Book: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Date Read: February 8 to 14, 2021
Rating: 5 (of 5) stars
I read this book back in February to fill the prompt of a book that was recommended to me. Of course, this is one that I had heard about from multiple sources—and I suspect one I would have ended up reading without a specific friend recommendation.
I schedule my blog posts in advance, putting each book I read on the calendar shortly after I finish reading. Originally, I had scheduled this post for the third week in April, which happened to be the week when jury deliberations began in Derek Chauvin’s trial. Although the content was certainly relevant to the time, I did not think it was appropriate to put this particular review out in to the world then.
This is a book that I am not sure I can do justice to with my own words—I will give some, but keep it brief. At its heart, this is a coming of age story, although perhaps in a slightly different than what is traditionally put in that category. Starr’s voice is one that we all need to hear. She offers a perspective on life that is both outside the mainstream and familiar. On the one hand, she is just an ordinary teenage girl, dealing with typical teenage dramas: friends, school, family. At the same time, she is faced with issues of finding her own identity while juggling the complexities of race, violence, and societal expectations. I believe I have said this here before, but will reiterate again: having diverse voices in literature is important for everyone. The sole purpose of diversity is not that minorities can see themselves represented—we all need to hear these perspectives too.
Aside from the important themes and perspective provided here, this story in itself is pretty spectacular. The writing is engrossing, the characters feel so real, and the story is poignant and authentic. Taken as a whole, this is a huge triumph of a story, and absolutely deserving of every bit of hype that it has received.
Minka’s Thoughts: “I agree that it is weird when people treat dogs like kids. Everyone knows that’s only cats. 4 paws!”