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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

January 29, 2018

I blink through my tears as Officer 115 points the same gun he killed my friend with, at me.

Starr is a teenage girl who witnesses someone that she cares about die in front of her eyes: her best friend, Khalil, is killed by a white cop, even though he doesn’t do anything wrong. The police officer pulls both of them over and asks Khalil for proof of insurance, licence, and registration. Khalil questions, “Why did you pull me over?”  Then the cop tells him to get out of the car and to lie against it, so he does. When Khalil looks into the car to ask if Starr is okay, the cop assumes that he is looking for the gun, which  he  thinks is the black hairbrush in the side pocket of the car door. The officer’s instinct is to shoot because he thinks Khalil was grabbing the “gun” in the car door.

From there, everything gets worse. For instance, the police officer begs that Starr  be interogated. She finally goes just to find out that the only questions they are asking are about Khalil’s life and what he might have done wrong: not about that night or about what Starr saw, heard, or felt.

Thomas crafts this book well: I love how she used the perspective of a girl who lives in a neighborhood where there are gangs, turf wars, and drug dealers. Starr also has to deal with the problem of going to a completely white school where no one really understands what it’s like where she lives. I also like how Thomas didn’t just focus on racism toward Starr and Khalil. She also included the racism expierienced by Starr’s friend, Maya, who is Chinese American.

Thomas included an effective secondary character, Devante. He echances the story and makes it stand out more. Devante gets treated like Starr’s family because one of the leaders in a gang is hunting him because he stole 5,000 dollars to protect his family. Starr and her family shelter Devante and keep him safe.

If I were to rate this book on a scale of one to ten I would definitely choose ten because I like how Thomas focused on Starr’s life throughout  the whole book and didn’t switch perspectives. I thought that made the book intriguing to read. Starr’s point of view made a strong impression on me. I like how Thomas structured this novel in present tense because it makes readers feel as if they are with Starr, rather than writing in past tense, as though this already happened.

Another feature I like about The Hate U Give is that it’s  a book where readers can’t predict what happens next, therefore it makes it a real page-turner that also raises important issues about society.

Jack

Balzer & Bray, 444 pages

 

 


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