The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Fiction) is a story the world knows all too well. Starr is an African-American teenage girl from Garden Heights, what most would call the hood, yet she goes to Williamson High School, an expensive private school with not a lot of minorities. Starr and her brothers were put in Williamson because when Starr was a child she saw her friend die in a drive by, which made her parents question whether Garden Heights was safe for their children. Although they still live there and their father has a store in Garden Heights, Starr’s mom wants to move away from the dangerous neighborhood. The main plot of the story starts with Starr’s childhood friend Khalil. Starr sees Khalil at a party her friend (and her half-brother Seven’s half-sister) Kenya dragged her to, and Starr and Khalil get to catch up, until they hear gunshots fired. Everyone flees the party, Khalil takes Starr into his car. Starr and Khalil catch up more in the car, until a police officer pulls Khalil over. Khalil is resistant against the cop, which scares Starr because of the color of their skin. Khalil is then told to step outside of the car, when the cop walks away he checks on Starr to make sure she is ok, and he is shot by the cop. This causes Starr to be the eyewitness in Khalil’s trial, which is an extreme pressure for her. Especially since she can’t tell anyone, for fear of being targeted. She can’t even tell her boyfriend, Chris, who she isn’t sure she can be with because he is white. Is Starr doing the right thing by keeping her experience secret, or is she betraying her community?
I love this book and think it shows the blatant truth of police brutality and the way a minority is mistreated in their day to day life. Most stories about the BLM movement are through the censored eyes of a white person, but this novel shows the genuine outlooks and doesn’t hold back. It shows the struggles of racism in multiple lights and how it can affect a person differently than others. It’s a book that can open the eyes of anyone with any view point and shows a lot of dimension with all sorts of characters. Not to mention the reliability of Starr, someone who wants to do the right thing but isn’t even sure what it is. I would recommend this book highly and I hope you can be as captivated with it as I was.