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review 2017-06-16 18:07
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas 



OMG, the feelz I get from this book are indescribable. I had such a whirlwind of emotions when reading this book. It was hard for me to get through, and I even had to put the book down a few times and step away.

And it wasn't because I was outraged or put off or anything like that. It was that 16 year old Starr was ME in 1992. The girl straddling two worlds not really fitting in to either one. I so identified with her "Williamson Starr" and her "Garden Heights Starr". `

I also identified the utter sense of helplessness when you see injustice taking shape all around you but you don't think you have the tools to make a difference. But as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

This book was so well-written and was so well done that I want to scream from the roof top about how everyone should read it. No matter what your perspective is.

Starr's story was one that we hear about a lot in the news, but it was so good to see it from the inside. A young man is shot, but all we hear about is that he has a rap sheet, or he's "a real bad dude". But, why does it matter what he did last week, last year, or even yesterday. In that instant he was an unarmed man who was gunned down in the back and the perpetrator who did it got away with it because he happened to have on a uniform.

Because I see that as an injustice does that mean that I don't think that cop lives matter as I see those bumper stickers cropping up on cars around my neighborhood? No, what it means is that I don't think that that a young black man's life is so insignificant that it doesn't rate more than a passing glance when he's laying dead on the street, shot down by people who are supposed to protect.

Look, I get that this is a fictional story, but for so many of us it is not. It is life. It is everyday when we kiss our husbands and our sons goodbye and we pray with everything in us that they don't get pulled over. It is everyday when I have look my loving, open, but naive brilliant son in the face and tell him that it doesn't matter that other kids were doing it. But because his skin color is different than everyone else, he's going to stand out more. And yeah, it sucks to have to have those conversations with your kid but it's better her learns it from me that have to be slapped across the face with it when he's caught aware.

As I sit here trying to type this review with tears streaming down my face, I still have hope. I have hope that books like these will start a dialogue. And one that can start at an earlier age than mine now. That young kids can make this problem better. That we can talk about social justice without the tone deaf response from either side. That we start trying to have empathy instead of stubbornness. I'm hoping one way we can get there.

The conversation that Starr had with her Dad, Maverick, about what Tupac's T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. meant was a poignant one. It laid it out--what people mean when they talk about institutional racism. Why it's so frustrating to hear people disparage the inner cities. It's amazing to me that the man (with all of his faults, let's face it) that many of us listened to with zealous fervor growing up in the 90's is still so relevant today. Does that mean we've made that little progress in 30 years?

I'm going to end this now because I'm ranting, but this is one of those novels. One of those books that will stay with me for years. That will be on my lips to recommend when I'm trying to get a point across that I just can't do justice with my mere words.

I discussed letting my 13 year old son read this book with my husband, but I was hesitant because of the language and some sexual situations, but I think that the content is worth much more than those. I'm going to have him read this for summer reading and I hope it will open some dialogue between us too. I fear for him, I do. But I also want to light a fire in him so he wants to be on the front lines with me fighting for social justice. Each one of us has a part to play in making things better, and I want his to start now. Just like Starr.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-15 00:39
Book review : The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

June 4-9

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.

Review : This book was very powerful when at a party with her friend she runs into her old friend Khalil and when shots go off he brings her to his car then a cop stops him and ends up shooting Khalil in front of star and she is hurting and doesn't know what she should do she wants to speak out to help Khalil so she starts to speak she wants that cop to be arested but she knows it won't happen which is very fucked up I mean he killed him . There is also this big drug dealer who may try to go after star cause she snitched . Star goes to a fancy school and she is a different kind of person she has a boyfriend named Chris and I really love them together and she has two friends Maya and Hailey I hated Hailey she made these remarks and I wanted to punch her and when the news came out with all the Khalil stuff she felt bad for the cop when the cop killed Khalil . And when Hailey said he would of died anyway cause he was a drug dealer I wanted to punch her and star did . When it's announced that the cop won't get jail time Star freaks out and wants to take a stand and she does I really loved this book it gave a message that we all need to read this and speak out .
Quotes : “Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”

Brave doesn't mean you're not scared. It means you go on even though you're scared.”

Why does Chris always have to be lil'l to you ? I ask . He's not little . You better be talking about his height says Daddy , Amen , Uncle Carlos adds and they fist bump again.

That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?”

“Once upon a time there was a hazel-eyed boy with dimples. I called him Khalil. The world called him a thug.
He lived, but not nearly long enough, and for the rest of my life I'll remember how he died.
Fairy tale? No. But I'm not giving up on a better ending.”

“Once you've seen how broken someone is it's like seeing them naked—you can't look at them the same anymore.”






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review 2017-06-09 19:54
Just read this okay
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

It’s Obsidian Blue’s fault I read this book now.  It is.  I was, still am, advocating this for my book club, but it wouldn’t be until the end of the year because we are booked till October.

                Yeah so, but after Blue wrote a glowing review, I knew I had to read because if Blue really loves something, it means that I will really love it.

                Yeah, so, all those reviews about how this is the book of the year, how this is the book that everyone should read this year, all those reviews are right.

                Starr is from the “ghetto” but because her parents want the best for her and her brothers, so she and her brothers attend a fancy prep school about 45-60 minutes away.  In her home neighborhood, she is known basically as her father’s daughter who works at his store.

                She is two people prep school Starr and neighborhood Starr.

                And then what happens to often happens.  A friend is shot by a police officer.  An unarmed friend is shot by a white police officer.  Starr’s worlds collide in ways that are expected and not so much.

                Look, I’m white so what Starr experiences is something I never experienced and never will experience.  Yes, all teens have that dichotomy, but there is a vast different between the standard two persona teen and two personas for simple survival sake, so my view of reality is different, but this book feels real.  I have taught Starr’s parents.  My friend teaches Starr’s classmates.

                The amount of detail in this engrossing read is great.  It is Starr’s growing knowledge about those around here, in all her places – not only her classmates but her family and friends as well.  There is the case of Maya, Kenya, and Chris – who quite frankly comes across as a wonderful.  Starr’s father is a former gang member, but her uncle is a detective.  There is the conflict of a desire or need for a better and/or safer life and to do right by your birth place.  There is a good bit about cycles and the need to break them, about being trapped in a place where every choice is bad.

                And it is to Thomas’ credit that fairy tale ending isn’t there, at least not wholly (you could argue that a certain facet of a fairy tale ending is present).  The ending feels real, Starr’s voice is real, there is not a false step here at all.

                The book isn’t anti-police – after all there is Starr’s uncle.  Additionally, it isn’t racist against white people.  There’s not only Chris, but his parents (not central characters but their part in the end works), there are also several white friends of Starr who are her friends.  The question of her boyfriend at the end of the book isn’t so much questioning as teasing (honestly, it happens all the time).

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review 2017-06-09 14:15
The Hate U Give ★★★★☆
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

I really wish I could be consistent about writing down even a rough draft of a review as soon as I finish a book, because it starts fading for me as the days pass and my brain fills with other books that I’m reading. Because this book deserved much better than I can give it now. I finished it 3 weeks ago, and all I have left is vague impressions. I urge you to read Obsidian Blue’s excellent review, which introduced me to the book.


I will say that I connected more strongly with it than I expected, as I am generally not a fan of YA and have a pronounced aversion to the first-person-present-tense writing style so prevalent in the genre. The subject matter, being so far outside of my own personal experience, felt real and present to me, as did the thoughts and emotions of Starr and those close to her. The writing is compelling, and the plot kept me absolutely engaged. I appreciated the very realistic outcome of

Starr’s testimony

(spoiler show)

, and her emotional struggle to get there.


Sadly, I fail both the green bean casserole and the mac-n-cheese tests.


Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Bahni Turpin’s reading is so fantastic that I didn’t even notice the FPPT style for long chunks of story.  

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text 2017-06-09 05:43
The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan,Joshua Swanson
City of Heavenly Fire - Cassandra Clare
A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

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