The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Reviewer: Grace Wade-Stein
Star Rating: 5 stars
Recently adapted into a movie, The Hate U Give is a stunning bestseller about Starr Carter, a teenage black girl who lives in the predominantly poor, black neighborhood of Garden Heights and attends Williamson Prep, a private school in a neighboring affluent, white community. Starr is mostly able to keep her two worlds apart, presenting one version of herself to her white friends and boyfriend and another to her childhood friends and family, until she witnesses the shooting of her best friend by a white police officer.
The shooting turns Starr’s life upside down. She is forced to navigate her grief and stand up for Khalil as the only witness to his murder while protecting her family from retribution, both from the police and local drug lords. Ultimately, she must find her voice in a world that is doing everything it can to silence her.
Everyone should read this book. It is politically and socially relevant and manages to be alternately shattering and uplifting. It masterfully weaves together themes of adolescence, race, violence, police brutality, protection, sacrifice, love, and friendship to paint a nuanced portrait of our world’s complex issues. Readers of all backgrounds will empathize and identify with Starr’s struggle to find her voice and benefit from the perspective of this book.