The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Published: 28th February 2017Goodreads badge
 Walker Books
Pages: 348
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

I’d seen a lot of posts and read a lot of things in regards to the social situation with the police in America and the #BlackLivesMatter movement prior to reading this so I had a background for this story and could understand a bit more than going in blind. For that I was grateful because Thomas doesn’t hold back and having that knowledge meant I had a context for her words, but it also wasn’t as much of a shock, even though it remained a tension filled story and one filled with surprises. I am glad this story exists because while it’s a tough subject and a hard one to read, it is one that Thomas explores extremely well and has the ability to open people’s eyes into a world and a movement they may know little or nothing about.

This is a very important book because it reflects real life in so many ways and shows one person’s story about how living in this current world can be a hard and troublesome experience. Seeing both sides through Starr’s eyes even in the smallest ways can have big impacts as you read because you realise that love for one’s neighbourhood comes at a price of it not always being the safest. Starr’s story is so far removed from my own but Thomas drags you in and makes you feel Starr’s pain and anguish, her trepidation and her unease. You want to fight with her and help her, you are disenchanted by the situation she is in and you fear for those around her.

I really liked how Thomas explored Starr’s conflict about her home neighbourhood and the school world she was trying to survive in. Her inner conflict and the comparisons between her two groups of friends shows the differences that still exist and the prejudices that remain whether conscious of them or not in society. Her desire to keep her world separate are valid but also heartbreaking that she can’t be herself.

There were so many moments when my heart pounded or my stomach lurched because while I loved the story, I knew anything could happen, Thomas had shown that right from the start. I was nervous and excited, and I wanted so much to be able to know that things would work out, but I also knew that was making it into a fairy tale and not a real reflection on what doing the right thing could mean and what was possible in this world Thomas has created.

There is a reason why this book spent so many weeks at the top of the bestseller list. It’s an amazing story and one I think everyone should read.

You can purchase The Hate You Give via the following

Book Depository | Booktopia

Dymocks | QBD | Angus and Robertson

Amazon | Amazon Aust

Wordery | Fishpond


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jess
    Aug 13, 2018 @ 09:12:12

    This was such an incredibly powerful and moving book.



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