Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: Feb. 28, 2017
Genre: Young Adult

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.




I am going to be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. It seems that when it comes to books that everyone raves about, I always find myself on the other side of the fence. However, this story immediately gripped me. Maybe it was the fact that you see this sort of thing pop up in the news a lot. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a not so great neighborhood (not quite as bad as Starr’s) and could see my old neighborhood in Garden Heights. But honesty, I think what made me fall in love with this story was the author’s writing. She knows how to tell a tale that will have you completely enveloped in the characters lives.

“I’d ask him if he wished he shot me too.”

I really liked that the author wrote Starr the way she did. She’s spent just about half her life in some private school surrounded by rich white kids. Then at the end of the day she goes back home to Garden Heights. The way she was able to balance the two worlds was insane. She’d go from talking all prim and proper to her friends at school, to going home and letting her hair down. She never seemed to let those two worlds mesh until at least halfway through the story. Her own boyfriend of over a year had never been to her house. So, I really liked getting to see Starr blend her two worlds together. Heck, the two lives she was living was starting to feel suffocating.

“A couple of gang members who were up to no good made trouble in my neighborhood and killed Natasha. My parents got scared, and although they didn’t send me to my aunt and uncle in a rich neighborhood, they sent me to a bougie private school.
I just with I could be myself at Williamson like Will was himself in Bel-Air.”

My favorite character in the whole story though was Starr’s dad. I know I should be saying Starr, but I just loved her dad. He’s an ex-con who was able to get out of the local gang and make a name for himself. He runs the local store and a lot of people look up to him. He was also an absolute riot . He would be super serious one minute, giving people the stare down, and then the next he’d be cracking jokes and/or congratulating one of the kids on doing something their mom didn’t approve of. I always found myself laughing out loud any time he appeared in the story.

Now, that’s not saying that the other characters weren’t amazing. This was seriously a book with a full cast of amazing characters. Everyone from Mr. Reuben who would give kids a free meal for bringing in their report cards, to Mr. Lewis who you thought was just a cranky old man, but was there when stuff hit the fan, Uncle Carlos who ends up in a tough situation when his niece is the witness in the car that his colleague pulled over, even Fo’ty Ounce with his shopping cart full of belongings made an impression on me. All the characters in the story stood out and had a voice of their own. What I liked most about them was their sense of community though. They may all bicker and grumble about the other being nosy, they all seemed to pool together when it mattered most.

I really applaud the author for writing this story. In a time where it seems like there’s this great divide, I think it’s wonderful that she wrote a story about something so monumental. I won’t begin to try to understand what Starr and her family go through on a day-to-day basis. However, I can honestly say that seeing all these police brutalities happening lately is extremely upsetting. While I can’t claim to know what it’s like to be Starr, the author was able to shed some light on the matter for me. I couldn’t imagine being scared of someone who’s sworn to serve and protect me. The fear of always thinking that they will shoot you if you accidentally sneeze or twitch. I just can’t grasp what that is like. Sad thing is, this isn’t even a fictitious story about unicorns and rainbows, this happens every day in the real world. So, the fact that the author was able to give me the same emotions that Starr had throughout the novel speaks volumes. It’s so hard to wrap my head around this story and be able to write a coherent review. All I have to say is READ THIS BOOK NOW!


Favorite quote…

“Okay, so it is a good theory. Daddy claims the Hogwarts houses are really gangs. They have their own colors, their own hideouts, and they are always riding for each other, like gangs. Harry, Ron, and Hermione never snitch on one another, just like gangbangers. Death Eaters even have matching tattoos. And look at Voldemort. They’re scared to say his name. Really, that “He Who Must Not Be Named” stuff is like giving him a street name. That’s some gangbanging shit right there.”




30 Thoughts on “Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  1. Wonderful review! This book is one that definitely lives up to all of the hype surrounding it. I also can’t wait to see the movie that is being made.

  2. oh yes that’s one I really want to try as well!

  3. I LOVE when the author’s writing make you fall in love with the story <3 It honestly sounds like a very interesting read and, even if sad, I think the fact that this happens every day in the real world is what makes you feel so much. I'm glad you gave this one a go and that it worked so great for you!

  4. Reading the sypnosis, I’m not sure if it’s a book for me. But my! You get me with your review Kristin. Got to check out this book!

  5. OMG that quote lol

    I still need to read this one.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  6. Great review. I`ve been putting off this book because I was scared of the hype, but I`m definitely picking it up next month. Starr`s dad sounds wonderful, I`m sure I`ll love him as much as you do.

    Carmen`s Reading Corner

    • I was, too. Plus is didn’t sound like something I would normally enjoy. However, it’s extremely well written and doesn’t follow your typical YA cookie cutter mold. It was very real and honest and I could not speak more highly about it. I hope you give this novel a chance.

  7. StackingMy BookShelves on 12 March, 2018 at 4:27 pm said:

    AWESOME, I have sooo being looking for some reviews on this one. I am very interested in this book but was unsure if it was any good. I love your review. I am glad you read this and I like that the author got you enveloped into this story. I do have to read this. I grew up very poor and I can relate to Starr. Thanks for posting this. =)


    • It was really well written. I loved that it didn’t fit the typical cookie cutter mold. It was unique, real, and honest and I had a hard time putting it down. I hope you get your hands on a copy. It is definitely worth the read. 😉

  8. Lauren Becker on 12 March, 2018 at 4:40 pm said:

    I have this book but I STILL need to read it. I’m always so behind on books that I purchase myself, as opposed to review copies. I’m glad to hear that this book really made more of an impact on you than you had initially thought it might. Sometimes you just never know. LOVE that last quote about the Hogwarts houses. LOL


    • I’m the same way. I have a ton of books on my shelves that I bought, but haven’t read yet. The review books I receive get bumped up to the top of my list and that pushes everything else down on my priority list. I hope you get a chance to push this to the top of your reading list though. It’s a really well written story.

  9. This is one of those stories I have seen around, but hesitate to read. Great review.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    • I was the same way. However, when I saw that they are making a movie adaptation on it, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I had to wait forever and a day for my number to be called at the library but I feel like it was worth the weight. The writing was very real and raw and I found myself unable to put the book down as I read it.

  10. Thanks for the great review, that sounds really good.

  11. I haven’t read this one yet, but I’m pretty excited to read it one day. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  12. I liked this book and it had moments that made me sad. Te relationships in this one were what drew me in and how they reacted to events. Great review.

    • I really liked Starr’s relationship with her boyfriend and how interracial relationships and the views on it from others came into play. Not to mention, I loved the close knit family unit that Starr had and how the community pooled together when in need.

  13. Great review Kristin. Hopefully I can read this soon, I heard so many wonderful things about it.

  14. I’ve seen this one around alot, glad you enjoyed it. It’s great when an author can shed some light on important topics. Wonderful post!

    • I wasn’t sure it would be something I would like, but I wanted to read the book before the movie came out. I’m glad I gave it a chance because it was really good.

  15. Wow! Great review! Love how detailed you are.
    I’ll want to read this as well!

    • Thank you. This story took me by surprise. I was not expecting to become so wrapped up in Starr’s world the way that I did. I hope you give this book a shot. There’s a movie adaptation coming out later this year. 🙂

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