Angie Thomas The Hate U Give Book Recap
Back in 2014, I remember watching the news with my NaNa in her room and we both witnessed Eric Garner screaming "I Can't Breathe" while a white police officer held him in a chokehold in the middle of his arrest. I couldn't believe that we were literally watching someone on national television die right before our eyes. We were both crying and I never forget what my NaNa told me, "We are living at the end of times." Four years later and it still feels like a nightmare nobody can wake up from. From Trayvon Martin "looking suspicious" because of a hoodie or Philando Castile being shot and killed in front of his child, when will it stop?
Now I know you probably thinking what this has to do with The Hate U Give, but this book is literally art imitating life. The Hate U Give is about a sixteen-year-old teenager girl named Starr Carter who tries her best to balance between living in a poor all-black neighborhood while attending a suburban prep school in the midst of dealing with real-life events. She faces challenges on not coming off as the "angry black girl" at her almost all white school while reassuring her friends from her neighborhood that she's not better than them.
I thought I was pretty strong when I was a teenager but nothing compares to Starr's strength. Starr's world is turned upside down when her best friend, Khalil is killed right in front of her by a white police officer. Angie Thomas does an amazing job of painting a picture for readers to actually know the thoughts of someone who witnessed such a horrendous crime and the aftermath that comes with it.
You can only imagine how everything changed following after Khalil's death and not for the good either. From the news saying that Khalil was a drug dealer and gang member (which happens in society once a black male is killed) to numerous protests for justice for Khalil and his family, and an unspoken known fact lingering in the air that black lives really don't matter. I mean it's literally the shit that we see today.
The whole time while I'm reading The Hate U Give, I'm thinking to myself like damn, what if that was me? Think about it! Your best friend since diaper days was killed right before your eyes and that's literally the last image you have of him/her? Of course, Starr goes through the stages of grieving which later triggers other emotions such as guilt and embarrassment. But can you blame her? Of course, she wants to honor her best friend by speaking up and telling the truth but after witnessing possible threats toward her loved ones, she's hesitant to do what's right.
I love how Angie gives us more insight into each character's background and makes it more relatable. Throughout the book, you will read more on why certain characters are the way they are and the whole time I was like damn that reminds me of so and so that I know from my own family. I also loved how she shows the dynamics and growth in all of the characters relationships with each other. Angie does an excellent job of portraying a black family that we either have of our own or always wanted to have. Another thing that I liked is the way the community sticks together through it all. You will see what I mean once you read this book.
I don't want to give too much away during this recap but this book makes you relive all the emotions that you experienced while watching our own black men die right before eyes. Now I don't want to make it seem like this book is all sad because it definitely has its funny moments. There are also moments where it gives you lessons on wanting more out of life for yourself and doing what's right. In addition, I love the references they made to Tupac and his meaning of Thug Life. I think it's important that we continue to educate others more by keeping our hero's name and their legacy alive as long as we can. *screams Thug Life proudly*
I can go on and on about this book but I really want you to go and purchase this book for yourself. If you don't do it for me, please do it for Trayvon, Eric, Tamir, Sandra, Freddie, Michael, Alton, Philando, and the rest of those who are victims that we don't know about yet.
To purchase, please click here.