The Hate U Give

Thoughts  by Angie Thomas, Balzer + Bray 2017,  464 pages + 11 hours 40 minutes

Narrated by Bahni Turpin – excellent.

Genre: YA
Type/Source: eBook and Audio / Amazon
 Why I read this now: It’s a hot book right now!

MOTIVATION for READING:  This story is getting lots of praise and I wanted to get in on that.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Starr is a sixteen year old black girl who lives in a depressed area of a big city and attends a prep school in a predominantly white area. One night after a party, Starr is given a ride home by young black male friend and he is pulled over by the cops. He is shot and killed; Starr has to navigate this event up close and personal. Her cultures clash, her identity is fractured; she is scared and angry.

WHAT’s GOOD:  Thomas decided to give the world this gift of fiction, a story, in response to and an exploration of the Black Lives Matter movement. It isn’t a story specifically addressing the movement, rather a situation that stresses the realities and the complications that many blacks face in our country. Where to live, where to go to school, how to navigate threats to body and soul?

“We have a sustained problem in America,” Thomas said. “When officers take off that uniform they’re no longer a ‘blue life’ – I can’t take my black skin off. I wanted this book to explain why we say those three words.”

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I thought it extremely well done on so many levels – a gripping read, a sympathetic character, believable and complicated supporting cast members, a forceful not-unreasonable emotional tone, great pacing. It offers humor, some punches to the gut, a candid look at humanity.

“Pac said Thug Life stood for “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. T-H-U-G-L-I-F-E. Meaning what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out. Get it?” – Angie Thomas

– Link to article explaining the Tupac quote that gives this book its title.

RATING:  Four slices of pizza pie with lots of extra crushed red pepper and parmesan cheese.




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19 thoughts on “The Hate U Give

  1. Wow. This post dovetails so well with my ongoing ruminations on how much it matters if a person tells her story (I’m working on a post of my own about this). Guess I’ll have to read this book.

    1. The audio is well done. Let me know if you need anything spelled or shared how something looks in print since I also have the ebook.

      1. But when anyone mentions gooey, cheesy pizza, that’s where my mind wanders. As I always say, you can take the girl out of Chicago…

  2. Everyone seems to be talking about this one. I felt into a reading funk last week. Weird stuff going on so I am behind with my reading but this one is on the list somewhere.

  3. I’ve been seeing this around, but didn’t know what it was about until now. Sounds good! I might get it to share with my daughter.

  4. I do want to read this one and think it would actually be a good one for a book group discussion. Glad to hear it got lots of slices of pie! 🙂

  5. This book broke my heart into many pieces — I read it right before the Jordan Edwards thing broke, and it was a really tough read in retrospect. I think Angie Thomas did such a great job with this book, in pretty much every respect.

  6. I have heard so many good things about this book, but it sounds so hard to read. I don’t know why that is turning me off, really – NONE of the books I read these days are exactly light and fun. So I’ll definitely look for this one!

    1. It’s really not as intense as you might think. She’s a teen and she deals with all the teen stuff and that includes, silly and fresh, loving and angry, and the serious stuff. And love. I recommend it.

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