Angie Thomas’ debut novel The Hate U Give showcases the heartbreaking reality of the kind of society we are living in. Where we are the ones who spread hatred and we are the ones who suffer. But let us evaluate this book as a piece of fiction.
Story [No Spoilers]
The story is about a sixteen-year-old girl Starr Carter, a black high school student whose life is shattered after she witnesses a white police officer shooting her best friend Khalil Harris, she is the only eye witness to this incident.
She lives in two completely different worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised, Garden Heights and the posh high school where she studies with her brothers. She even refers to herself as ‘Williamson Starr’ when she’s at school and feels she has to behave a certain way in order to be accepted by her white friends. But the balance of the two worlds is collapsed when she sees her friend die.
Now she must stand up and raise her voice to get justice for Khalil, but if she does so it might put her life and her home in danger. She must fight for what she believes in despite the given consequences.
Is the officer who killed Khalil indicted? What happens to Starr and her family? Are they safe of not? You get the answers of all such questions by the end of the novel.
Thomas has written The Hate U Give in first person narrative and the story is narrated by Starr. And I have to say that a lot is happening all the time, the story never relaxes, there are always moments of tension, joy, sorrow, anger and what not?
I especially like the parts when she is doubting if she should continue to date Chris, a white, because she feels the one who killed his best friend was also from his community- a white. Those sequences feel so real.
Here I’d also like to mention how much I like the Thomas’ writing style, at no point it feels as if its her debut novel which is commendable.
There are a few things that I didn’t really like about the novel and these are:
- Too many characters. Then every character has to have some backstory and in order to keep up with the story the reader has to put more focus to it, which at times doesn’t work out.
- It is too long. Some of the incidents in the novel have been extended endlessly which were not really required, so you can say the editing is not very fine.
- When I picked up this book and the the plot synopsis of it, I was expecting that it would be having a lot of twists and turns all throughout, which I never found Till the very end of the novel.
People like us in situation like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice.
Good-byes hurt the most when the other person’s already gone.
Funerals aren’t for the dead. They’re for the living.
Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.
Faith isn’t just believing but taking steps towards that belief.
What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be.
Barve doesn’t mean you’re not scared, Starr, she says. It means you go even though you’re scared.
Overall Review and Rating
It is certainly a good novel to read but there are some aspects of it that I didn’t feel were upto the mark. I won’t say it’s a must read and that you’re missing much if you don’t read it. But you certainly get a good insight about the American society.
I’m going with 3.5 out of 5 for The Hate U Give.