Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Hate U Give // a genuine voice and a narrative that needs to be heard

The Hate U Give is a book filled with so many often unspoken truths. These are the truths that need to be heard, and Angie Thomas did them the ultimate justice.

Starr is ten when she loses one friend in a drive by shooting. She is sixteen when she loses another to officer One-Fifteen. As the sole witness to Khalil's murder, some want her to speak up, some want her to stay safe, and others don't want to hear it. The distinction between these categories is so important, and although written in first person, Thomas showed every perspective. The phrase 'out of sight, out of mind' works on so many levels here, not only in how Starr was so unaware of what was happening in Khalil's life whilst at her posh high school, but also with how her friend Hailey reacted to Starr's activism. I've seen so many Hailey's in my life; people who talk about equality only when it applies to them, happily ignorant towards the injustices elsewhere, and I'm so happy Thomas included this narrative.

There are also so many storylines that are so relevant other than the ones directly related to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. There are important discussions about interracial relationships and people's prejudices towards them, as well as on what it is like to be from two different worlds. Starr talks about how she has to selectively choose what parts of herself to show to people to avoid being stereotyped, which is such a real conversation for YA to be having.

I struggled to get into the first quarter of this book because of the lack of movement. There was a lot about the characters that had to be learnt before I could fall into the story, but once I did I couldn't put it down.

I know this is a work of fiction based on current affairs, but it came across as far too real. Starr has one of the most genuine voices in YA, and it's one that shouldn't be silenced. Having a total of 13 publishing houses auction for it PLUS a movie announced before the book even had a cover release, this is one book you cannot miss out on.


Genre: Contemporary
Warnings: violence, guns, blood, death
Diversity note: black protagonist
Rating: 4 stars

An ebook copy was provided to me via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

2 comments:

  1. I've heard so many great things about this one. I can't wait to read it!

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    Replies
    1. It's definitely worth the hype. I hope you enjoy it!

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