The Hate U Give is a stunningly brilliant book that is so, so important. It’s, a real eye-opener that addresses the difficult, complex topic of systematic racism in a way that grips you and makes you understand by feeling, rather than being told, how this undergirds the everyday life.
I love this brilliant book and its amazing characters that are absolutely real, with flaws and shortcomings, and all the complexity that comes with being human. The main character Starr is so bad-ass, smart, funny, adorable and brave in a real way; trying to stay true to herself and her believes while maintaining a balance between her two worlds (the poor neighbourhood and the posh school on the other side of town).
Starr’s favorite TV show in the book (and mine as a teen...) is The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and I loved the references to it throughout the book. It was such a clever way to use The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as an analogy for how Starr felt to be sent to Williamson Prep after Natasha’s death, just like Will Smith was sent to from his West Philadelphia neighborhood to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in their mansion in Bel Air after he got himself into trouble.
I have to admit that it took me some time to get into the book and the narrating, but once I did it was impossible to put this book down. It was heart-wrenching, stirring, with a perfect balance of heartbreak and humor, telling the story about love, friendship, loss, grief and racism in a completely new way. Even though the book touches on difficult topics and there are some really sad parts in it, it’s not a heavy read. I can’t recommend it enough!
Find out more about the books and the author here: Angie Thomas