Teen Book Review – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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I just finished reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This book was powerful and timely. The book is sort of nod a to the Black Lives Matter movement but not in a “in your face” kind of way. It tells the story of the friends and loved ones who lost someone to an unjustified police killing. It’s heartbreaking and honest. The story centers on the life of a teenaged girl named Starr Carter. Starr navigates between two worlds. One, Garden Heights, a low-income neighborhood that most people would deem as the ghetto. Garden Heights has gangbangers, drive-bys, and poverty but it’s also a place where people care about and love each other. The other world is the world of Williamson, a posh prep school in a predominately white suburb where she desperately tries to “fit in.” She has a white boyfriend, rich friends, and a chance to have a better life. Her two worlds couldn’t be more different, and because of this, she hides her life in the Gardens from her prep school friends.

One night while leaving a party with her childhood friend Khalil, the police stops their car and kills her unarmed friend, leaving Starr and the key witness and the only person who can fight for justice. She’s torn between speaking up for her friend and torn between keeping a low profile so she can continue blending in at Williamson.

She soon learns that it’s impossible to do both and soon finds her world crumbling when she is called to testify against the cop who killed her friend. This book will take you on an emotional journey that has you rooting for Starr as she tries to do the right thing.

It’s hard not to think about the deaths of other unarmed men and woman who the justice system has failed, but in the midst of reading the story, you’ll enjoy a beautiful coming of age story filled with teen crushes and first loves. It’s the kind of combination that keeps you wanting more until the very end.

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