I’d been hearing so many great things about The Hate U Give before we chose it as our March book that I was afraid it might not live up to the hype. But happily, it did. This debut novel by Angie Thomas is about a young black girl struggling through the emotional, cultural, and legal repercussions of witnessing the unarmed shooting of a childhood friend.
Starr Carter lives in Garden Heights but goes to school at a fancy prep school far away from home. Worlds apart, in fact. But seeing her story from within these two worlds gave infinite range to the issues Thomas tackles. I think that was my favorite part about the book; the two very environments. It elevated the story beyond a tragedy, or a high school coming-of-age story. It was the story of race, family, justice, injustice, love, the forces that drive us, and how all of those interact… in many different situations.
Seeing Starr’s life through the lens of her home and school lives made her story more powerful and complex. For me, at least. It gave her a relatability that packed an extra punch, and it humanized her experience in a way that I think so many need to experience. I came away from this story feeling like I’d been permitted a glimpse into another world. One where I have rights as only an observer to listen and witness Starr’s story.
My only criticism, if you could call it that, would be that I wish a book like this was written as a novel, instead of young adult novel. The YA genre didn’t make this book less-than, I’d just relate more if it were for an older audience. If you have any recommendations of books like that let me know!