The Hate U Give is a powerful, striking and moving debut novel from Angie Thomas. It is a breathtaking story of activism, race and friendship. No-one should be put off by the Young Adult label as this is a book that demands to be read by everyone.
As an avid reader, I have seen lots of buzz about books only to be disappointed when I read them, so when I heard about this new YA book based on the Black Lives Matter movement and all its praise-laden reviews, I was a little bit sceptical that it could possibly live up to the hype. Well, I am happy to admit that it is worth every last bit of adulation.
The book tells the story of 16-year-old Starr Carter, who lives in two vastly different worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she lives and the fancy prep school she attends. The fragile balance between these two worlds is broken when she witnesses the unprovoked shooting of her unarmed friend Khalil by a police officer. This death becomes front-page news and everyone wants to know what really happened that night. Only Starr knows, but what she says could not only upend her community but endanger her life.
Starr is a fantastic protagonist: feisty, smart and just brilliant. Thomas is clearly a gifted writer, with her creation of a fractured world where your race determines everything. She paints such an honest picture of the true state of race relations in America.
The Hate U Give is simply a compelling, topical and fiercely candid book that everyone should read.