Review: “The Hate U Give”

By Serenity Beaumont, Spiritual Life Junior Division Head. Photo found here.

“I can’t change where I come from or what I’ve been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me?”

Starr Carter, The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a phenomenally written book. Black individuals who will read this story will relate and understand where this book was coming from and the feeling Thomas is trying to evoke through her story. The book does an effective job of circulating the themes of the whole plot with racial issues, which is something America is definitely struggling with today.

This book is an exceptionally good representation of the 21st-century black community and individual. This book portrays a regular everyday black teenager struggling with stereotypes, family, love, and finding a place in a predominately white school which is something many other black teenagers struggle with. This book could be really influential for a student of color at LCA because there can be a major lack of diversity in our school. What makes this book admirable is that a student at color from LCA can definitely relate with Starr Carter, the main character, because she also deals with some of the same issues.

The protagonist of the book, Starr Carter, says that, when she was young, her parents had two talks with her; “one was the usual birds and bees…The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped [her]” (Thomas 20). This is one example where Thomas illustrates her view on how black people have to act around the police, and her personal views on how she believes in the pervasiveness of police violence and mistreatment of black minorities. She does an extremely good job of showing the perspective of someone who has suffered police violence as a result of Starr’s race. And Thomas’ views about this mistreatment are portrayed through her story. Black people being abused because of their race is a real thing, no question about it. And this book does a good job of shedding light on racial discrimination and how police violence can affect and potentially scar an individual, which is no doubt a complicated and disagreed upon subject. Thomas presents these problems in a biased, but respectful way. Racial discrimination is an issue we will probably never be able to eradicate, but this book does show one personal view on racial discrimination which should be respected.

The climax of the book is the shooting of an innocent black boy. The book focuses on how this murder affects the black community, how it affects Starr, and how she deals with her loss. The sadness, anger, and confusion the author illustrates through Starr engages real raw emotions, things that people still definitely feel after the countless times this has happened. This book is valuable and significant because the author presents this real issue, but also presents Starr a strong character who, through this, learns to find her voice and speak out for the one she loved and what she believes in.

This book touched me, and it made me think deeply. Definitely a book on my favorite list.