Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give
Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publication Date: 2/28/17
Pages: 444
Genre: Young Adult / Fiction
How I Found It: It's been all over since publication.
Date Completed: 5/11/18

Summary: Starr Carter lives in an urban neighborhood but commutes out to a wealthy suburb for school. When she witnesses the murder of a childhood friend, the careful walls she's built between her two lives begin to crumble. 

What I Thought: This book is intensely powerful. The debate over officer-involved shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement is so intense in our country. Yet, we often forget the very real lives that are affected with each tragic shooting. Thomas places us directly in the epicenter of one of these moments. She does not shy away from the diversity of emotions or political responses. 

This book is exactly why I am trying to read books with a more diverse authorship. There was so much in here that, as a white woman, I will just never understand. Some of it was hard to digest, forcing me to confront my own biases (we all have them). Some of it was just heartbreaking; we are so unaware of our own privileges. 

While I did not love the climax of the book, I also recognize that it wasn't for me. My discomfort with Starr's decisions toward the end really made me think. I'm not a very angry person, in general, and so it can be hard for me to understand moments when anger spills over into action, especially on a large scale. Yet, for some people, that's the only way they see to make their voices heard. I still don't think violent protests or riots are the right way to go, but I think I understand the mentality behind them slightly better. Particularly since this book reminded me that it is so often young people who push a situation into those territories. I remember that feeling of invincibility that came with the teenage years and I can imagine how that must deeply affect someone when that cognitive stage collides with such intense anger and grief. 

I think everyone should have to read this book if for no other reason than to better understand how a large portion of the American population feels about officer-involved shootings. If you are a white person like me, read this book. It will help you see things with fresh eyes. It's ok if you don't agree with every decision a character makes or action they take. But, the character development Thomas infuses here will at least help you better understand the depth of the racial disparity in our country and the consequences - emotional and physical - it can create. I'm anxious to see how the movie adaptation, which comes out later this year, goes over. 

This book is part of my 2018 TBR Challenge!
Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Read: Possibly

A Reduced Review: A powerful novel that forces readers to put the emotion back into a situation that has become intensely political. 

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