Mar 29

Book Review: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This is a very well done and enjoyable young adult fiction that happens to touch on some extremely timely and relevant aspects of modern American life. I honestly wish we had more books like this, especially ones that manage to touch on race relations in such a human and accessible way.

What I liked best about this novel were the relationships. Starr’s family tree is confusing, but the different connections she has to so many different people in her neighborhood gave her a deeper sense of community than most people in my social circle have. Sometimes she’s “Big Mav’s daughter who works in the store sometimes” and sometimes she’s “the only black girl in school” and after the incident she becomes “the witness.” Big Mav is not just a gangbanger who retired, he’s also a doting father who worries about his kids and loves his wife. Even Iesha, one of the least-sympathetic characters in this book, manages to become sympathetic due to a selfless act that doesn’t look like what it is at first glance.

Even while this book is about police violence, it’s also about normal teenage experiences like celebrating prom, navigating young love, and learning how to tell the difference between “friends” and friends. I recommend this book for people who are crass enough to say “blue lives matter” and don’t know why that’s tacky (because, honestly, what’s so controversial about “please stop murdering children?”), and for anyone who likes YA fiction.

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