The Hate U Give (book review)

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The Hate U Give (book review)

by Ariana Shindell, Contributor

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Author Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give, a novel written by Angie Thomas, brings attention to the racism and discrimination that African Americans faced through time, mainly from cops.

The story is based on a teenage African American girl named Starr, she was raised by her mother Lisa and father ¨Big Mav¨. When Starr was young her father was sent to jail for participating in a gang that sold drugs.

Starr´s life completely changed when she got in the car one night with her childhood friend, Khalil. As they were driving home Khalil was pulled over by a white cop and when Khalil preceded to ask why he was being pulled over the cop told him to step out of the car and put his hands on the roof of the car. The cop had suspected that Khalil was dangerous from the beginning so when Khalil leaned in to ask Starr if she was alright the cop shot Khalil multiple times.

Starr attended an all white private school because her mom felt it was safer than the highschool in the neighborhood. When starr would go to school she felt like she had to act like a totally different person or people would assume that she was ¨hood¨ or a ¨thug. After the shooting she began to see how racist people were towards her and other people of her ethnicity.  

Soon after the shooting people began to riot because they believed that the cop was in the wrong to shot khalil without seeing a weapon and that Khalil´s death was unjustified. When reading these parts of the story it was difficult and painful because the story may not be based off of a certain event, but events like this have happened before. For example as Starr mentions a lot throughout the story, Emmett Till who was a young black boy who was brutally killed for allegedly flirting with a white woman. While that story may be different then Khalils, you could still compare the brutality and discrimination that black people face.

The meaning behind the title ¨The Hate U Give” was based off of rapper Tupac Shakur’s famous tattoo that said ¨T.H.U.G L.I.F.E¨ but it has more meaning to it. Thug life means ¨the hate you give little infants F´s everybody¨ meaning what society shows young kids could come back and get us as we are older. This quote really inspired me, to me it meant that if we show young people the wrong things to do we could start an unfortunate cycle in the future.  

Author Angie Thomas stated in an interview that she based a few of the moments in the story on things that happened to her when she was younger like the fact that Starr felt she had to hide who she truly was when she was at school. I believe that no child should ever have to hide who they truly are out of the fear of being discriminated. While i may not see a lot of this at the school i attended it is still relevant and i believe that if every student in high school was to be assigned this book it would open their eyes because it is based on teenage life.

Over all i would definitely recommend this book, while it may have some adult language and content, it is still a very educational and inspiring book and i am not much of a reader so that is saying a lot.

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