Alicia Duggan of The Bookshop reviews The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give is a heart-breaking novel set against the backdrop of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in America. It provides insight in to the discrimination black people face simply for the colour of their skin.
This novel tells the story of Starr, a young black girl living in the “ghetto” and attending a private school, who tries desperately to keep her two worlds from colliding. However, all this changes when she witnesses her friend Khalil’s murder at the hands of a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. The news about Khalil’s death goes viral, leading to protests calling for justice for Khalil.
As Starr attempts to deal with everything going on around her, we are given a glimpse into the world of gangs and gang culture in America, and some of the reasons people, particularly teens, end up joining them – usually because they have no other option or nothing to lose.
What I loved about this book is that it’s not just another “teen drama”. Angie Thomas manages to really shine a light on white privilege and how, despite the promise of the American dream, it is very difficult for people to escape the destructive cycle of a disadvantaged background.
The film adaptation will be released this winter.
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