First, let me say that when a book is highly rated and very much hyped I tend to pass it under my own microscope! This might sound unfair because I don't do the same with other books that are averagely rated, but again I don't do that with them because I get into them with no expectations. The Hate U Give is one of those books that became so popular and so much talked about and very highly rated. So have I jumped on the hype train as well?
Hmm, I have to say the book is good, it discusses some very important issues that might not have been tackled before in the YA genre (This is what I think caused the hype) but this definitely not the only book that talks about such issues if you look into the adult books too.
What I liked about this book is the format. Where there is more dialogue going on between the different characters. The only person we get to know more about is the protagonist Starr as the whole story is told from her perspective so we get to know what goes on inside her head and what actions she is going to take. The book addresses several problems we have in different societies like racism, brutality by police, dealing with drugs and also gang wars. Not all of these were much elaborated though. Some dialogues I really liked too and think they were well written but I would not say all of it!
Things I did not like: I feel there were many big opportunities that were missed here and there. The book does not have much tension as I expected a serious subject like that needed. Yes, there is some tension in certain scenes but where I expected the book to shine it failed. For example, the questions and answers in the police station that ended very fast, then the TV interview was such a big disappointment it was about two pages only from the whole book. Starr being questioned in front of the Grand Jury was almost non-existent, that was just a page and half! In These three situations, the author could've made the best parts of the book but she decided to completely ignore them and give bigger scenes to situations that were not important. I feel the priorities for the author was to cater the book more to the young audiences by making the subject somehow lighter than what it is.
Another thing I did not like was certain aspects of the main character. I rolled my eyes and cringed when she kept making references to Taylor Swift or Beyonce. I also feel the main character was over critical about certain things. Although she was dealing with racism issue she has fallen into the same trap herself when she rejected to be honest with her white boyfriend and when she was asked about it she said: "because you are white, white, white"!! But is it not a racist thing to label a whole race with something just because one person did that?
As I said the book is good and tackles important issues but I don't feel it is an extraordinary one as many reviews and ratings made me feel. I don't feel this book has gone deep enough in dealing with these subjects as I expected it would. I would have to go with a good 3.5 stars out of 5 stars here.