Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - review

I received this book before publication in exchange for an open and honest review.

Publisher: Walker Books (6th April 2017)

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. (Publishers' blurb)

I've read great things about this book online and they are very much deserved. It's not an easy book to read because Angie Thomas deals with the subject of the Black Lives Matter movement exactly as it should be - honestly and without anything held back.

A main strength of this book is the voice. I loved Starr's character so much! She came across as realistic because she didn't have all the answers straight away. The book dealt really well with her struggles over doing what she thought was right and navigating where she fit at school and in her home community.

This book really made me think about privilege and social justice in a way that no other book has done before. I think it's so important for fiction to explore these issues and make people look at their own viewpoints. These ideas came through the narrative at times in ways that were subtle and other times very explicit, but always authentic and with feeling. I thought the link to Tupac's song lyrics added a really interesting dimension, as I'd heard his songs before without realising what they actually mean.

Another strength of this is that the story is thrilling and high stakes, with rising tension, but is also balanced with lighter and sweeter moments. The relationship between Starr's mum and dad was so touching and I really appreciated how there were actually present, important adults in this unlike a lot of YA.

I thought that prejudice was dealt with really well and that it examined different points of view. The terrible event of Khalil's death was dealt with openly and sensitively and the fallout afterwards was heartbreakingly believable.

Everybody needs to read this book. it really made me think and raised the profile of many issues that need to be discussed, especially in the current political climate.

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