Today’s review is on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I have wanted to read this for so long and it was so worth the wait!
Good Reads Synopsis:
“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.”
With every book that has such a huge following and buzz around it, there is always that doubt and worry that you won’t enjoy it. I think honest reviews are important, but I don’t like telling people I didn’t enjoy a book, especially one that so many people love.
Luckily for me, this book lives up to the hype. I would even go as far to say it surpasses the hype and I really don’t feel like I have the words to do this book justice. The Hate U Give is hands down, one of the best books I’ve read this year and potentially one of the best books I’ve read ever.
Watching Starr trying to figure out what she was going through, what she felt and how she would react to the situation was so powerful. The characters and the storyline were so well crafted and developed that the book became one of those unique fiction novels that is so real that it could be a non-fiction autobiography.
Whilst I was reading THUG, I was scrolling down my Facebook one evening and came across a news video of a police shooting of an unarmed black man in America. In the video, the family were making an emotional plea for justice and everyone stood around in T-shirts with the young man’s face and name on it. I had just read the part in THUG where Khalil’s friends and family show up to his funeral in t-shirts just like the ones on the video and just like that and it hit me how this fictional story is actually so many people’s reality.
I think that’s where this book stands out for me. It is a difficult read at times because of how close to reality it is. Fiction for many people is a way to make sense of the world and emotions both in writing and reading. It allows you to explore different scenarios and even create a world that you’d like to see but Thomas doesn’t give her readers this. There is no happy ending or justice for Khalil because that is unrealistic. On any given day you could scroll down your twitter feed and see some kind of news story or post about police brutality against black people in America. There is the same uproar every time and there are hundreds of tweets and posts calling for justice, but it just never comes. Those responsible are never held accountable and the cycle continues. I think it was so necessary and brave for Thomas to stick to reality with her ending. Obviously as a reader I wanted a different verdict and I wanted to believe that justice can be found, even if it is in a fictional world but I recognise the importance of the verdict and the lack of that resolution.
I also want to include some of my favourite quotes which I don’t normally do in my reviews but I’m making an exception for THUG! These are just a few quotes that stuck with me:
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”
“Fairy tale? No. But I’m not giving up on a better ending.”
THUG is one of those reads that will stay with me forever. I’m so glad I finally picked this up and I can’t wait for the film to be released!
Thanks for reading! Have you read THUG? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!