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The Hate U Give Hardcover – February 28, 2017
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From the Publisher
The Hate U Give
- 8 Starred Reviews
- Junior Library Guild Selection
- New York Magazine - 11 Young-Adult Books for Stoking the Feminist Fire
- The Fader - 7 Writers of Color You Should be Reading in 2017
- Teen Vogue - 10 Diverse Books by YA Authors of Color to Read in 2017
- Entertainment Weekly - 20 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2017
- Bustle - 16 Young Adult Novels to Read in 2017, According to YA Authors
- Featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Essence, and more!
Meet the Author
Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books.
A message that will resonate with all young people concerned with fairness - Bulletin Center for Children's Books.
A powerful, in-your-face novel - Horn Book.
Thomas’s clear and honest writing moves beyond sound bites to represent the real people and communities behind the headlines - Shelf Awareness.
A marvel of verisimilitude - Booklist.
From School Library Journal
“Angie Thomas has written a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time.” (John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars)
“Fearlessly honest and heartbreakingly human. Everyone should read this book.” (Becky Albertalli, William C. Morris Award-winning author of SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA)
“This is tragically timely, hard-hitting, and an ultimate prayer for change. Don’t look away from this searing battle for justice. Rally with Starr.” (Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of MORE HAPPY THAN NOT)
“With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family. This story is necessary. This story is important.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Though Thomas’s story is heartbreakingly topical, its greatest strength is in its authentic depiction of a teenage girl, her loving family, and her attempts to reconcile what she knows to be true about their lives with the way those lives are depicted—and completely undervalued—by society at large.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Beautifully written in Starr’s authentic first-person voice, this is a marvel of verisimilitude as it insightfully examines two worlds in collision. An inarguably important book that demands the widest possible readership.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Pair this powerful debut with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s ALL AMERICAN BOYS to start a conversation on racism, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“The Hate U Give is an important and timely novel that reflects the world today’s teens inhabit. Starr’s struggles create a complex character, and Thomas boldly tackles topics like racism, gangs, police violence, and interracial dating. This topical, necessary story is highly recommended for all libraries.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review))
“Thomas has penned a powerful, in-your-face novel that will similarly galvanize fans of Kekla Magoon’s How It Went Down and Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s All American Boys.” (Horn Book (starred review))
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What a missed opportunity by the author to present a book that challenges misconceptions....ON BOTH SIDES. This book was completely biased and 100% anti-police. So biased I almost quit halfway through but persevered at 2.0X speed on Audible just in case there was some redemption by the end. Nope.
-The fictional victim and his friend have to quickly leave a party WHERE SOMEONE IS MURDERED during a fight. This is the neighborhood at the center of the story. It’s extremely dangerous. (Note that the characters in the book don’t ever discuss or consider that any police in the area that night are likely well aware that a shooting has just taken place at a party...and are probably a little on edge because of it)
-The victim was a drug dealer and was, at a minimum, affiliated with active gangs. (Later, they downplay this fact with a story about how he is only doing it to help his Mom. Well, apparently his Mom also wanted him to get those new fancy shoes and jewelry.) Yes, it would not be possible for the policeman to know he was a drug dealer during the traffic stop. No, it’s not directly relevant to the fact that he was shot. But again, context matters, and the context of this neighborhood is one where there are a relatively high percentage of gang members and drug dealers.
-Once pulled over the victim was evasive and refused to answer basic, standard questions that are not unusual for a traffic stop (“Where ya coming from” and he answers “Nunya (business)”. The policeman asked him to get out of the vehicle, he didn’t immediately comply and was pulled from the vehicle.
-The victim was unarmed
-It was nighttime
-The victim opened the car door and was leaning back inside while the policeman returned to his vehicle to check the ID
-The policeman then clearly overreacted and shot him multiple times.
The policeman overreacted. Yes. I think most people will agree with this. The problem I have with the book is the level to which he was proclaimed a Murderer with a capital M. The author doesn’t understand what murder means.
I can’t imagine a more dangerous situation for a police officer. It’s nighttime. You are in an area that is known to be extremely violent. Any interaction is going to be possibly dangerous and potentially deadly. All facts that are so well understood by the characters in the story that they MOVE OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD BY THE END OF THE BOOK DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS.
So we establish that the neighborhood is unbelievably dangerous. We also establish that the victim did not deserve to die at any level. But we should also the say that a police officer during a traffic stop doesn’t know a person’s intentions. A police officer doesn’t know who is in the car, doesn’t know what they are going to do. Especially under these circumstances...It is reasonable for me to understand that a police officer thought his life was in danger when the the driver suddenly reached back into his car unexpectedly.
The story was fine and the characters were mostly likeable. A lot of cliches. Bad writing (oh, the rose bush that the dad keeps tending to represents the family! ...Eye roll...)
It was an easy read. But I was hoping for a book that would challenge preconceived notions on both sides. Total failure.
At best, this is a book that should just be ignored. At worst, it is dangerous and furthers a broken mindset where police are the enemy. The central character is a hero at the end for throwing tear gas at the police? The police that are in her neighborhood trying to stop rioters from burning down businesses? Nothing in this book makes sense.
Several times I was tempted to not finish but then I'd remember how this book had earned five stars with over 3k reviews so I kept at it thinking there would be a payoff at the end. There was NOT.
For starters, our protagonist was not at all likeable or endearing. I did not care one iota about any of the characters. While I don't condone Khalil getting shot, it was easy to see why - late at night in a bad area of town with a driver smarting off and disregarding the officer's instructions - anyone might have reacted in a knee-jerk fashion. It was definitely not murder IMHO.
As a white person, I actually found myself wondering 'am I a racist?' as I read this book because I was continually turned off by the manner of speaking throughout. IF you want respect from the world writ large then speak intelligently. I'm reading Michelle Obama's wonderful book right now and she alludes to this very thing. Her parents taught her the importance of proper grammar, showing respect and getting a good education.
Now, all that said I do believe blacks in this country get a raw deal at times, a very raw deal. Injustice? Absolutely. Rogue cops? I have no doubts. But unless and until the black community gets up in arms about the role they themselves play, progress will be nil. Just look at Ferguson and elsewhere what with rioting and looting and destroying cars and businesses.
Um. Yeah, right. A perfect way to get others to respect your point of view. Not at all.
Top international reviews
One evening, Starr gets a lift home from a Garden Heights party from her childhood best friend, Khalil. When their car is pulled over by a white police officer, Starr is instantly fearful - and she's right to be. The officer shoots Khalil dead, and Starr is the only witness. The relative stability of her life is shattered, both at home and at school, and the implications of Khalil's death and Starr's testimony against the police have an alarming ripple effect as tension mounts and danger builds.
This is a powerfully honest and important book, seemingly inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. It has Starr's strong and distinctive voice - bright, perceptive and funny - at its heart and a vivid cast of characters who feel real and credible from their very first appearances on the page.
There are few absolutes here: you'll be hard pushed to find a character who is 100% saint or sinner and motives and circumstances are often complicated. Starr's Uncle Carlos, for example, also happens to be a cop; her father Maverick, who now runs a successful grocery store, is a former gang member. The Hate U Give raises many questions, some of them uncomfortable, and it's rightly uncompromising in its portrayal of racism, whether it's outright victimisation, institutional prejudice or casual assumptions.
The Hate U Give is aimed primarily at teenagers (and I'd make it compulsory reading in schools, personally) but it's every bit as thought-provoking and absorbing for adults: it's a remarkably detailed exploration of the black working class experience in the US. This book made me angry and it made me sad (and if you're a white person like me and you feel neither of those things when you read this book, you really ought to take a long hard look at yourself), but it also left me feeling hopeful that the future is in the hands of activists as smart, brave and passionate as Starr.
Thomas writes SO well. I felt that I was reading from the perspective of a teenager, and while it was hard to get my head around some of the common slang found in black culture and the common 'tropes' it was an interesting insight into how gang warfare has come about, and the true injustices that PoCs face. The truth about white privilege and ignorance was hard to read of course. But it needs to be in order for change to happen. I loved the feeling of family that this book highlighted, not just in Starr's home, but in the whole community. Te relationship between Starr's mother and father was a joy to read. The idea of two worlds that Starr lives in is really clever too and seeing the personality changes and her awareness of that was both sad and eye-opening.
As I said, this book didn't totally bowl me over. Some of the humour was good but some of it a little cheesy, and I feel like Thomas took a lot of racial frustrations out on EVERY white character, including Chris who was pretty much reduced to 'Am I allowed to say this? I can say that too? Please feel free to mock me how you like but do tell me if I'm overstepping any lines.' It was interesting to recognise ignorance within the white characters though and realise that I have seen friends or have done some of those things myself. Books like this will open minds and start discussions and for me this is what I want from a book.
It’s not just the timeliness and poignancy of the story, but the characters which make this book so incredibly readable and wonderful. In the first instance, Starr is just someone you want to be friends with, and there is a real focus on her family, who are all fantastic characters in their own right, as well as being amazing in their supporting roles. Everyone in the book felt fleshed out and important, from her ex-drug-dealer father to her Asian best friend, and they all had their own storylines that ultimately fed into the wider plot. Basically, this is some complex writing that will still have you tearing through it to find out what happens – which is a surprisingly rare thing to find. I teared up on more than one occasion; anyone who has followed #BlackLivesMatter will recognise just how *real* this story is, which makes it all the more heartbreaking, but I also felt like it left room for hope, too.
I know I'm not the target audience, but I still want to believe that you shouldn't have to try so hard to reach them. Still there's much to praise here, even if Starr's parents send her straight back to school the day after witnessing a murder when she is clearly exhibiting symptoms of PTSD. I just wish the author had trusted that her teen readers don't need things hammered home with soap-opera tropes in order to get the point.
I thought I understood Black Lives Matter pretty well prior to reading this but now I feel on a whole other level. I'm always going to be learning about the struggles black people, and black women more specifically face on a day to day basis and I could never truly understand it because i come from a place of privilege.
What really struck me with this book was that it dealt with such horrible issues and would have a scene that would shock the daylights out of you or make you feel really affected then the next you would be laughing your heart out. Angie Thomas really has a knack for making you think whilst laughing at the same time.
I honestly feel like this book should be required reading for every person especially kids in their formative years to really understand privilege and race issues. Like I just feel like my life has been changed by reading this book that's how much of an affect is has had on me.
I absolutely adored Starr, our MC, she's feisty and smart but not scared to learn. She's loyal and proud and I feel like a lot of young black girls will be able to see themselves in her. She doesn't have the typical "sassy" personality that black women are always portrayed as having she feels real, which isn't to say sassy black women don't exist but they're not as common as the media portrays.
I cannot wait to see what Angie Thomas writes next because I feel like whatever it is it'll be magic. This book is going to sit with me and resonate for a long time, and when I'm a teacher I'm going to recommend it to all my students.
Being British, my experience of blackness is not the same as the world that she lives in, but there are definitely moments of recognition that made me feel as though my young self was finally being represented.
I hope this book becomes compulsory reading in schoold, at some point, as I think it gets across messages in a way that other methods are failing to manage.
One of the biggest reasons I enjoyed THUG so much, was the Carter’s family dynamic. They’re filled with so much love and care for one another that it brought the entire story together. To go through something so difficult at such a young age, it’s no surprise that Starr ends up struggling immensely with guilt and her sense of belonging. Even though she doesn’t know anybody who understands what she’s going through, the support she receives from her mother, father and brothers was beyond beautiful to read. They may have been strict and didn’t at all hold back in asserting their role as her parents, it’s clear that their only concern was Starr’s happiness and safety.
In addition to that, was the character development. We see the main character go from this teenage girl who feels like she has to have two personalities to fit into the two different social groups she belongs to, to someone who becomes comfortable enough to allow all of their friends into their world completely and learns to be proud of who they are deep down. It wasn’t only Starr’s personal journey that we get to witness though. It was also her father, her brother and her friend, DeVante, who by the end of the novel were all different to how they started. To have a front seat in the story of their growth as individuals and as a group was amazing.
The amount of stereotypes in the novel made me question it at first. However, I realized that they played a huge role in the story. Yes, Thomas portrays black characters as having their own dialect, being drug dealers and basketball players, their neighborhoods being incredibly violent and dangerous, but, none of this justifies the fact that the police officer murdered an unarmed child – Khalil. In real life, the media (and the system in general) label black victims of racism with all these stereotypes and more, using them as reasons why they were targeted or seen as suspicious, reasons why police officers (who spend years training for how to react in volatile situations without ending a life), panic out of fear. I interpreted the author’s inclusion of the stereotypes as a way to show that although this all may have been true in Khalil’s case, the police officer is still nothing more and nothing less than a murderer.
If it isn’t obvious, the book made me very, very angry. It got to the point sometimes where I had to put it down and take a break. Something about me is that I get really invested in things that aren’t real, whether that be a novel or a TV show or a film, or even a news story that has nothing to do with me. That same thing happened here. Certain moments made me want to grab a bullhorn and scream at the top of my lungs, others made me cry so hard I couldn’t even see the page. Starr’s interview with the police, the murderers father speaking out, Hailey – all these things had me reaching for a pencil and scribbling inappropriate words into the margins. The Hate U Give, made me feel. A lot. And I loved that.
There were some aspects of the novel which I appreciated, but that others may be put off by. One of these, was the fact that none of the characters were perfect. Every single one was flawed, and the reason this only made me fall even more in love with the story is that it’s so realistic. We’re all human and we all have faults in our behaviors and beliefs. Much like the use of the stereotypes, this only goes to show that no matter what, murder is murder, and murder is wrong. The second thing that some readers may consider a deal-breaker, was the dialect. The novel is written from Starr’s perspective, and she talks like the stereotypical Black-American teenager. Despite the fact that I myself am used to hearing people talk this way, it was still a little strange getting through the first chapter as I’ve never read the voice before. However, it was easy to get used to and eventually I didn’t even notice it. The plot is so intense that the style of writing was like background noise.
All in all, The Hate U Give was a wonderful book. Heartbreaking, hilarious, infuriating and wonderful. I’m giving it 5 out of 5 stars and telling you with an aggressive amount of passion to read it as soon as you’re able. Tell all your friends I said to read it, tell your family I said to read it, and then read it again yourself.
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Don’t forget the tissues!
I really, really enjoyed this book. It’s funny, current, and moving. The characters are fantastic and relatable, especially Starr. Our lives are nothing alike and yet, because she’s such a well-written character, I was able to connect with her. I loved Starr’s narrative voice, and the way the book is written in her accent. The writing was very easy to read and very well done.
The Hate U Give is an important and eye-opening story. It was particularly interesting for me as a white, British reader because we definitely don’t hear as much about the kind of issues addressed in this book as maybe we should.
As far as teen fiction goes, I’m not sure this book actually deserves the amount of hype it has received. Honestly, I feel like the main reason it’s been so popular is because it deals with such an important topic. It’s a good book, but it’s not the best. That being said, I still think it should be read, especially by teens who don’t get much exposure to the real issues behind #BlackLivesMatter.
How can Starr simultaneously attempt to put the world to rights on the topic of racism whilst devoting almost as many pages to her choice of sneakers?
Cut all the cr*p about footwear and Tumblr and 'Fresh Prince' (incidentally, I've never seen a single episode), dial up the sense of jeopardy (honestly, I was expecting a lot more than was delivered) and clean up all the unnecessary swearing and it might have some longevity. Instead I suspect that ten years from now a YA reader will pick this up and be absolutely baffled because it's just too much 'in the moment'. I am not one of those reviewers who moans about swearing - in fact I have enormous respect for writers who use profanity with style and finesse but Angie Thomas doesn't. This could and should be the kind of book teenagers read for school assignments but with the amount of swearing it would be pretty indefensible to set this.
As a white, British female in her *cough* thirties, I don’t pretend to have any understanding of what it must be like to a POC in a racist society. I have followed the US Black Lives Matter movement from this side of the Atlantic. I’ve liked and retweeted comments on twitter when people have spoken out about racism, but undeniably, it does not affect my everyday life. I’m not about to say that I’ve read one book and now I understand the challenges and prejudice that others face in every aspect of their lives. I have, however, read countless books that explore the issue of race, but THUG is hands-down one of the best novels I’ve read to convey the situation in America as it currently is. Thomas’ writing feels effortless (though I’m sure it’s not). Her characters came to life for me and I was able to connect with them and, consequently, I was easily invested in their stories.
For me, this was one of those books that you get so caught up in, you forget your actually turning pages. There’s a reason it received such hype and acclaim and I would whole-heartedly recommend it.
The protagonist, Starr, is as real as characters come, a black girl originally from The Projects, sent to a white, privledged school to try and protect her and her brother somewhat from danger. Her family and friends are more than background characters in this book and their connections are complicated. Starr finds herself in a situation that is heart-rending and there it all begins. The beginning of my tears, the beginning of my anger, the beginning of empathy so overwhelming. The emotional pain that Star experiences is utterly palpable; you cannot but help feel it.
The storytelling was exceptional with the ability to move from the profound to the ordinary and back seamlessly.
I don’t have eloquent words but I can recommend this to all and everyone, whatever genre you might normally read. This is for everyone. My daughter now has a copy, I am shoving it under my husband’s nose.
I listened to this on audio and the narration was superb in every way, bringing emotions to life.
Ok it was made into a film but I still read other books needing my attention, why!?!
I gasped, I got angry, I cried and had a lump in my throat many many times.
Wiping a tear from my eye I Plowright on.
I have no time for racists.
I have no time for bullies.
I have no time for inequality.
We know the past history and yet.......lt still goes on.
Even with the Police.
The colour of your skin doesn’t define who you are. Your heart does.
It’s shocking. But this 16 year old girl stood up. Starr by name Starr by nature.
This was a hard hitting novel.
Straight between the eyes.
We teach the next generation.
Oops this has turned into a lecture not a review.
I loved this book, it’s trueness and it’s honesty.
This book is quite famous now, and they are currently filming a movie based on it (as they should), but if you haven’t heard about it then PLEASE READ IT! This is the synopsis:
‘Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice.’
I just loved ‘The Hate U Give’ so much. It was so well written, I could visualise all of the places and people really clearly. The characters all felt so real and well rounded and I felt really invested in Starr, her life, family and friends from the very first page. I cried many times reading this, and also felt really angry. I’m white so have no personal experience of racism, but like others, I have seen and heard racist acts all of my life. I’ve seen racism in the news, on social media and in real life unfortunately, and it still very much exists. It’s all too easy to see the hash tags and reblogs, and then forget, but these are real people, who face this kind of abuse on a daily basis. As Starr said,
“people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice.”
I really wish with all my heart that not only would racism disappear, but all forms of prejudice. All we can do is educate our children, family and friends, and books like this help. It seems like there are so many intolerant people out there right now, but I like to think that one day we will be a more tolerant world...
Anyway this book was amazing and I’m so happy that I read it. I will definitely watch the film.