My friends and I participate in a book club with our inaugural book being The Hate U Give. I will be including reviews of the books that we read. These will be mingled with the new book reviews on the site.
The Hate U Give is ripped from the headlines and showcases the actual lives of African Americans and the issues they face.
Starr straddles two worlds: the first is the poor area of town filled with minorities and drug dealers. The second is the rich world of white private school that Starr attends. She has to balance being in both cultures while keeping her lives separate. That all comes crashing down when she sees her black childhood friend gunned down by the police. Starr must find her voice and learn that she is more than just either side of her personality.
I was surprised how close to the central conflict the story stayed. I had expected a sweeping story to set precedent about how this event affected the world and such. But the author skillfully stays with Starr and her family. This is her (and Khalil’s) story. Seeing how it impacted the family and those around them is something that most media representations don’t show. It was enlightening to read about how these events effect on the local community level.
Angie Thomas has her characters walking a complex line which allows for growth for the character and identification for the reader. Not one person is just one-sided and the majority of the characters show the complexity of true life. This allows anyone reading to identify and appreciate the story. I was able to identify with growing up poor around those with money. This empathy made me even more invested in Starr past the explosive predicaments she
I could never imagine being in that situation and bridging that gap allowed myself (and, I am, sure other races) to start to see more humanism in these characters and these events.
I did have some issues with a few things (such as propagating stereotypes of others when the author is trying to fight those against African Americans), but overall the writing brought you into Starr’s world, let you see through the characters’ eyes and understand their feelings.
I came away from this book with so many question, emotions, and desires to advocate. I suggest everyone one read this book and see a side to an ongoing issue that some many don’t think about. I look forward to seeing what our discussion in book club brings.