By Brandon Shepard
The Hate U Give is Angie Thomas' first novel about a teenage girl who grapples with racism, police brutality, and activism after witnessing her black friend being murdered by the police. The book became an immediate young adult bestseller and was adapted into a movie shortly after its release. A former teen rapper, Angie Thomas holds a BFA in creative writing from Belhaven University. Her award-winning, acclaimed debut novel The Hate U Give is a number one New York Times bestseller and a major motion picture from Fox 2000. Her second novel, On the Come Up, is also a number one New York Times bestseller as well, and a film is in development with Paramount Pictures with Angie acting as a producer. Thomas wrote the book after seeing the reactions that came from the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant, back in 2009. In 2021, Angie will return to the world of Garden Heights with Concrete Rose, a prequel to The Hate U Give that focuses on 17-year-old Maverick Carter.
The book is really an eye-opener, It helps students and other readers to grasp and look at events and challenges going on in the community. It also helps the reader understand how big of a deal racism and police brutality are in everyday life. The book can help people be more aware and knowledgeable of the inequality and injustice of life. What is most liked about the book is how it is inspired from the Black Lives Matter movement. It involves the shooting of an unarmed black teen and covers topics of race, interracial dating, political activism, grief, friendship, wealth disparity, police brutality, addiction, and the media’s depiction of African Americans. What is liked least is the swearing and sexual situations read in the book, but it is nothing gratuitous. In Chapter Nine, Lisa uses a very inspirational quote to boost the morale of Starr Carter. “Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.” Lisa comforts Starr by sharing the story of Starr's birth and how despite Lisa taking such care during pregnancy, Starr couldn't breathe when she was first born. Here, Lisa offers a model for how to cope despite an unjust system. Just as Lisa can only control certain factors in her pregnancy, Starr has limited control over whether the legal system pursues justice for Khalil. The police’s initial decision not to press charges against One-Fifteen is an early example of the many failures of justice throughout The Hate U Give, and Starr cannot take personal responsibility for all of them.
Angie Thomas has outdone herself by writing The Hate U Give. The book greatly depicts how society is today and the manner in how African Americans and other races are treated. It increases the knowledge of today’s society and the issues in the police force and other problem areas. The Hate U Give is highly recommended to anyone over the age of 14 to comprehend what the book is explaining as they will grow up into the society that is acknowledged in The Hate U Give.