One night while Starr and a friend were driving home from a party they were pulled over by a police officer and her friend was shot dead. This incident sets up a chain reaction of violence, hate and mistrust between law enforcement and the black community in Starr’s neighborhood and around the country. Through Starr’s eyes we see her struggle with the shooting and prejudice, but also see her struggle to find an identity between the two worlds she lives in. Private school during the day where she is one of two black people in her class and in the ghetto at night where she lives. The Hate U Give while fictional is a voyeuristic view through Starr’s eyes of how African American and other ethnic communities struggle to rise above their circumstances, and how a young girl finds her place between two worlds.
The dichotomy of Starr’s school and home life was the perfect counter balance to the escalating violence between the police and the community of Garden Heights. As she navigated her feelings about what happened to her friend Khalil and whether she is the girl who fits in with the white kids at school or the slang talking teenager from Garden Heights her emotions escalate, just as the emotions escalate between her community and those who are trying to contain them. The two stories running parallel to each other amp up the tension. Even though I am not ethnic and did not grow up in those same kind of circumstances I was emotional, feeling everything that these people I had come to love through this story were going through. It felt very real. It felt very wrong.
I had obviously heard a LOT about this book before I finally made myself pick it up and read it. I knew it would be difficult to read. It was. As a middle aged, middle class white woman who has never been judged for the color of my skin, I was afraid of how I would feel when I read it. What would this book MAKE me feel? Well, I felt horrified. Ashamed. Sad. Sickened. Hopeful. Energized. and Ambitious. It made me want a change. This is why it is good to read and learn things outside of your comfort zone. Thank you, Angie Thomas for writing a book that was difficult to read. That made me think. That made me wake up. That made me hopeful for change. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Click this link to purchase! The Hate U Give Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved