Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.
Is it too early in the year to declare a book to be your favorite read of 2017? If it isn’t too early, then The Hate U Give is my favorite read of 2017. Saying this book is ‘important’ doesn’t give it justice. The Hate U Give is a masterpiece. Despite its release date only being ten days ago, I already know this book will change YA literature forever. Before I start into my main review, I would like to clarify something. This novel is about a black female protagonist, and I am a white female. I encourage you to check out reviews by bloggers of color to get their interpretation of this novel. I will link some reviews at the bottom of this post.
The Hate U Give is 444 pages. However, as the end approached, I didn’t want it to end. Also, I normally do not cry in books. In the past few years, there have been very few books that I cried in. With all that being said, I cried four different times in The Hate U Give. What disgusted me even more is this: this book is not completely fiction. It’s a bit obvious that this book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. The events that unfold in the book are not uncommon. THUG sheds light on how the media and people in general treat unfair killings. The book is really an analysis of how these killings affect the black community. It describes the nightmares and the visions that Starr feels after she witnessed the murder of her unarmed, black best friend.
One of Thomas’s strongest suits is characterization. All the characters, no matter how influential they are to the plot, act as though they are important. They all have detailed pasts; they are all flawed and unique in their own way. Starr’s family is one of my favorite fictional families of all YA books. They’re messy; they fight, laugh, and cry. Most importantly, they are a family. They support and love each other no matter what. Of course, they definitely have their issues, but ultimately you know they love each other and that’s all that matters.
Everything about THUG was perfect. The characters, the writing, the dialogue, the descriptions, everything. The Hate U Give is a 2017 debut that you DO NOT want to miss. THUG is definitely a game changer in the YA genre.
So, what do I rate The Hate U Give?
Links to THUG Reviews by Black Reviwers:
*If there are any more THUG reviews by black reviewers please let me know so I can include them*
(I have a giveaway for THUG on Twitter! Ends April 7th).
Have you read The Hate U Give? Did you like it? Why do you think this book is so important?