Last semester in Methods, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was book talked by a classmate, and it really intrigued me. Ever since it was book talked, I had only heard positive, raving reviews about it online. Needless to say, I was very excited that my book club chose it as one of our readings.
This book is told in first person from the protagonist, Starr Carter. At the beginning of the novel, she witnesses her best childhood friend get shot by a police officer when they were pulled over after a party. Neither of them were drinking, and they were both unarmed. Starr is the only witness in the case, and she must decide if she wants to stand up for her deceased friend Khalil or keep quiet. Starr also struggles with her identity throughout the story. She lives in a predominantly black neighborhood of Garden Heights but goes to school almost an hour away in a predominately white area and dates a white classmate, Chris. She feels that she has two identities, one around black people and one around white people. This obviously takes a huge toll on her, and she said that she sometimes feels that neither side of her is enough.
I couldn’t relate to Starr’s specific experiences throughout the novel, but I think Angie Thomas’s portrayal of Starr made her a very relatable character. Angie Thomas was born in 1988, making her 29 or 30 years old, but she flawlessly writes from a teenager’s perspective. My book club discussed how all of the references she makes throughout the book are very accurate and popular today. I also found the book to be very convicting. People were more concerned that Khalil was a suspected drug dealer than with the fact that he was shot three times by a cop even though he was unarmed. At one point, the event makes the news with the headline “Drug Dealer Killed in Police Shooting” or something like that. This part really stuck out to me because if I saw that on the news, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it. I have a copy that anyone is welcome to borrow! 🙂