Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas



Angie Thomas



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.


THUG was one of the most hyped ya books I’ve seen this year. Before it was published there were different publishing houses vying for the rights to publish it. Along with a movie deal in the works right now. I can only imagine how amazing that must have felt for the debut author, Angie Thomas, to have so much acclaim around her first novel. Knowing all that about the book I wanted to read it to see if it was as incredible as the ya community was claiming. After many months of being on hold for it from the library, I finally received the audio. It was well worth the wait. The story was one that brought tears to my eyes, made me laugh, and most of all made me reevaluate my words and actions towards others.

The Hate U Give is an interesting title and once you know where it comes from it makes more sense. It’s part of a longer title based off of Tupac’s tattoo: THUG LIFE. THUG LIFE is an acronym for The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. “Meaning what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out.”

The story was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and Tupac’s THUG LIFE tattoo. The story explores what happens when an unarmed black male teenager is killed by a police officer when pulled over. Starr, our heroine, is the only witness and this is her journey to rise above her situation and be a voice for her friend who was murder.

I really loved Starr’s family and her interactions with them felt authentic. Each character was flawed and how they handled the cards they were dealt was inspiring. No one had it easy but in each situation, they strived to be better and do better.

Bravo to Angie Thomas on her debut novel and I can’t wait to see what she creates next.


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