Books

The Hate U Give Review | Books and Baking

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

Harrowing, Heartfelt, Honest.

(Minor Spoilers)

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood 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. – synopsis from Goodreads.

Angie Thomas’s novel The Hate U Give draws attention to the actuality of systematic racism in America and the police brutality that is ingrained in it’s cultural frameworks. Inspired not only by the Black Lives Matter movement, but also by her own experiences, Thomas’s account of racism is relevant now more than ever.

The Hate U Give is a powerfully constructed account of the reality for Black people in America in 2017 when it was published, and today when I am writing this blog post in 2020. It follows Starr, a sixteen year old girl who’s world is turned upside down when she witnesses the shooting of her childhood best friend. This is not only harrowing but the daily reality for many Black Americans.

Starr, as well as dealing with life as a teenager and the changes that come with it, is living a double life. She feels that she cannot be herself at her predominantly white private school Williamson Prep, where her parents sent her to give her and her brothers a better education. The first person narration allows Starr’s inner conflicts to be voiced as she struggles to live as one person at home in Garden Heights and another at Williamson Prep. But it also follows her battle with the institution of racism which is fuelled by a broken criminal system that continues to oppress Black people in America.

“We must also provide glimmers of light in the midst of the darkness”

This novel is a modern classic and a MUST read for everyone and anyone! Black Lives Matter is a movement, NOT a trend. There is no equality until we are all equal!

“Your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be the roses that grow in the concrete”

Rating: ★★★★★

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