Friday, 21 April 2017

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Publishing Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 464
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "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, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. 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 upend her community. It could also endanger her life" (HC).

My overall thoughts and review: When I first read the premise of this book, I knew that I wanted to read it at some point. It sounded really interesting and was relate-able to what was going on in the media (still is). A few of my co-workers also raved about it, so I decided to check out the audiobook version. I want to take a moment in my review to applaud the amazing narrator, Bahni Turpin, who brought the story to life for me. She perfectly narrated each and every character and I can honestly say, it is my favorite audio book to date. The story is just all kinds of amazing. It is one of those stories that is completely gut-wrenching and heartbreaking, but also incredibly funny, charming, and down to earth. I loved the Carter family so much and learning about their history and seeing the dynamics in all their interactions. Some small things were with one another, how they ran their family business and just the way they went about their daily life... for example, every time Starr's father swore, he owed Starr's younger brother a dollar and hearing him shout out "Daddy! $1" were some of my favorite moments.

The story deals with the heavy topic of witnessing a friend get gunned down by a police officer. The reader experiences Starr's trauma and pain as she is experiencing it. This isn't the first incident that Starr witnesses a friend dying. It is quite a traumatic experience for her and I have to commend her for getting up and going to school. She tries her best to prevent her two worlds from colliding so she hides the fact that she was the witness in the car with Khalil. The reader sees Starr's struggle between wanting to be pro-active and use her voice in Khalil's case, between doing certain things out of safety. I really loved how her boyfriend, Chris, and best friend, Maya, were great pillars of support for Starr, along with her family. Lots of diversity in the book because Maya was Asian and the book focused on how Chris and Starr were an interracial couple. I loved seeing how she interacted with her brother Seven as well. The book addresses important questions of using our voice as a weapon and not an actual weapon, how the media can often misconstrue narratives, and the harsh reality of police brutality. I really want to get into more details of my favorite parts but I don't want to spoil the book.Even though the subject matter is quite dark, Thomas finds a way to demonstrate the importance of family and friendship throughout the entire text. What makes the book is the characters. For example, even though we lose Khalil at the beginning of the text, Thomas finds a way to build his narrative throughout the book and it only hits home the fact that what happened to him was unfair. I just honestly think everyone should pick up this book. As much as it hurt to read certain passages, it also had me laughing out loud while listening to it on transit and smiling a lot too. Go pick up this book immediately. It is a MUST READ.

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars) 

Available for purchase at:
Audible, Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

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