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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - Review

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Where did I get it? It was the first book I received in the Willoughby Book Club last month and I decided to read it straight away as I've been hearing so much about it. It's quite a long YA book at over 400 pages, so I felt like it took me forever but I really enjoyed it so it was worth it. 

What's it about? Starr is sixteen and divided between two worlds. One, the black neighbourhood she grew up in, where her family still live. Two, the private school she travel 45 minutes to each day, which is predominantly white. She keeps the two Starrs separate, existing in both worlds. One night she goes to a party where something kicks off, and she leaves with her friend Khalil. On the way home they are pulled over by a white cop, who shoots and kills Khalil. Starr is the only witness but speaking out might cost her her family and even her life. 

I loved Starr's family. Her parents are clearly in love, even though they argue at times. Her older brother Seven was a complete babe (I'd love a whole novel about him) and there's a whole host of supporting characters that I got to really care for. This is a novel with an important message about race and racism and how black lives matter, but it's also a really lovely book about family, love, fitting in, and so much more. I loved the way that I got to know about Starr's community - one I don't live in and have no experience of - but also felt like it was a great novel that all readers could identify with in some way. I cannot WAIT to read more by Angie Thomas. 

What age range is it for? Fifteen plus, let's say.

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No.

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes of course. I liked the nuances about race at Starr's school, which I won't spoil. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No, only a couple of supporting characters

Is there any sex stuff? Very little, but safe sex is talked about which I really liked.

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes, but not in an explicit way

Is there any talk of death? Yes, of course. Khalil is killed and the novel does not hold back on that, nor on the effect this has on Starr afterwards (eg nightmares about it)

Are there swear words? Loads. 

What criticisms do I have? Gosh, none at all really. I might pick up some niggling bits if I tried hard, but overall I think the message is too important for it to matter. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely. Read it now. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? Just because I've heard so many people talk about it!

What other books is it like? I can't give an adequate answer to this, if I'm honest!

How many stars? Ten. Amazing book, and an excellent example of how great Young Adult can be. It takes something huge and scary and makes it accessible

Where is the book going now? I'll definitely keep it, but I want my friend Stacey to read it first, for a start. 

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