The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

Hardcover, 2017

Status

Available

Call number

PZ7.1 .T448

Series

Publication

Balzer Bray (2017), Edition: 1st Edition, 464 pages

Description

"Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood 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"--… (more)

Media reviews

LibraryThing.com
Shot and killed right from the start really was an attention grabber in this book. Angie Thomas wrote a relatable book, especially for this time in our world involving Black Lives Matter, police brutality, implicit bias, and white privilege. I loved how this topic was touched upon because, for some, these matters need to be acknowledged more in this world in order for change. This book took place in the hood and expressed the difference between the black and white communities. The main character Starr Carter lived two lives; there was one life in the neighborhood of garden heights and then the Starr who attends a prestigious, private white prep school across town. I fell in love with this book and felt excitement every time I picked it up, which says a lot because reading has not always been my favorite thing. I felt like I knew this family and everything they were feeling because the details describing everything were so strong. I watched the main character, Starr, break down just about every moment, I felt like I knew each and everything she was feeling. I also really enjoyed the characters in this story because it was very clear they were all very connected and were there for each other. The relationship between the kids and Starrs parents was unreal, and I treasured how supportive and caring they were. This book definitely was a little intense with some of the events that occurred, but I do believe it was important because it was necessary for the story line and the problems they faced. Although I really did enjoy this book, I felt that the storyline was the same, meaning similar things continuously happened and events were almost predictable. I would recommend this book 1000% for anyone over the age of 13 because it can get a little intense with the words chose for some scenes. Lastly, I would definitely recommend this to someone who has a lot of interest in these problems going on around the world or enjoys reading about how people persevere through problems.
7 more
The first-person narrative is simply beautiful to read, and I felt I was observing the story unfold in 3D as the characters grew flesh and bones inside my mind. The Hate U Give is an outstanding debut novel and says more about the contemporary black experience in America than any book I have read for years, whether fiction or non-fiction. It's a stark reminder that, instead of seeking enemies at its international airports, America should open its eyes and look within if it's really serious about keeping all its citizens safe.
Thomas’s debut novel offers an incisive and engrossing perspective of the life of a black teenage girl as Starr’s two worlds converge over questions of police brutality, justice, and activism.
The story, with so many issues addressed, can feel overwhelming at times, but then again, so can the life of an African American teen. Debut author Thomas is adept at capturing the voices of multiple characters, and she ultimately succeeds in restoring Starr’s true voice.
That hope seems slim indeed these days, but ultimately the book emphasizes the need to speak up about injustice, to have injustice be known even if not punished. That’s a message that will resonate with all young people concerned with fairness, and Starr’s experience will speak to readers who know Starr’s life like their own and provide perspective for others.
Beautifully written in Starr’s authentic first-person voice, this is a marvel of verisimilitude as it insightfully examines two worlds in collision. An inarguably important book that demands the widest possible readership.
With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family. This story is necessary. This story is important.
Though Thomas’s story is heartbreakingly topical, its greatest strength is in its authentic depiction of a teenage girl, her loving family, and her attempts to reconcile what she knows to be true about their lives with the way those lives are depicted—and completely undervalued—by society at large.

User reviews

LibraryThing member jnwelch
“They finally put a sheet over Khalil. He can’t breathe under it. I can’t breathe.”

16-year-old Starr is catching up innocently in a car with her friend Khalil, when a traffic stop goes sideways and a police officer shoots and kills unarmed Khalil. Right off the newspaper front pages, right? Nothing is simple; many consider the police officer to be a good guy. While people attempt to portray Khalil as a gangbanger and drug dealer, his choices aren't what they appear - and should they even, retrospectively, matter. Starr herself has feet in more than one world - she lives in a dangerous neighborhood, but her parents have saved to send her elsewhere to an almost all-white school, and her well-portrayed boyfriend is white. Her uncle is a respected cop, and her father is a former gangbanger who got out.

Casual, "unintentional" racism crops up at the school and with a close friend. The effects of brutality and drug addiction are seen in her neighborhood and among her extended family. Starr, as the witness, is caught up in the investigation and grand jury's determination, and in a gang leader's concern that she not snitch. Bad cops of different races enter the picture, as do good ones.

If you don't believe in the Black Lives Matter movement because All Lives Matter (and logically you don't believe in groups that support Breast Cancer Research, because All Cancer Matters), then you won't want to read this book. I'm heartened that so many kids (and adults) are reading it; it's been a YA bestseller for many weeks now.

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

* * * *

“That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?”

* * * *

“Once upon a time there was a hazel-eyed boy with dimples. I called him Khalil. The world called him a thug.
He lived, but not nearly long enough, and for the rest of my life I'll remember how he died.
Fairy tale? No. But I'm not giving up on a better ending.”

* * * *

The title comes from performer Tupac Shakur’s THUG LIFE acronym - “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody”. Khalil explains: “What society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out.”

This book credibly presents a variety of sides, arguments and responses. Starr's neighborhood is all too real, and so are the other worlds that collide with it. Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice - we've seen so many young victims like Khalil. Angie Thomas has done a remarkable job of bringing the reader inside, where all the suffering, disappointment and hope lie.

In my opinion, this one is a classic. It is being widely read and studied already, and I can only see that continuing. The entrenched effects of racism, classism, and ignorance are brought into the light, thanks to our engaging and all-too-human guide, Starr.
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LibraryThing member electrascaife
This book is amazing. And so, so important. It tells the story of a 16-year-old girl who witnesses the death of her friend at the hand of a police officer, and what she, her family, her friends, her neighbors and her neighborhood go through in the aftermath. The main story is woven together with Starr's daily struggle to balance her life in her poor black neighborhood with the prep school life she leads 45 minutes away. It's also about the need for justice that's sorely lacking in this country for so many people. And all of these things are told in a heartbreaking, empathy-inducing, beautifully honest and ultimately uplifting way. This absolutely needs to be required reading in every high school in this country, for students, parents, teachers, school board members, community members,... Honestly, everyone needs to read this book. Everyone.… (more)
LibraryThing member streamsong
Starr is a black teenager with a foot in two entirely different worlds. She lives in a rough 'hood, and although she cringes at the word ghetto, that's what it is. Her father is a former gang member and also spent time in prison. He's turned his life around, owns a small store in the area, and believes that the best way to help the hood and its people is to continue living there. Starr's mother, a nurse, would prefer to move to the suburbs. Together they are able to send Starr and her brother to a better, almost entirely white school in a much safer part of town. There Starr struggles to hide the poverty and the violence that surrounds her home in the ghetto.

But when Starr accepts a ride home from a party with her former best friend Khalil whom she hasn't seen for a long time, they are stopped by a cop. Her friend makes a sudden move, and is gunned down. Starr has a gun held on her until other police arrive.
Khalil was rumored to be a drug dealer and the cop thought he had a gun. But is any of that relevant?

Starr wants to hide her involvement as the 'unidentifed passenger' from her white friends, but also needs to honor her murdered friend's memory. And so begins Starr's journey to make sense of the two parts of her life, to figure out who she is and how justice and injustice permeate her life.

It's a complex and moving story, straight out of the headlines. I finished the book with huge empathy for those caught up in these events and increased awareness of how my white privilege has colored my views.

A rare five star book.
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LibraryThing member reader1009
teen fiction (for mature teens: contains violence/police brutality, alcoholics and drug usage, sexual situations/abstention and consequences of not, lots of language). I don't give 5 stars all that often but I felt this was such an outstanding piece, not to mention timely and super important #ownvoices.

A really well presented perspective on racial/socioeconomic/cultural identity with verbal code switching between Starr in her 'hood and Starr at a private/privileged, mostly-white school, plus the ability to use one's voice to call attention to issues as well as to shape a conversation, as well as taking responsibility for one's actions and looking out for one's neighbors. I also learned a lot about Tupac and the interpretation of his THUG LIFE philosophy, which was also really well done and a valuable thing that we'd do well to understand. I also appreciated how complicated the shooting of Khalil turned out to be, with a mix of emotions on each side--Uncle Carlos' reversed stance is one example of how different an incident can look even to the same person at different times.… (more)
LibraryThing member cygnet81
Should be mandatory reading for all Americans!
LibraryThing member rdg301library
I can see why the book and the audio version won so many awards in 2018: Michael L. Printz Honor award for young adult (age 12-18) literature, Coretta Scott King Author Honor award for "outstanding books for young adults and children by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience," Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production, and Audie Awards for Young Adult and for Best Female Narrator (Bahni Turpin). Outstanding realistic fiction that will likely be a very good movie too.… (more)
LibraryThing member debbiesbooknook
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give was on my to be read pile for way too long. Since its release in 2017, it has received countless accolades and fantastic reviews. Now I know why! After reading the YA novel, I understand and completely agree with thousands of other readers. The book is relevant, heartbreaking, humorous and important. It reads easily and the story flows at an excellent pace. Although it does have some strong language, I feel it's quite in sync with how teens behave (especially when no adults are around). Thomas gets adolescents and their jargon for sure! Both of my daughters (14 and 26 years old) absolutely loved this book and finished it pretty fast. Also, the movie is quite phenomenal! The Hate U Give is a gripping and thought-provoking book everyone should read!! Especially because it is so relevant in today's world.… (more)
LibraryThing member norabelle414
16-year-old Starr lives a divided life. By day she attends a rich private school, where she is one of two black students in her grade. After school she lives in a poor but close-knit urban neighborhood, dominated by rival gangs, and works in her father's convenience store. She keeps her two lives separate, because it's just easier that way. But then Starr and her neighbor/childhood friend Khalil are pulled over by a police officer and Khalil is shot and killed while trying to reassure Starr that everything will be okay. Starr is the only witness, and it takes great bravery to sit in a room with two other police officers and tell them what their colleague did, and later to testify in front of a jury. Will there be justice for Khalil? This is the second friend she's lost to gun violence in her short life and now it seems like maybe keeping her two lives separate isn't the easier way. Starr has to decide - who is she going to be? What is she going to do? Who is going to be by her side?

The subject matter is tough, but essential, and thankfully the book is extremely readable. There are so many fascinating perspectives here: Starr's uncle is a black police officer in the same precinct. Starr's family is technically well-off enough to move to a different neighborhood, but should they? Starr's father used to be in a gang but got out when he went to prison for 3 years when Starr was young, and he still feels guilt about leaving his family for that long. Starr really likes her white boyfriend, but doesn't know if he'll ever be able to truly understand her. Starr is a wonderfully realistic character, and her life is one almost never seen in print before. This book is perfectly written, very important, and good exercise for your empathy muscles. Highly recommended for literally absolutely everyone.
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LibraryThing member EBT1002
As this novel opens, 16-year-old Starr witnesses the murder of her friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Starr is a bright and brave young woman but the tensions of her neighborhood and family make it less than clear how much she should say about what she witnessed. Her parents have mustered the resources to send her to a private school in the suburbs but they continue to live in the dangerous gang-riddled urban neighborhood where her father owns a grocery store. Her uncle is a cop, too, making it difficult for her to reconcile the tensions of loyalty she feels. Starr's first-person narrative voice is delightful; she is profoundly believable and imperfectly lovable. Thomas didn't have to make her novel accessible to a middle-aged white reading audience, but she managed to do that while (I think) holding true to the culture in which she has placed her memorable heroine. And I use that word intentionally; in the end, Starr is a heroine. The story never descends into fairy tale territory but her courage and the integrity of her family and friends are heartening and poignant. Tears came to my eyes at the end of the novel as the fictional victim, Khalil, finds his place among too long a list of real life victims of police officers' fear and the excessive force it too readily evokes.

Absolutely recommended.
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LibraryThing member brangwinn
For every person who says “All lives matter, not just black lives”, hand them this book to show why the “Black Life Matters” movement is so strong. Great characterization and juxtaposition of middle-class white and black lives.
LibraryThing member Stewart_Hoffman
I loved this book! It’s a poignant story populated by fantastic flesh and blood real characters. I really enjoyed spending time with Starr’s family. I’m actually going to miss them. What stood out for me the most was the dialogue. This is heart-breaking at times, but also really funny. Angie Thomas has done a fantastic job with this book. Big recommendation here. Buy it, read it, love it.… (more)
LibraryThing member bell7
Starr Carter witnesses a police shooting when her friend, Khalil, is stopped for a tail light that's out and is subsequently shot in front of her. Because she's underage, she's an anonymous witness, and she has to decide whether to keep silent or speak out about injustice.

So many thoughts and emotions are swirling in my mind as I attempt to process my reaction to this book. It is powerful, allowing Starr to narrate and speak to the reader about her family, her school, her friends, her life. It's as coherent an argument I've ever read for changing our society and fighting against racism. And it doesn't treat any of these issues lightly or less complexly than they deserve - her family, for example, struggles with whether they should stay in a neighborhood with gang activity to improve it, or move to the suburbs where the schools would be better and the streets safer. It is a hard read, but it also has moments of joy and hope, especially surrounding Starr's family and the people who love her. I cannot recommend this highly enough to teens and adults alike. Want to understand why people are rioting right now? Read this.… (more)
LibraryThing member ewyatt
Starr moves between two worlds - her home is in Garden Heights and the affluent prep school where she spends her days. When she reconnects with her old friend Khalil at a party and violence break out, they leave and are soon pulled over by a police officer. During that encounter, Khalil is shot multiple times and killed. Starr has to do a lot of soul searching to decide what to do, how much to speak out about what she witnessed. The stakes are high for her and her family.
A compelling, complex exploration of social issues and race in America. It was powerful and gave me much food for thought. It is a helpful way to explore hot topics in the news and contemporary life through this realistic fiction story with amazing characters.
While this book would be a match for some 8th graders, I don't know if many 6th graders would be ready for the themes and language...which has me waffling about its place in the middle school library.
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LibraryThing member Brainannex
A much needed book about police brutality and race matters from a new fresh voice. A must-read.
LibraryThing member lilibrarian
Starr and her friend Khalil are pulled over by a police officer, supposedly for a broken headlight. Then Khalil is dead, shot by the officer. Starr knows they did nothing wrong. She is the only one who saw what happened, but isn't sure if she has the courage to speak, or if her voice will be enough to get justice.
LibraryThing member Susan.Macura
This is the riveting story of 16-year-old Starr Carter who witnessed not one, but two friends violently die from being shot. The first childhood friend was killed in a drive-by shooting while the second died from being shot in the back by a cop during a routine traffic stop. Starr, who lives in the projects, attends a private school out of the area, so she can describe the different reactions both areas have to this police shooting. She can also give insight into what it is like to speak to the police who have an invested interest in protecting one of their own, as well as to the district attorney’s office, a grand jury and the press. This is a compelling look at a type of incident that occurs too many times in today’s world through the eyes of a teenage eyewitness.… (more)
LibraryThing member wildrequiem
There needs to be more books for teens like this one. Not just about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, but every marginalized group. This was relatable, kid-friendly, and had a lot of extremely important things to say. I think the most realistic thing about this book is its portrayal of its main character as not inherently perfect and politically correct, because part of what growing up marginalized means is being confused and struggling with identity.… (more)
LibraryThing member ecataldi
A powerful young adult book that has never been more relevant. Starr Carter too black for her white school and too white for her black neighborhood. She's constantly in the middle, afraid to let be too this or too that in front of certain people. That all begins to change one day when she and her friend are leaving a party and get pulled over. What happens next will haunt Starr forever, the white cop shoots her friend dead AND GETS AWAY WITH IT. Obviously this kind of injustice is in the media a lot which makes this book more timely then ever. Words can't describe how much I love this book and it's empowering message. Starr starts to find her voice not only to the media, but to her friends, family, white boyfriend, and classmates. This should be required reading. It's timely, impossible to put down (I read the book from cover to cover yesterday morning), and gives the disenfranchised youth a voice. Beautiful, haunting, and riveting.… (more)
LibraryThing member rgruberexcel
RGG: So to the minute that one wonders whether the cultural references will become dated, but Starr's honesty about living "two lives" and her community's rage about police brutality and racism is completely engrossing. Written by a rap artist, the prose is compelling. Reading Interest: Definitely YA.
LibraryThing member rgruberhighschool
RGG: So to the minute that one wonders whether the cultural references will become dated, but Starr's honesty about living "two lives" and her community's rage about police brutality and racism is completely engrossing. Written by a rap artist, the prose is compelling. Reading Interest: Definitely YA.
LibraryThing member coffeeNoSugar
“When I was 12, my parents had two talks with me,” protagonist Starr Carter recalls. “One was the birds and the bees.” The second was what to do if stopped by police. “‘Keep your hands visible. Don’t make any sudden moves. Only speak when they speak to you.’”

Sixteen-year-old Starr is the only witness to her unarmed friend Khalil’s shooting death by a white police officer. Her trauma and grief is quickly compounded by the fear of speaking out to a grand jury, as well as to the public.

Before the shooting, Starr lived in two different worlds. Her weekdays were spent in a predominately white, affluent private school. There, she’s cool by default, she explains, because she’s one of the few black students. Yet, she’s careful not to act too ‘black’ for fear the white students will think she’s ‘ghetto’. At home in her gang-ridden neighborhood, she’s a sassy-mouthed, Air Jordan loving girl who works part-time at her gang-legend dad’s convenience store.
But then Khalil’s shooting becomes national news. The media justifies her friend’s death by labeling him a thug and drug dealer. Many agree, including one of her best friends at school. There was always a rift between her two worlds, but now it’s larger than ever.

As Starr says, “I hope none of them asks me about my spring break. They went to Taipei, the Bahamas, Harry Potter World. I stayed in the hood and saw a cop kill my friend.” Start has hard choices to make. If she speaks out, will it mean justice for Khalil? Or will it only serve to further isolate Starr?

The stories of Eric Garner, Treyvon Martin, Philando Castile, and many others haunt the pages of Angie Thomas’ debut novel “The Hate U Give.” Through the eyes of Starr, she reveals the reality of systemic racism, as well as a gut-punching sense of what it’s like to be young and black in America today. Thomas’s talent for writing natural dialogue and exceptional characters will elevate the story above any others you’ve recently read. Your heart will go out to Starr as you cheer her on, all the while hoping that the gross lack of justice in real life isn’t repeated in the pages of this fictional book.

“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas is a young adult novel told from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old girl, but the story will appeal to far more than just teens. There isn’t a more authentic voice than that of youthful innocence to lay bare the reality of racism and take it straight to readers’ hearts. “The Hate U Give” will indeed serve as a mirror for some, but as a much-needed window for the rest.

Thomas deserves our highest praise — and thanks.
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LibraryThing member lostinalibrary
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds. At her private school, she is one of the only black kids making her ‘cool by default’. She and her brothers were sent there by their parents to try to escape the violence in their neighbourhood. When she was younger, she had witnessed the death of her best friend in a drive-by shooting. But at home, she is often seen as a traitor by her old friends. When she attends a party, she runs into Khalil, another best friend from childhood, one she hasn’t seen in a very long time. When the party starts getting out of hand, the two decide to leave. As they drive away, they are stopped by the police and Khalil is ordered out of the car. When he turns back to check on Starr, the police officer fatally shoots him. Now, as the sole witness to the shooting, she is forced to make some very difficult choices about whether to speak out including testifying before the Grand Jury, weighing the likely outcome and the danger it could bring to not only her but her family against the need to try to find justice for Khalil. As the neighbourhood erupts into violence and as she can no longer ignore the casual racism of her classmates, she finds her carefully constructed divide between school and home falling apart.

The Hate U Give, the YA novel by author Angie Thomas is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. This fact may make some readers shy away but I hope not. This is a beautifully written book both in its style and content. It is, at times, heartbreaking, even occasionally humourous but completely riveting. One thing it never is is simplistic. Thomas never shies away from the very real problems within impoverished neighbourhoods including drugs and gangs but she also gives a powerful portrait of and insight into a world where options are limited, usually bad, and too often deadly. The title is taken from Tupac Shakur’s explanation of Thug Life: The Hate U Give Little Infants F**ks Everybody and this philosophy runs throughout the novel, examining the effects that racism has, not only on the victims but on the perpetrators and the society as a whole.

This is that rare book that I had to read more than once not because I didn’t feel its impact the first time but because I did. And know I will read it again. The Hate U Give is possibly the best book I will read this year and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Balzer & Bray for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
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LibraryThing member BookDiva85
This was a book definitely worth purchasing upon release. A story told from the eyes of a child who has been thru situations most adults haven't been through was a great angle. Playing on what is happening in society right now revved up so many emotions in me while I was reading it. It breaks down what and how Black Americans are dealing with every day struggles, prejudices, and fears. Be that they come from the white community or even within their own. This story is so real that it is frightening. Everyone should read it.… (more)
LibraryThing member thewanderingjew
The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas, author, Bahni Turpin, narrator
Starr and her brothers straddle two worlds. In one world there is a strict code of behavior and an excellent education with kids from wealthy families and in the other there are gangs and drive-by shootings and poverty. Starr lives in the ghetto and attends school in a bubble neighborhood of privilege. Her mom is a nurse and her dad, Maverick, runs a market where Starr helps out. He is an ex convict. He covered for another gang member who would have been a three time loser, sacrificed himself, and spent three years in prison. He is respected and has a lot of positive influence in his ghetto community of Garden Heights. He has no intention of ever going back to prison.
Starr is a senior at Williamson, a posh private school. She has created two personalities for herself. One is her ghetto half in Garden Heights, and the other is the one she takes to Williamson. The two worlds do not mix and even her mode of speech changes from place to place. What is cool in one place is definitely not cool in the other. No one in the private school world knows much about the Starr from the ghetto, not even her boyfriend Chris, a very wealthy white teenager who is also a senior. She keeps the two worlds separate and apart, unwilling to expose both sides of her self in either place, unwilling to expose herself to ridicule.
Chris’s world is completely different from Starr’s. Her house could fit into one of the rooms in his house! He took her to the prom in a Rolls Royce. He believes that they have been totally honest with each other and is surprised when he learns that he knew so little about her, that her world is so different from his. He is hurt when he discovers the secrets she has kept from him. When he learns that her ten year old friend, Natasha, was murdered in a drive by shooting, and that she witnessed the recent shooting death of Khalil, her close friend, by a police officer, he wants to be there for her, but she is not sure she wants him to let him into her worldview or to experience her lifestyle.
The author highlights the differences in the lives of Starr and her family when compared to her private school friends. How can the differences, injustices and misunderstandings in our “bubble” communities be addressed? Why are there so many misinterpretations and over-reactions by those in the two communities and those charged with protecting them? Why do police officers assume that a person of color is immediately suspect? Why do minorities distrust authority? I haven’t walked in the shoes of those who live in oppressed neighborhoods, although I am part of a minority, as a Jew. My background’s oppression has been different, although horrific as well. I don’t believe that I can fully comprehend the mindset or the prejudice that exists in poor minority communities. I haven’t watched as my friends were harassed by law enforcement or seen their unarmed friends senselessly gunned down. Living “while black” is not a condition a white person can understand or judge alone. For an honest assessment of the issues and concerns presented in this book and perhaps an honest approach to changing them, an honest dialogue between all parties is required, honest being the watchword. Some responsibility exists on all sides of the dilemma and must be acknowledged.
I had questions, as I read, that still remain unanswered, questions that a person of color might mock, i.e. why would a black person want to sound uneducated to be cool? Why is that cool? I wanted to lose my Jewish inflection as fast as I could so that I would fit in with the mainstream of America and open locked doors. Why wouldn’t a person of color dress for success? I can understand why some turn to lives of crime, almost as if they have no choice, because they need money, but why do so many turn to a life of crime? Why are the gangs in charge? Why is education mocked? Why is crime glorified in the so-called “hood?” How did the gangs get so much control that even the residents live in fear of them? Why are policeman so afraid in those neighborhoods, that when they are confronted, they become trigger happy? As a white person, I can’t answer those questions? My initial impulse is to respect authority, not to ignore it, to obey police officers and not to defy them. So if I am told to stop, I stop. If they tell me to keep my hands in one place, that is where my hands stay, if they speak to me in a way that I do not like, I generally swallow my pride and hold my tongue, I do not run because I am afraid to show defiance or resist their authority, but I am not afraid that I will be shot or hauled off because of my color.
The author has left me with the impression that the teenager was wrongfully murdered and had no responsibility in the outcome that took his life. His personal behavior seemed to have no bearing on what happened and was not interpreted to represent a threat to the officer. Only he was guilty, period. It didn’t help that the officer was portrayed as a blatant liar. The author wanted the reader to believe that the officer was totally guilty and the victim totally innocent. I believe that there has to be some gray area between the black and white of guilt or innocence.
The community wanted respect, once and for all, and when a verdict came down that they disapproved of, that wasn’t what they expected or hoped for, they took to the streets looting and rioting. Then when the police came to maintain order, they cried police brutality. If respect was demanded from the police, why wasn’t it also given to the police? If unlawful behavior like looting and rioting was the common practice everywhere, our society would be chaotic, and law enforcement would be completely powerless. Anarchy would prevail. There would be no safe space for anyone. Why, in protest, should a neighborhood’s lifeblood be destroyed to show disappointment? Why disabuse the merchants of their positive reasons to serve the community by destroying their investments?
Still, overall, I found the novel to be eye-opening. No one deserves to be murdered by a policeman or a rival gang member, but the aura of false bravado that is being elevated to acceptable standards seems to be a false solution. The author has done a wonderful job of showing how a community can come together to fight against what is destroying it. She reveals and explores the layers of distrust that exist. I don’t think enough emphasis was placed on the broad fear that the police officers’ have for their own safety. Denying the reality of the danger in their community won’t correct the situation that exists, let alone eradicate the outright bias on both sides. Still, beyond the shadow of a doubt shooting an unarmed man is problematic, but what should a policeman do, if his authority is mocked, if he is disobeyed and fears for his own life? Should he presume someone running away is innocent of criminal behavior? Should he let the suspect get away? I wondered which came first, the community’s fear of law enforcement or law enforcement’s fear of the community. Then I had one final thought, if a policeman is harassing a victim, does the victim have the right to fight back and if so, how?
The author’s political persuasion was pretty obvious, even though the dialogue in the book was subtle. She referred to one news network that she thought was prejudiced, and it was easy to guess which one it was. Why is an alternate opinion so difficult to accept and address? How can the problem be resolved if it is unaddressed?
The “hate u give” of the title refers to the idea that the minority community is underserved. It does not prepare anyone for a successful future. So, why is it that when alternatives are offered, there is resistance, especially if it is not offered by the left? Why not improve conditions regardless of how the offer is advanced?
I hope this book opens up some meaningful dialogue to help bring all people to the fount of success. This book cries out for discussion. In some ways it was flawed, i.e., the interracial nature of the relationship was really shown as a problem for Starr’s family, while Chris’ got barely a mention. He seemed to have pretty much free range to date whomever he pleased. However, overall, the main message of the story seemed authentic as it represented the collision of two disparate worlds. The narrator expertly portrayed each character in terms of personality and dialect and I was truly immersed in the book, feeling all of the emotions of the characters, all of the tension and all of the frustration. What I didn’t feel so much were the kumbaya moments.
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LibraryThing member mooingzelda
The Hate U Give is a YA novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, with a protagonist based partly on the author's own experiences as a young woman.

Starr is a teenager who grows up in a struggling black neighbourhood in the US, but with the opportunity to strive for more than many of her neighbours have by going to a private school with a mostly affluent white student body. The book is very fast-paced and easy to read thanks to Starr's distinctive voice - which flourishes through the first-person narrative - yet doesn't shy away from exploring complex issues.

The main plot revolves around the shooting of Starr's unarmed friend Khalil by a white police officer, but the novel somehow manages to pack in a huge range of thoughts and ideas stemming from race in general, as well as the ups and downs of family relationships.

As a British Asian with predominantly white friends and colleagues, I was particularly struck by the complexity of the relationships between Starr and her white friends (including her boyfriend) and how difficult it can be to understand things from not just someone else's point of view, but from the point of the view of another race and culture altogether.

I also appreciated the fact that the book isn't an 'all police are evil' affair; Starr's uncle is on the force and brings another point of view to consider.

This is a wonderful and important novel that shouldn't just be read by its intended YA audience - older readers will also take much away from it. The book is very much 'of the moment' in terms of its cultural references, but its themes are certainly ones that have been and will continue to be explored for many years.
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Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

2017-02-28

Physical description

8.3 x 1.6 inches

ISBN

0062498533 / 9780062498533
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