Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Narrated by Bahni Turpin
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Sixteen-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. 


“Daddy claims the Hogwarts houses are really gangs. They have their own colors, their own hideouts, and they are always riding for each other, like gangs. Harry, Ron, and Hermione never snitch on one another, just like gangbangers. Death Eaters even have matching tattoos. And look at Voldemort. They’re scared to say his name. Really, that “He Who Must Not Be Named” stuff is like giving him a street name. That’s some gangbanging shit right there.”
Impactful. I think this one word encompasses my feelings about the entire book. Angie Thomas has created characters that I will think about for a long, long time.

I'm not going to pretend like I know or understand what Starr went through. There's no way for me to know, because I haven't lived that. I haven't experienced that prejudice and hatred. It was eye-opening to read a book from Starr's perspective. She sees the world so differently, and she's forced to live by a separate set of rules based on the color of her skin. 

My parents raised me to see color when I looked at another person. Once I was old enough to make decisions for myself, we started to clash on a lot of things, but race seemed to be a big one. I wasn't allowed to play with other kids at school if they didn't look like me, and as a kid that's so fucking confusing. My parents actually instructed my teachers to inform them if they saw me interacting with classmates that "looked different," which my teachers obediently did.

If I asked my parents to read this book, I doubt they would. It makes me sad. They're filled with so much hatred and they don't even know why. It's just "the way things are," and that's not okay. It's a shit excuse to exercise hate.

The Hate U Give shows how an entire community, a family, and a girl live in a world full of that hate and indifference. They have different rules to get them through the day, especially if they're pulled over by a police officer. It shouldn't be that way. It's wrong. I don't know why so many people still cannot grasp that concept.

Starr is a strong, brilliant, lovely character. I enjoyed watching her live her life. Yes, she struggled, but she also grew as a person. She fought with friends, learned to understand community, found comfort in her family, and tried to get by in life. No one should have to eat dinner with gunfire going off in the background, or look out their window to see tanks driving down the road.

I think this book needs to be read by everyone (the narrator was wonderful if you enjoy audiobooks). I could talk about the incredible family dynamics (loved Starr's family!), the amazing secondary characters, or the significance of the protests and riots. There is so much being said in this book, and I have too many feelings to adequately express them all.

Angie Thomas is an amazing author that wrote something powerful and beautiful. It's a story that will have a lasting impact on this world, and I hope a lot of people take Starr's story to heart and try to be more understanding and uplifting.

Other quotes I liked:

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

“At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”

“Trust me, my school has hoes too. Hoedom is universal.”

24 comments:

  1. I had some issues with this one, I should have done audio. Everything is better in audio ;)

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    1. What were your issues? I like different formats for different types of books. It also depends on what mood I'm in, lol. Audiobooks have been my default lately because of time restraints. I can cook and clean while listening to a story in my head!

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  2. That must have been not only confusing as a child but upsetting sweetheart, I'm so sorry that.you had to endure their bias and prejudice. It must have been difficult to confront. Starr's story was really confronting for myself as well, being white and Australian, I feel as though removed from the racism that fuels America, so having a fictional face of the Black Lives Matter movement rwally put that into perspective. I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie adaptation as well. Wonderful review Linds and thank you for sharing your own experience darling <3 <3

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    1. It was really confusing as a child, because I didn't understand why one friend was different from another. Parents don't often realize how much their thoughts and opinions are passed down to their children. It's important for people to set a good example, and to be understanding and loving with their children.

      It wasn't as difficult to confront as you might think. I've always had an uneasy relationship with my parents, and we'd frequently disagree on life, which is why I moved out when I was still in high school. I had to get away from all the fighting and negativity.

      My son is four. We go to the playground and he will play with anyone that is there. He loves to play for the sake of playing. He wants to engage with children his age and he doesn't care about color or race. He's happy to have made a new friend. I want him to always feel that way. I want him to see people as people, and love them all.

      I think Starr's story makes most of us confront what's wrong with the world. I felt so separate from the Black Lives Matter movement, and this book really put that in perspective for me. I feel like I have more of an understanding now, but there is no way for me to ever truly understand.

      I cannot wait to see the movie! The cast looks amazing, and I think they'll do a good job of bringing the story to life.

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  3. Oh my gosh. I'm so sorry that you were forced into that as a child and that you're still dealing with it now. I'm so happy you were able to rise above it. <3 <3

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    1. I moved out of my parents house when I was in high school (so 10+ years ago), and have had a tentative relationship with them ever since. I might speak to them once or twice a year, but they refuse to let go of their racism and hatred. I don't want those thoughts and feelings being expressed around my children, so we don't really have a relationship with them.

      It makes me sad, because they are my parents, but in the end I have to do what is best for me and my family. They tried to force their opinions on me as a child, but my children will grow up with a better example.

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  4. I love that even though you still respect your parents you are choosing to make your own decisions and have your own opinion! That is very brave and shows how strong you are to not automatically pick up their hatred! So glad you liked this read and it opened your eyes as well.

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    1. Respect is a strong word... I love my parents, yes. I don't really respect their beliefs and opinions. My parents and extended family frequently tell me that I'm the one that "went off and became different," like different is bad. Because I don't think like they do, something has to be wrong with me. It's crazy.

      I loved this book and thought it was very thought-provoking and meaningful.

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  5. I’ll be reading this one soon for book club. I’m a little nervous. I hope I like it. Sorry your parents put you through that. At least you didn’t walk away from it acting like them.

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    1. I really hope you enjoy it! I can't wait to see your thoughts.

      It was a long time ago, and I've grown a lot since then. I try not to hold it against them, but their hatred just isn't something I understand or want to.

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  6. Wow, I'm saddened by your childhood experience. But the thing that makes me feel sadder and angrier at the same time is your teachers' compliance...couldn't they simply say "it's not our job"? Either way, I'm glad you made up your own mind about the issue.

    I, um...couldn't bring myself to read this one. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but from the (many) reviews I've read, there's too much reverse racism for me to handle. Maybe that's the point of the book, I don't know. I'm glad that so many people, you included, were able to take something away from THUG, but I don't feel equipped to read it 😢.

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    1. I lived in a small town where everybody knew everybody. My teachers were also "family friends," so they didn't think my parent's requests were weird. In all likelihood, they probably shared the same opinion.

      I don't know what other reviews you've read, but as someone that's read the book, I didn't feel like there was "reverse racism." I think the story highlights significant problems and the perspectives of those facing them. It was a powerful story that's relevant to so many issues people struggle with today.

      I think you should still read it so you can find out for yourself!

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  7. That sounds like it would be an emotional read.

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    1. It was! Are you planning on reading it?

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  8. I have this book but haven't read it yet. I do hope that each generation gets better at dealing with race appropriately. It makes me sad that you were raised with hate. I hope to get to this one soon and am glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it!

      I feel like I said something similar about politics recently. The younger generations are doing more to fight for equality and acceptance. The LGBTQ community is being recognized, women are fighting for equal pay and speaking out against abuse, and racism is being acknowledged. I think the Black Lives Matter movement is finally showing the world that enough is enough, and that their mistreatment isn't going to be tolerated.

      It makes me sad that I was raised that way, too. I'm lucky there were people in my life that showed me their opinion wasn't the only one, and that I was able to choose for myself.

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  9. Complicated for your family... I keep hearing about this one and I know it's released next month in French. I asked the publisher for it so I hope I'll have it! Otherwise I'll buy it because I'm curious to try.

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    1. Ohh! Exciting! I hope you get a copy! If you don't, you should definitely buy it.

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  10. I'm sorry to hear your childhood experience. That must have been so difficult and as you say, confusing.

    I am glad that you loved this book though. It has quickly become one of my favorites and one I think everyone should read.

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    1. Children just see other children. I didn't understand when my parents tried to tell me someone was "wrong" or "bad" because they looked different. They were my friends because we got along well and enjoyed spending time together. It should never have been an issue, and I hate that it was.

      I'm so happy you loved this book, too! I agree that it's a book that needs to be read. I cannot wait for the movie!

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  11. This is such an important read, and I'm really kicking myself for not having gotten to it already. :( Racial prejudice is a huuuuuge thing for us Chinese people as well--whether it be the Great Wall (where parents don't allow Chinese kids to get into romantic relationships with non-Chinese people), or just plain ole non-Asian judgement, which just breaks my heart. Books have pretty much destroyed what my Asian parents made me believe as a child, and I hope more and more people read books like this one.

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    1. I agree, Aimee! This story was so incredibly important, and I'm glad Angie Thomas took the time to write it. I want everyone to read it and really look at what is going on in the world today. It might be able to show them a version or perspective they never would have seen for themselves.

      I'm so sorry for the racial prejudice you've experienced in your life. No one should have hate directed at them because they're different. It's our differences that make us special. We should celebrate everything that we are.

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  12. This one is on my TBR, my BFF was reading it a few weeks ago and kept telling me all about it

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    1. Was your BFF encouraging you to read it? Because I am! 😁

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