The Hate U Give follows a teenage girl, Starr, who is the only witness of the murder of her childhood best friend by the hands of a white police officer. We then follow Starr through her struggle to grieve the untimely death of her good friend while she becomes a braver person and stands up for what is right.
This book was simply astounding. I am currently writing this review at 2:08 a.m. after just completing the book. And I will say, the ending had my eyes watering.
Thomas managed to portray significant character development throughout the novel as readers witness Starr's transformation from a girl scared to speak out about her friend's death into a full-blown activist. Not only that, but Thomas doesn't shy away from Starr's imperfections. We see Starr struggle to not see along the lines of color as her boyfriend and some of her good friends are white. In addition, we see Starr come to terms with her own false assumptions that she held against Khalil as well. Watching Starr discover who she is and what she believes slowly and realistically was not only amazing but extremely powerful as well. In addition, Thomas made sure to point out that prejudice and racism can appear in many different forms, some more subtle than others (ehm, Hailey, ehm) but that no form should be tolerated. Although I have never experienced the same kind of prejudice that minorities deal with on a daily basis, I felt what Starr was feeling throughout this whole book. And that is what makes this book so important. People who don't understand need to look through the eyes of Starr in order to see what is really going on in society today.
Although this book was very long, 444 pages, every single moment was essential. I was never bored, never looking to see when the end of the chapter was coming, which goes to show the masterful writing skill that Thomas possesses. Thomas takes us through every aspect of Starr's life, giving a fair amount of time to her family life, her school life, her love life, her relationships with her friends, and what is going on in Starr's mind. And for once, I'm not left feeling that there should've been something a little more. Everything was well-rounded, which helped me engross myself into Starr's life all the better.
Although I am well aware of what is going on in the world, all the injustice that occurs on a daily basis and the prejudice which fills the minds of so many, this book helped me gain a deeper understanding. And for that, I want to thank Thomas from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for telling this story, because I really really believe that it could make a difference. It's going to change the way people see things, the way people think. And honestly, with the way society is currently deteriorating, we need a change.
This book isn't only about the prejudice and discrimination clearly evident in our society. It's about a strong family dynamic, and struggling to choose what's right over what's less brave or more convenient. It's about finding who your true friends are and being able to say goodbye to those who aren't always there to support you. It's about rising above and doing what's right. And all of these themes is what makes this book so special. Somehow, Thomas managed to teach me so many lessons within a span of 444 pages.
Read this book. Then recommend it to your friends, your family, shout it from the rooftops. Because this book needs to be read. People need to hear Starr's voice.
"And to every kid in Georgetown and in all 'the Gardens' of the world: your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be roses that grow in the concrete." - Angie Thomas
A 5/5 star book for sure. I recommend this to anyone and everyone.