Book review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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The Hate U Give shows the world most of us will never get into.  It’s not about racism or cultural differences, but about prejudice and imposed attitude. We prefer someone make decisions instead of us and tell us how to react and what opinion to have. We never try to figure out some bullshit things by yourself, and we are happy to be lead by an unfamiliar opinion. We judge people and give the hate. We are those people after all. I’m speaking not only about government, political leaders, religion or social media influence. What about your idols, friends, family or co-workers? That’s our nature – to listen to others. But only we decide if unfamiliar opinion becomes ours.

The Hate U Give is also an opinion. Be aware of it.

“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having the voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

I want to warn there will be a lot of spoilers starting from this paragraph. I have a lot of words to say and many thoughts to crash down this topic. Read at own risk.

“Listen! The Hate U – the letter U – Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. T-H-U-G L-I-F-E. Meaning what society give us as youth, it bites them in the ass, when we wild out. Get it?”

“Damn. Yeah.”

This is how it starts.

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was smart and kind. The place she lived was not good for such kind of girls, but it was her home. She didn’t have an excellent life. Does anybody have? But she had the best family. Her name is Starr, and she’s Afroamerican girl. She went to a party in her ‘hood’ and became the only witness to the murder, her best friend’s murder.

Despite the fact that I’ve started with ‘once upon a time,’ this story is not a fairytale. It’s life. Most of us just don’t know about such kind of life stories, that’s why I said most of us never get into this world. But we can try to understand it. 

Since Starr has become a cop-kills-Afroamerican witness, her life turns messy as hell. But in this mess, after all, she’ll find the truth about her friends, her family and people she disliked. Within this tragic circumstances, she’ll figure out how the system works. Starr is a great character. She is bright, brave and kind. She is a fighter. Despite the fact she couldn’t break the system, she did all the things right. 

Less possible to break through bad times without folks. WE ARE the people surrounding us. With the support of family, friends and beloved we can break through bad times. Starr has the best of it.

MOMMA. She is the heart of the story. Momma knows proper words to calm Starr down and forward her emotions in the right direction. Her character speaks from within the soul and motivates Starr to find her way through bad times. 

“Sometimes you can do everything right, and things will still go wrong. The key is never to stop doing right.”

“Brave doesn’t mean you are not scared, Starr. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”

DADDIES. Why Daddies, not Daddy? Because Starr has two of them! And their support and love are invaluable. Daddy-Maverick knows how to sort through messy thoughts, and he gives Starr another understanding of THUG LIFE. He explains the meaning not with the racism point of view but with ‘tactic of empowering the oppressed.’

“The hate they’re giving us a system designed against us.”

Daddy-Uncle Carlos is always ready to cover Starr’s back. And he’s more into the talks-about-white-boyfriends than Daddy-Maverick. It’s kinda convenient to have two Dads in this case. Haha.

SIBLINGS. Siblings are somewhere in the middle of the bridge between Friends and Mommy-Daddies. I liked that despite the fact Seven and Kenya were King Lord’s kids, they never betrayed Starr. They’ve managed to keep their relationships and Starr could rely on them. Seven was a proper older brother to protect. Kenya was the first who motivated Starr and gave her a verbal slap to speak about what happened. Though she wasn’t Starr’s sister, they’ve shared one brother and were closer than friends.

BOYFRIEND. Chris is Starr’s kind of normal. This is her way to run away from everyone and everything. He’s her another point of view and her dilemma if she intends to date a white guy. With this relationships, Starr has to understand if such differences matter between the two of them. Chris is a solid earth and never failed her. Nice work, Chris! What a guy!

FRIENDS. Along the story, Starr loses some old friends and finds new. Friendship is where we can trace the changes in Starr, the decisions she makes and aftermaths. Her friends are young and reckless. They are ‘little infants’ and, as a result of wrong and unfair decisions the system makes, they finally turn to be pissed.

One more thing to say. I want to thank Angie Thomas for the door she left wide opened into this world, for the language the characters speak, for all the hate and love, and for such THE END. I assume this kind of stories usually doesn’t have a happy ending, but I wish they (happy ends) happen more often. And I hope people build their opinions wiser and on their own.

 That’s it. Let’s discuss!


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