I have seen enough images online that urges me to buy a physical copy soon!

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Photo Credit: Teen Vogue Twitter

Story

Since the story was inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I expected it to be chockful of political and social messages, which it delivered gracefully by the way. However, I was pleasantly surprised on how the novel focused on family dynamics, which was the biggest factor that made me love it even more. I also really appreciated how the author went about writing the romantic storyline, which I’ll be discussing in the spoiler section of this review. Angie Thomas was able to successfully craft such a compelling and cute relationship without outshining the entire novel’s theme.

Characters

Starr Carter is one of my favorite fictional characters, ever. Her voice was downright real and relatable. When I was reading the book, I felt like I was witnessing the life of a very close friend. Yes, she was flawed (especially with the way that she treats herself sometimes), but that made her more real to me because I can relate to what she was going through (emotionally speaking).

I freaking love the entire Carter family! The way Angie Thomas wrote their family was so fleshed out, I actually cared about everyone. This is a rare occurrence for me to love, not just the main character but also her Mom, Dad, and two brothers. Again they are not perfect and that was the reason why I was enthralled with each of them.

Starr’s friends were written in such a unique way that I was able to distinguish them easily.

Final Words

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is truly a gem worth reading and sharing. It is the kind of book that could spark empathy from all different cultures and nationalities. Personally, if I had the power to make this book a required reading in the Philippines I will definitely do it in a heartbeat. Despite it being about a young African-American woman’s story of racial injustice, the themes could definitely resonate with people all over the world that are dealing with the same issues Starr Carter had.

Thoughts in Detail (SPOILERS AHEAD):

Now I want to discuss some of my favorite characters and scenes without any limitations. Ready?

Starr was such a great complex character! The way she handled Khalil’s death was admirable, especially when she had that other experience with Natasha. Yes, there were times that she was a bit fragile, but that just showed how human she was. Angie Thomas did a great job of writing her perspective in such a realistic way. Also, this girl was so funny too, which was the winning factor for me. I think I mentioned it before, I never expected this book to be hilarious given the topic it discussed, however, Starr’s snark and sass had me laughing my socks off. What kept me turning the pages was the amazing attributes of Starr that made her real and lovable for me.

The Carter family is just so cool! Her mom and dad’s relationship was just dysfunctionally perfect. What I meant by this is that they were incredibly human and their love wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but they still managed to become this amazing couple that loved each other no matter what. Starr’s brothers, Seven and Sekani, were all cool and hilarious in their own right.

The moments Starr spent with her mom and dad were all golden, especially this deep scene with Maverick (Starr’s dad) and her discussing the deeper meaning of Tupac’s The. Hate. U. Give. Little. Infants. F**ks. Everybody. There were loads of amazing quotes in that scene and my personal favorite was this…

“We’re the ones who get the short end of the stick, but we’re the ones they fear the most.”

Another favorite part of mine was when Maverick wanted to hang out with Starr and watch Harry Potter with her. This particular bit of dialogue just made me laugh so hard:

“Daddy you’re the worst person to watch Harry Potter with. The whole time you’re talking about” – I deepen my voice – “Why don’t they shoot that nigga Voldemort?”

“Ay it don’t make sense that in all them movies and books, nobody thought to shoot him.”

I don’t support gun violence whatsoever, but this was just too funny!

GUYS THE ROMANCE IN THIS BOOK WAS SO DARN CUTE! I needed to type that all-in-caps because it is nothing short of amazing and sweet. Starr and Chris have become one of my favorite OTPs, period. From the get-go, I love how they bonded over the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and I found the things Chris did to get Starr’s attention. It just gets better and better as the novel pushes forward, even their little dramas weren’t excruciating to read.

Then we have the friendships in the book. I honestly felt so bad for Starr because of the realizations and revelations she discovered over Khalil’s death, like he wasn’t really part of the King Lords and that he really did love Starr. I was also glad that Starr and Hailey parted ways in the end, which just shows not all friends are worth keeping in our lives.

Lastly, I love the overall message of the book about injustices. I don’t know about you, but personally, I agree that The Hate U Give is a timely and relevant novel during these times. It really sheds an important light on the lives of the victims of police brutality and, in my honest opinion, it seems to capture a realistic depiction of it.

That’s all of my thoughts and feels regarding the book! If you want to discuss your favorite scene in the book or my thoughts on it, feel free to comment it down below. Please do note if your comments are spoilers, we do not want to unwittingly spoil this magnificent novel for someone else.

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