What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?
The Hate U Give explores duality, black culture, police brutality, and so much more. It follows Starr Carter, a girl divided between worlds and identities, and what happens after one of her childhood friends gets murdered by a cop. It explores the effects of this in the community, her family, and especially her.
Now, I realize I’m extremely behind on reading this. It’s one of those books that once you miss the original wave of reading it, you just keep putting it off. A scrabble challenge with my discord group finally made me get around to reading it, and I’m glad I did! Part of me was worried that the book might have been overhyped for me by now and that I knew completely what to expect going in, but that wasn’t the case at all. The book was still new and shocking, even with me having experienced the culture and news in the US, as the perspective is still something very different to me.
This novel also has a fantastic audiobook (I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot recently!), and I highly recommend listening to this book. It adds a new layer to the story, more emotion and fragility to Starr’s character, and some scenes were straight up heartbreaking to listen to thanks to how emotional the narrator was able to sound. It made the character of Starr extremely real to me, and therefore her problems even more real than they already were.
This is a hard book to critique because it is both written for me and entirely not. I’m part of the group of people (white, American), that needs more real knowledge of these situations, needs to see the human aspect of the stories we always hear on the news. At the same time, this book is written to be the voice of the marginalized group that exists in America, the group of people constantly harassed, threatened, and murdered by cops for the most flimsy of reasons. This is their chance to feel seen and heard, and I cannot criticize nor discuss that. It’s simply not my place to discuss how accurate or real this book is, whether I felt the plot was realistic or the characters relatable. This was not a story made for me to relate to.
As many others have said, and shown by the insane hype and publicity surrounding this book, The Hate U Give is an important novel that everyone needs to read. It is a multi-faceted book and therefore important for a variety of audiences. It showcases and starts the discussion on a variety of issues, all of which are extremely important to the world we live in today. From the idea of police brutality, a very American issue, to the idea of duality and fractured identity, a more global and growing ‘issue’, there is a lot to unpack in this book.
I’m excited to see the movie now, to see these voices and scenes visualized in a way the audiobook couldn’t, and I’m curious to see what Angie’s other books will bring!