Tuesday, 16 May 2017

THE HATE U GIVE - by Angie Thomas

THE HATE U GIVE - Angie Thomas
Published: 2017 - by Walker Books.  
Pages: 438.
Genres: Young adult / contemporary / realistic fiction
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!

"What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?" Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Oh the pressure of reading and reviewing a hyped book! THUG has got to be one of the most talked about, blogged about, tweeted about books of 2017. So yes, I was obviously ECSTATIC to read it, but also VERY nervous as well.
But wow. I loved it.

THUG reminds me so much of The Help, and I believe its messages are just as flawlessly conveyed and the writing just as superb. This is an incredibly important book, and I think we should all read it.

The writing is magnificent. It's so tight, so perfect, so brilliantly paced and just...wow. The prose is electrifying, and Thomas's skill is insane.
It's not for one second boring. It's a gripping story, constantly entertaining, and as beautiful as it is gut-wrenching.
The dialogue is genius. It's so witty, realistic, and just so skillfully written. There are so many profound sentences, quotes seem inadequate when I just want to scream at you to read the whole book. (Screaming nicely, of course).
And the humour! Oh my gosh some parts are just hilarious. I loved the wit and the laugh-out-loud moments.

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

The racism and prejudice in this book is raw, real, and expertly tackled. Thomas never once shies away from the core of Starr's struggles, and her hurt, dilemma, and the injustices she and her family and friends face are blunt and realistic. It's one thing for Thomas to write about the abominable cruelty and injustices faced by the blacks, but it's another for her to write it well. And she does.
But it's not black and white (pun unintended). It's a story about the marginalised everywhere, the people who are discriminated against, abused, and put down because of their colour, race or gender. And it's not a "black versus white" story; there are good and bad people on both sides, and I loved how Thomas made that clear. That's the way it should be. That's the way life is.
While THUG reminded me a lot of my own country's shameful history regarding colour discrimination, it was also an eye-opener for what is happening in the rest of the world. I learnt a lot about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, police brutality, and saw vividly the way people are denied human rights and justice because of the colour they are. Thomas doesn't pretty anything up: it's real and it's here, and she tells it like it is.
My words cannot do justice to how important this book's message is. So, in Thomas's words from the Acknowledgements: "And to every kid in Georgetown and in all " the Gardens" of the world: your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be roses that grow in concrete."

“What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?”
“Brave doesn't mean you're not scared. It means you go on even though you're scared.”

The characters are awesome. Every person leaps off the page multidimensional and bursting with personality and individuality. Starr is an amazing heroine with all the best qualities and yet not without flaws. She's an average teenager who's realistic and relatable, and her voice shines through in first person. I loved the strong emphasis on family, and I loved Starr's relationships with her brothers and parents. I loved Seven, Momma, Daddy, Sekani,  Maya, Uncle Carlos, and all the strong relationships between Starr and these incredible people. They're all so dynamic and real.
I especially loved the relationship between Starr and her parents. It's so healthy, realistic, loving, and respectful. I miss good parent-child relationships in books, and this one is awesome. I just adored it. Not to mention Starr's frequently adorable comments about her parents: like "He grins and feeds her a grape, and I just can't. The cuteness is too much. Yeah, they're my parents, but they're my OTP. Seriously."
*squeals in puddle of giddy adorable overload* HOW SWEET IS THAT?

“I can't change where I come from or what I've been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me?”

I wasn't a big fan of the romance. As much as I loved how - through Chris and Starr - Thomas tackled the interracial relationship "issue" and how it's perceived on both sides, etc, I personally wasn't mad about Chris and Starr. I don't think they have much chemistry, and their relationship - although frequently adorable and cute - wasn't my favourite thing about the book. I much preferred Starr's interactions with her family, for example.

There's another thing that left me a bit unsatisfied: the ending. I thought it was rushed, and I wasn't completely satisfied with how things turned out. Don't get me wrong, I didn't not like the ending; I just wasn't totally satisfied with it.

The Hate U Give is a masterpiece of strong characters, superb writing, and issues that are tackled head-on. Light and dark are perfectly balanced, and I loved the emphasis on family. 
It's not just an important book, it's a beautiful and gripping one.  


  1. I'm excited for this book! Love the review :)

    1. Hope you get to read it soon! Thank you :)

  2. I still need to read this book! I will get to it eventually! Everyone I've seen read it has loved it, and honestly I totally get why it has been an NYT Bestseller for weeks. It's too bad you didn't enjoy the romance, but I'm the book worked for you overall! Great review, Amy!

    Have a fantastic week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I hope you get to it soon!! So true :) And yes, it definitely is worth the hype.
      Thank you, Alyssa!

  3. This book has been on my to be purchased for so long. It's got awesome reviews so far. I can't wait to read it. Anyway, awesome review, Amy. Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. Hope you read it soon and love it, Geybie!
      Thank you :)

  4. Because of all the hype I'm so scared to pick this up - however I haven't seen a single negative review for this book and it seems like a really emotional, and important read. Yours was another fantastic review!

    1. I know the feeling!
      It definitely is :)
      Thank you!

  5. I'm so excited to read this! I haven't heard a single bad word and I've been really looking forward to it. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Hope you get to it soon!
      Thanks, me too!

  6. I'm so glad you loved this one! This book is an important one in the current world scenario! I'm still waiting for my copy from Amazon :( Great review Amy!

    1. Me too, Uma!! I was so nervous, lol ;)
      Hope it arrives soon! I know you'll love it!
      Thank you :) <3

  7. I loved your choice of quotes :) I am also very excited to read this book, although I don't have it yet. Have not seen a single bad or even lukewarm review yet.

    1. Thanks :)
      Yeah, so true. Hope you get to read it soon!

  8. I think that - now more than ever - stories like these are essential. I've heard nothing but great things about it and how wonderful and powerful it is, so I am so glad to see you enjoyed it so much too! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

  9. Okay... It has to be on my TBR. This review is excellent and I really need to try it.

    I'm sorry there were a couple of issues with it but overall it sounds amazing.


    1. Thank you Di <3 And yes, you HAVE TO!
      It was :)



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