Jul 29, 2021pacl_teens rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
"Angie Thomas’s gut-wrenching novel The Hate U Give explores police brutality and the justice system in America. At first glance, the book follows a seemingly ordinary neighborhood girl on her journey through high school. However, after witnessing one of her childhood friends being shot and killed by a white police officer, Starr, the protagonist, struggles to cope with her friend’s death and balance her normal life. The novel juxtaposes Starr’s affluent, elite, and white private school with her predominantly Black and lower-income neighborhood.
As a high schooler, I appreciated Starr’s relatable interactions in and outside of school. Thomas packed the novel with dialogue, vividly illustrating Starr’s family dynamic and complex personal relationships. I especially enjoyed the heartwarming bond between Starr and her mother, who shared so much adult wisdom with her. Under her family’s influences, Starr grew from a conflicted teenager to a mature, passionate activist that I also aspire to be. Although the colloquial language was hard to read, I found Thomas’s skillful use of slang brought the characters and their voices to life which led me to ultimately care about race issues that exist in our society. Thomas effortlessly weaves together heartbreaking anecdotes with splashes of humor and abundance of hope. In the context of the recent events of police brutality and white superiorism in America, The Hate U Give is an important must-read." -Jasmine, Grade 11