The Hate U Give: A Book Review

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The Hate U Give: A Book Review

The Hate U Give is Angie Thomas's debut novel. Image found at

The Hate U Give is Angie Thomas's debut novel. Image found at "www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/the-hate-u-give-angie-thomas

The Hate U Give is Angie Thomas's debut novel. Image found at "www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/the-hate-u-give-angie-thomas

The Hate U Give is Angie Thomas's debut novel. Image found at "www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/the-hate-u-give-angie-thomas

Roxy Lockard, Staff Reporter

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Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give has been in the spotlight since its debut in 2017, working its way onto “Young Adult Best-Sellers” and “Must-Read Books” lists. It has earned a great deal of both praise and backlash for its bold confrontation of current issues regarding racism and police brutality. The Hate U Give centers around a black 16-year old girl named Starr Carter, who after witnessing the fatal shooting of her childhood friend, Khalil, starts to protest the injustice in her community.

Overall, there were plenty up upsides to this novel. The Hate U Give effectively and beautifully shows the detrimental effects of racism through Starr’s character. With its writing being first-person, the reader lives through Starr’s actions and words, and feels personally injected into the story. The reader experiences the impact of losing a childhood friend, is exposed to the hatred and the prejudice, and protests through Starr’s voice, living out her life. This personal aspect drives further home the themes of the book, leaving a lasting impression and a changed mindset for the reader. Moreover, The Hate U Give maintains a delicate and refreshing balance between humor and seriousness, making for a read that is comforting yet meaningful. It has moments that make you laugh, moments that tug at your heartstrings, and everything in between. Furthermore, the themes presented in the novel are often seen as taboo, with the recent increase in police-related hate crimes and more. Yet, the book communicates all facets of these issues in a thoughtful and powerful manner, making it an important and relevant read for this time.

Although The Hate U Give has many applaudable aspects, there is bound to be shortcomings as well. A major issue with the novel is the stereotype personalities of the characters.Although the book has many aspects that a majority of readers could find relatable– Starr hiding her white boyfriend from her protective father, or disguising her family background and personality from her peers at school because their backgrounds are so different–the characters fell easily into cliches, making them as not as realistic as they could be. Also, even though the book preaches equality and fights against racism, moments of reverse racism are present. In one scene of the novel, Starr and her friends are slandering white people and making fun of the certain things they do. It clashed with the book’s messages, and as the reader, I lost sympathy for Starr’s character. Perhaps the most glaring problem was the length of the novel, being 464 pages long. Having page after page of details that do not further the story and could leave the reader bored. Overall, some difficulties in the writing brought the book down from its full potential.

In conclusion, The Hate U Give is a daring and touching commentary on the issues of today, unlike none other. It is a 3.5 star novel: the message is significant, but the execution of the novel fell short. With a few tweaks and corrections, The Hate U Give would be perfect.  If you have read this novel, or are just interested in the story, do not forget to see the movie adaptation, coming into theatres on October 19th!

SIMILAR STORIES:

 

  • All American Boys, by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds- “In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.”- Book Synopsis. A great recommendation for male readers, or for those who enjoy seeing the two different sides of this issue.

 

Anger is a Gift, by Mark Oshiro- This book revolves around teen boy Moss Jeffries, as he struggles with overbearing resource officers in his school, being the perfect boyfriend, personal tragedy, and what it truly means to be a hero. Perfect for someone focused on police violence in schools specifically, or for an emotional, tear-jerking read.