the hate u give – angie thomas | review

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Published February 28th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Rep: Black MC, Black SCs, Asian SC


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.


trigger and content warnings:
  • blood, cancer (referenced), child abuse/neglect (physical, detailed references), cheating (mentioned), domestic abuse (physical), death (graphic), drug use (implied), gun violence (graphic), institutional racism, murder, police brutality, racism
  • taken from book trigger warnings

the hate u give is a hard-hitting depiction of the systematic racism, police brutality and blatant injustice faced by the Black community. at the same time, it’s about family, hope, voicing out, and oneself. this book was published in 2017 yet i still see reflection of the current situation years later. angie thomas stunningly written conversations challenging preconceived notions and discussions about using one’s voice to create change.

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

after witnessing her childhood best friend’s brutal murder under the hands of a police, starr didn’t know what to do. knowing the consequences all too well, keeping silent is one way she could to cope with the loss, trauma and unknown. however, her quietness sends another message. if starr doesn’t speak up, the truth behind khalil’s murder wouldn’t be heard. standing her ground becomes tough at times, especially when the fear creeps in. watching her grow from being afraid to using her voice to speak up about what had happened showed her progress of coming to terms with everything.

“That’s why people are speaking out, huh? Because it won’t change if we don’t say something.”
“Exactly. We can’t be silent.”
“So I can’t be silent.”

starr struggles between two versions of herself. first, there’s the one who lives in garden heights where hearing gunshots are normal occurrence and the other who studies in a rich, white school. both sides of her life never intertwined. it was heartbreaking to see her grapple with who she wants to be and how she wants to live her life.

what i got from THUG is honesty to oneself. who you want to be with, what you want to say, which friends you want to hang out with and how you want to live your life. starr gradually comes to realisation as the story unfolds. she recognises those true to her when things went downhill and who were the ones who left because they couldn’t handle tough conversations.

“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared, Starr,” she says. “It means you go on even though you’re scared. And you’re doing that.”

starr’s family have a special place in my heart. they are so supportive, protective and loyal to one another. they compromise whenever they have to. starr’s parents, despite the past and their difference in opinions, work together for the betterment of their kids. their love is adorable and sweet too. seven, though young, has a matured mindset is a protector.

read the hate u give.

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4 thoughts on “the hate u give – angie thomas | review”

  1. belle!! i love this book SO much, and i’m very glad that you enjoyed it as much as i did!! on the come up, also by angie thomas was also so moving, and if you enjoyed this you should def check that out too!! the prequel, concrete rose came out in january, and though i haven’t read it yet, i’ve heard some great things about it!! lovely review, belle 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i know!! the hate u give was on my tbr for years, i couldn’t believe it. wished i read it earlier. yes, on the come up and concrete rose are on my radar now. i’m planning to read the latter in march! thank you, ahaana!!

      Liked by 1 person

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