The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – A Review



The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Contemporary | Young Adult
Published by Balzer + Bray
Released February 28, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give deserves all the hype surrounding it. It’s a well-written, thoughtful, and important book that deals with difficult topics, and I’m certain this book is going to be read in schools for years to come.

The book has been sitting on my shelf for way too long, but I’m glad I finally picked it up. I occasionally listened to the audiobook while reading it, and the audiobook is amazing. It’s narrated by Bahni Turpin and she does a spectacular job of putting emotion into the story and giving all the characters distinct voices and tones.

The Hate U Give is a book that was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. We follow Starr Carter, who witnesses her childhood friend, Khalil, get shot at the hands of the police. Khalil didn’t have any weapons and wasn’t threatening the police officer, and was shot in the back right in front of Starr.

As the event’s only witness, Starr has to decide if she wants to speak up or stay silent and also has to deal with the police, gang violence, and more. It’s certainly a difficult novel to read, but one that I think everyone should read.

Starr has to deal with being two different versions of herself: the Starr in Garden Heights, and the Starr that goes to a mostly white private school. In the process, we meet other topics head-on, such as interracial dating, privilege, and racism.

More than anything, this book is about placing value on human life. After Khalil’s shooting, the media paints him in a harsh light, as a drug-dealing gangbanger who may have deserved being shot. One of Starr’s white friends openly states that she doesn’t understand why people care so much about a drug dealer being shot. However, this book shows us the reality behind the media: that Khalil, and all of his real-life counterparts, are real people, who didn’t deserve to be murdered.

This was Angie Thomas’ first book, but it has the polish of a seasoned writer. It was well-paced, the characters were three-dimensional and felt real, Starr was absolutely believable as a teenage girl, and it was just all-around written perfectly.

I want everyone to read this book. It’s a book that America needs, and I’m glad Angie Thomas wrote it.

As a side note, Angie Thomas’ second book, On the Come Upis already out if you’re interested in reading it.

Have you read The Hate U Give? What were your thoughts on it?

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10 Books to Celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month begins today, February 1st, and is a celebration of the history and culture of African Americans. First proposed by students and teachers at Kent State University in 1969, it’s now celebrated in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Here are ten books to help you celebrate Black History Month.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker


This novel, which has won way too many awards to list here, has been considered a classic since it was released in 1982. The story follows Celie, a young black girl born in the deep American south. She leads a horrific life of rape and separation until meeting Shug Avery and is inspired to take control of her own life.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead


I read this book a couple of years ago, and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since. Whitehead reimagines the Underground Railroad as an actual, physical underground rail system. The characters are wonderful, the story is perfect, and I cannot recommend this book enough. Since it’s been a couple of years since I last picked it up, I’m planning on re-reading it this month.

Goodreads | Amazon

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson


Brown Girl Dreaming is the story of Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood in the 60s and 70s living in both South Carolina and New York. She tells her history through verse and tackles finding her place in the world. I purchased this book from Book Outlet not too long ago, and this is another book I want to get to this month.

Goodreads | Amazon

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou is a legend, and this classic autobiography of hers is a must-read. Growing up in the American south, Maya and her brother encounter racism, with Maya even being attacked. Later in life, she moves to San Francisco and learns how to how to love and appreciate herself.

Goodreads | Amazon 

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


This is a recent non-fiction book that looks into American history and the idea of race. This book is written in letters to Coates’s son, making it even more personal. Part autobiography and part history, this book is essential to anyone wanting to read about the role of race in the American past.

Goodreads | Amazon

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison


A book that many Americans probably read in high school, this classic describes a journey from the Deep South to Harlem and the racism in between. From the Goodreads synopsis, “Ralph Ellison’s nameless protagonist ushers readers into a parallel universe that throws our own into harsh and even hilarious relief.”

Goodreads | Amazon

March: Book 1 by John Lewis


John Lewis is a Congressman and was also an important figure in the American civil rights movement. March is an autobiography told in graphic novel form with artist Nate Powell doing the illustrations. In it, Lewis tells his own story for the fight for equality.

Goodreads | Amazon 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


This book took the country by storm after it’s release in the first half of 2017, and with good reason. The storytelling is absolutely perfect. The tale follows Starr Carter, a 16-year-old who lives in a poor, African-American neighborhood while attending a very fancy prep school where she is one of the only students of color. One day her childhood best friend, Khalil, is shot by the police, and she is the only witness. Starr has to decide if she should speak up or not. If you haven’t already read this book, you really should get to it.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley


In this autobiography, Malcolm X describes his philosophies and conversion to Islam. Malcolm X was undoubtedly one of the most important historical figures of the civil rights movement, so this book is a great way to learn more about his life and motivations.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr by Martin Luther King, Jr


Another important autobiography to read. Martin Luther King Jr was probably the most important figure of the civil rights movement and inspired an entire generation of people (and still does). While this autobiography was compiled after his death, it was done so by collecting King’s interviews, correspondence, unpublished writings, and more.

Goodreads | Amazon

This is only a very small percentage of books that celebrate African American history and culture in America. If you have a favorite you would like to share, please add it to the comments below.