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The Hate U Give (THUG) by Angie Thomas Review

Hey ForeverBookers, 

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and that you will have a great New Year as well! I’m writing this review at just gone 17:00 on 31st December 2018. 

NOTE: It’s come to my attention that some people might think this review of “The Hate You Give” is slightly in favour of white people. I had absolutely no idea about the torment that people of colour go through in America or indeed anywhere else in the world. Where I live it’s mainly a white population. The inner cities have some POC rep, where I’ve never been for more than a shopping trip, but apart from that it’s mainly white. Although I’m not going to edit this review now when I reread THUG, I will keep this in mind and might edit some aspects. I’m sorry if any aspect of this review caused/causes anyone to feel negative. That really wasn’t/isn’t my intention. 

I’ve just finished “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. It wasn’t what I thought it would be, unfortunately. It was far too political for me to enjoy. It’s a book with an agenda: to stab hate at white people I thought for just being white, which isn’t right (no rhyming pun intended). 

2 Stars! 

We follow a black teenage girl, Starr Carter and her family as they fight for justice against the police and the white population generally. Starr is involved in a police shooting where they shoot her friend, Khalil. Khalil is also a black teen. When Khalil gets shot Starr needs to decide whether to stand up for her friend or whether to blend into the background.

“The Hate U Give” contains swear words as well as racist comments so it shouldn’t be read until age 15/16. 

Spoilers below...

“The ironic thing is though, at Williamson I don’t have to “play it cool”—I’m cool by default because I am one of the only black kids there. I have to earn coolness in garden heights, and that’s more difficult than buying retro Jordans on release day.” 

Starr finds it easier around white people. She doesn’t have to fight for attention then. However, later in the novel she experiences some hate speech from a so called friend, Hailey.

“Doesn’t make it okay,” I say. “And you can’t even apoligize for it.” This is Starr standing up to Hailey. These were the bits that I actually enjoyed of “THUG”. The main plot point that I’ll discuss next bored me...

The main plot point of “The Hate U Give” actually happens within the first 30 pages of the book. I thought there would be far more lead up to it happening but unfortunately most of the book was about the effects after the shooting instead of the events leading to the shooting. I think it would have been a lot more interesting and compelling if the shooting happened later on in the book and we actually got to see more of Khalil, as he’s the main character, other than Starr. Khalil only gets shot because he moved trying to protect Starr from the police officer. 

“It’s not smart to make a sudden move. 
Khalil does. He opened the drivers door.”
“You okay, Starr—“

This is the moment before Khalil gets shot. This was honestly the most exciting thing in the book to me. I thought that a lot of the middle was drivel just written to extend “The Hate U Give” into a long enough novel, otherwise it really could have been 100-150 pages and no more in my opinion. 

I did enjoy reading the fights between Starr and Hailey because it seemed something that 16 year olds would do. I think if Starr had been older, say 18-21 and at college, “The Hate U Give” would have had a far bigger impact. It was just pretty unbelievable that a 16 year old girl would go through this, to me anyway. 

Starr did have family support which was nice to see, as soooo many YA books don’t have parents involved. Starr’s parents support her decisions throughout “THUG”. If they’d been a little stricter then maybe Starr wouldn’t have got caught up in so much hassle.

“Who the f*** complains about going to Harry Potter world? Or Butter Beer? Or Wands?” 

This is Starr’s reaction to her “friends” complaining about where they went on holiday. She thinks they should be grateful, which I think anyone would agree with. Her friends don’t live as Starr does, and not all of them are black. 

“Unfollowing Me is the same as saying “I don’t like you anymore.” This is what Starr thinks of what Hailey did. Starr removes Hailey’s number from her phone near the end “THUG” because she realises she doesn’t need friends like her. 

“What if somebody knows I’m the witness? What if they know it’s my fault the cop hasn’t been arrested? What if we come across some cops and they know who I am?” 

Starr is scared that other white cops will apprehend her, until she realises fear will only get her so far. She has to stand up for what she believes in to be true to herself. That’s why at the end of the “The Hate U Give” she starts a riot. That’s the overall point of this book, I believe, that just sitting down is pointless. When you’ve got something to say, say it! It just took far too long to get to that point. As I said, the book could have been only 100-200 pages and gotten that point across. 

There is more to write about but I really can’t be bothered to write it, as I didn’t enjoy the book. It was MUCH too political for me to enjoy, unfortunately. If there had been more scenes from school and less talk of the differences between white and black, then I might have enjoyed it more. I also don’t think I’m the target market for this book, as I’m white so can’t really understand the racism aspect. Add to that, that I live in a white community and always have done, so I’ve only experienced white views, so, I just don’t think this was the book for me, hence my 2 Star rating. But hopefully in 2019 I will read lots of good books! 


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