Saturday, 19 August 2017

Review - The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Published April 6th 2017 by Walker Books
Star Rating - ****.5
Goodreads Challenge - 47/50
Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge - A 2017 release. 

Synopsis from Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood 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.

My Thoughts

I had this on my shelf for a while and I was inspired by the booktubeathon prompt, 'a story about a person different to you', to pick it up and I'm so glad I did. This story was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. It's about Starr who is dealing with the aftermath of witnessing her friend get shot by a police officer. It follows and highlights, quite rightly so, all of the prejudices and injustices their community face. I knew this was going to be an important read as soon as I started, the premise told me this right from the word go, and I wasn't wrong. Within the first 50 pages I had already admired Angie Thomas's ability to write and teared up so I knew I was in for an emotional ride.

I thought Angie's writing was good. It suited the tone of the book and matched the characters well. I did however, find that the use of slang and the way the writing matched the characters speech took me a while to get my head around at first. Initially I felt myself reading some passages over again and this meant the story didn't flow as well as I would of liked in the beginning. After about 100 pages I did get used to this and my reading experience got easier but this was one of the reasons I gave this book 4.5 *s. The other reason for this was because contemporary isn't my genre and although I know how important this story is I wasn't completely gripped throughout. Again please don't feel I am saying this isn't an important story, it is. The story itself and the reasons behind it I would award 5*s it's just a few aspects that personally don't appeal to my taste that made me knock it down to 4.5*s.

I loved the diversity of the characters which is obvious based on the concept of this book however, I loved the inclusion of a Chinese side character. The fact she was Chinese wasn't shouted from the rooftops or made a big deal out of it just fitted in well with the story which I enjoyed. I also liked how the characters broke stereotypes but again this is obvious based on the premise.

Starr as a main character was fantastic. She was very down to earth and her thoughts and feelings felt very realistic. She was extremely strong willed, in a good way, and stood up for what she believed in. Her growth throughout this novel was great. This is what we should hope for from all teenagers today. I thought her relationship with Chris was cute but it didn't detract from the overall story. There was no teenage angst and their feelings for each other felt very real and raw.

The whole of Starr's family were also fantastic. I felt wholly connected to them and again I thought their portrayal was very real. I felt like they could have been part of my family when I was growing up. I truly admire Angie's ability to write real emotion into characters and for her ability to make us feel fully connected to her characters throughout the story.

Overall I thought the was a very important and poignant read. I felt the writing style fit the story well and the characters were very relatable. I teared up a couple of times during the story which I don't normally do and I very rarely pick out quotes but I loved this one and how relevant it is to today's society.

'I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I'm too afraid to speak'.

I think this is a very significant story and it should be read by as many people as possible. I would definitely recommend.

 Overall Rating (4.5*)


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