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Where The Wolves Read

A blog where I review mostly books. I also review, if my appetite allows, movies, music, and video games. Enjoy the feast!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Goodreads

Triggers: Gangs, gun violence, racism, abuse


SynopsisSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
Review: The Hate U Give was one of the few books that 100% deserved the hype it got. Starr was incredibly easy to relate to. I especially appreciated how she internalized the change she has to make between school Starr and neighborhood Starr. I feel like that's something people do all the time. If not for physical places, then people change between their online selves and their offline selves. I'm also glad she struggled with whether or not to come forward. It's easy to see situations like this on the news and say, "If I were the witness, I would come forward," but Starr had legitimate concerns that made coming forward one of the most difficult decisions she will ever have to make. The story focused on Starr, but I liked how we got a few different opinions of those around her. The most notable one was of Starr's uncle. I appreciated that he was a cop and the story didn't turn into an "all cops are bad" narrative. All of the side characters were fascinating. Everyone from Starr's parents, to King, to Seven and Sekani. They all felt genuine and fleshed out. Every character was unique with their own flaws. It was refreshing to read such deep characters.

Everything about The Hate U Give was heart-wrenching. I didn't grow up in the "ghetto" but my hometown is far from safe. Some of the situations Starr found herself in, I recognized. One of the things I appreciated the most about the story was the unashamed use of AAVE. Hearing Starr talk with her friends from her neighborhood was like listening to my African-American friends talk together. There was a comfort in that. I'm just saying, if anyone deducts points from this book because of the use of AAVE claiming that it isn't proper grammar, they need to spend time talking to more black folk. I'm gonna just say that and move on. The other thing I liked was how Starr speaking out encouraged change. I'm not going to say in what form because I feel that's one of the strongest parts of this book, but reading the last few chapters was an incredible experience. Another thing this book did extremely well (guys, it was a lot. This book is great.) was handling topics like racism and assumptions. 


I will re-read this book later to make sure I gave this rating fairly and not just because I got caught up in the hype, but for now it is definitely on my list of best books of the year.


5/5 howls

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