The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give


Starr walks a fine line between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she grew up and the expensive school her parents have sent her to. In each world she is a different person. Then after a party she is the sole witness to the shooting of one of her oldest friends by a police officer. If Starr decides to speak up her voice could help make a difference to the lives of those she loves but it could also put her own life in danger.

Our Review

It is easy to see why The Hate U Give has been chosen to be made into a film. It Is one of those stories that you just don’t want to put down.

Starr walks a fine line between two worlds. In the poor neighbourhood of garden heights where she grew up she is mostly known as Big Mav’s daughter, the one who helps in his shop. She is not well known, and she definitely isn’t seen as cool. If anything, she is seen as someone who thinks she is above everyone else in the neighbourhood.  

Her second world is the expensive, predominantly white school her parents have sent her to. At this school she is cool simply by virtue of being black, but she is also carefully censored. She doesn’t lose her temper or do anything that will make her a stereotype.

In each world she is a different person and has different friends. She is careful to never let those friendships mingle.

One night after attending a party she is the sole witness to the shooting of one of her oldest friends. He was unjustly shot by a police officer who made an assumption about him because of his race.

In the aftermath Starr must decide whether to speak up. Her voice could help make a difference to the lives of those she loves but it could also put her own life in danger.

From the outset Angie Thomas lets the reader in on Starr’s inner identity conflict.

“I shouldn’t have come to this party.

I’m not even sure I belong at this party. That’s not on some bougie shit either. There are just some places where it’s not enough to be me. Either version of me. Big D’s spring break party is one of those places.”

Starr is at the party with her friend Kenya. She and Kenya share an older brother named Seven. Seven shares a dad with Starr and a mother with Kenya. He is a source of conflict in Starr’s relationship with Kenya because Kenya is always calling him my brother rather than our and Starr continuously lets it slide.

“Kenya is about the only person I hang out with in Garden Heights – it’s hard to make friends when you go to a school that’s forty-five minutes away and you’re a latchkey kid who’s only seen at her family store.”

She feels left out because she can’t talk to them Kenya and her friends about teachers and classmates they have in common.

“I’m invisible.

I feel like that a lot around here.”

After a while she Kenya leaves her behind and she bumps into her old friend Kamil.

“He wipes his nose like he always does before a lie. ‘I’ve been busy.’

Obviously. The brand-new Jordans, the crisp white tee, the diamonds in his ears. When you grow up in Garden Heights, you know what ‘busy’ really means.”

At this point I definitely judged Khalil as a character because of the implication that he was a drug dealer. I made all the assumptions many people probably made and which I was forced to think about later in the book.

Khalil and Starr flee the party after someone is shot and whilst they are driving away Khalil is pulled over by the police and Starr thinks back to a talk her parents had with her when she was twelve: one about the birds and the bees and one about what to do if you are stopped by the police. This was the first majorly shocking thing for me in this book and which made me think about what it would be like to live in a place where that was necessary because of the colour of your skin.

“My parents haven’t raised me to fear the police, just to be smart around them. They told me it’s not smart to move while a cop has his back to you.

Khalil does. He comes to his door.

It’s not smart to make a sudden move.

Khalil does. He opens the driver’s door.

‘You okay Star?’


One. Khalil’s body jerks. Blood splatter from his back. He holds onto the door to keep himself upright.


Two. Khalil gasps.


Three. Khalil looks at me, stunned.

He falls to the ground.”

I thought the above passage was powerful and emotive, but it was doubly so when the reader discovers that this is not the first time she has seen a friend shot and even more so when you think that this is a reality for many real people.

In the aftermath of Khalil’s shooting Starr returns to her school and to the world where she and Khalil hadn’t spoken in a long time.

“I just have to be normal Starr at normal Williamson and have a normal day…Williamson Starr doesn’t use slang – if a rapper would say it, she wouldn’t say it, even if her white friends do. Slang makes them cool. Slang makes her ‘hood.’ Williamson Starr holds her tongue when people piss her off, so nobody will think she’s the ‘angry black girl.’ Starr is approachable. No stank-eyes, side-eyes, none of that…Basically Williamson Starr doesn’t give anyone a reason to call her ‘ghetto.’

I can’t stand myself for doing it, but I do it anyway.”

Before reading this book I heard a lot of negative comments about the subject matter and various other things but The Hate U Give is about a topical issue and one which effects many people so why shouldn’t someone write about it?

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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