Book: The Hate U Give (THUG)
Author: Angie Thomas
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
This book is everything.
I feel somehow everyone should be made to read this book; it’s relevant, timely and everything we need in the age of social media and political madness. It slaps you in the face, opening your eyes to every aspect of ‘white privilege’, even those I hadn’t thought of before.
The Hate U Give follows the story of Starr, a young, bubbly black girl who lives in Garden Heights. When she was young, her parents gave her two talks: one about the birds and the bees, the other about what to do if you ever come across a police officer. When I was young, I was taught that police offers were on the same team as you. If I got lost or needed help, they were the people I should seek to find – they would protect me and keep me safe. Sadly, for Starr, she is taught the opposite: no sudden movements, keep your hands where they can be seen.
So she doesn’t get shot.
Khalil is her best friend/
He didn’t get the talk from his parents.
He got shot.
By a police officer.
He was unarmed.
And Starr was the witness.
The only witness.
“I learned that sometimes people make mistakes, and sometimes you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”
The rest of the story follows the aftermath of the murder – her journey of a being a witness and trying to do what is right for her best friend. But, in a world where “snitches get stitches” is real than ever and where the system is set up to fight against her, getting justice for Khalil isn’t plain sailing. We see first hand the bias that comes from the police and how ‘innocent until proven guilty’ isn’t always the way – especially when you’re young, black and from the rough end of town.
“What’s the point in having a voice if you’re going to be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
I adored everything about this book.
It seems wrong to have such a warm, fuzzy feelings towards this book, given it’s serious subject matter. But, honestly? All I could think all the way through was: this.is.cute. I ADORE everything about the Carter family (I kinda wish they would adopt me) and I think they might possibly be my all time favourite characters I’ve ever read about. The way they always stood together, loyal through and through, no matter what; I kinda need them in my life.
I try not to compare books but I couldn’t help think of Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman – another bloody amazing book about race. Although it hasn’t knocked Noughts and Crosses off the top shelf for a book of this subject matter, it comes a very close second.
Obviously, I gave this book 5 stars, though it makes me re-evaluate every book I’ve ever given 5 stars to in the past. It deserves a billion stars and is now taken place of my favourite read of 2017 – something I thought was going to be quite tricky to beat!
“It seems like they always talk about what he may have said, what he may have done, what he may not have done. I didn’t know a dead person could be in charge of his own murder, you know?”