The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Reviewed by Vindhya Kathuria
The Hate U Give is a brutally honest book, speaking up about the very real issue of police brutality and giving a strong voice to the Black Lives Matter movement. It unapologetically gives insight to the reality of racial bias in the justice system, through the eyes of a 16 year old girl whose world is shattered because of it.
Starr lives on the border of two completely different worlds; the rough neighbourhood where she lives and her posh high school in the suburbs. On one hand her “normal” consists of gunshots, gang violence and riots. But despite all that it is where her true roots lie and a home she could never abandon. On the other side exists a sense of safety, secureness and protection. But with it comes a cost to conceal her true self, she becomes the non confrontational Starr who holds back her slang and doesn't give anyone a reason to associate her with “ghetto”.
However the fine barrier between her two worlds clash when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend Khalil. Another case of police brutality, another unarmed kid who did nothing wrong but was merely shot based on his race and colour, another name to add to the list of R.I.P hashtags, another person who deserved better.
Now Starr finds herself caught up in the middle of it all. Being the only witness to Khalil's death, only she knows the truth. What she says or doesn't say could determine everything. She is torn between fighting for justice for her friend or keeping quiet to avoid meeting the bullet herself.
This heartbreakingly powerful novel demands for change in the current police force and justice for those individuals who are harassed for their colour. It is a critically important read as it is not only informative and compelling but also teaches readers to stand up and use the greatest weapon they have ; their voice.