3 November 2017

Book of the Month - The Hate U Give (THUG)

Book of the Month - The Hate U Give (THUG)

I just don't even know where to start with this post other than YOU ALL NEED TO GO BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT. RIGHT NOW.

I've fallen out of the habit of picking my favourite book of the month recently - mostly because I'm re-reading the Harry Potter series in between other books and it's hard to compete with that. BUT, this is the most important and powerful book I've read in 2017. By a long shot. 

I *think* I first heard Hannah Witton talking about how incredible this debut novel is, and ever since the title seems to have been cropping up everywhere. It did not disappoint. This is the book that 2017 needed, and I honestly can't wait to see if Angie Thomas brings out any more in the future.

The book's protagonist Starr is a 16-year-old living in the rough side of the neighborhood. She goes to an almost all-white school and likes to keep 'school Starr' and 'home Starr' separate. She almost whitewashes herself in an attempt to not seem 'ghetto' at school.

Things are going pretty well until Starr and her friend Khalil are pulled over by a cop one night. The officer forces Khalil out of the car and shoots him when Khalil leans back in to see if Starr is okay. As Starr lays holding her friend whilst he dies, the cop turns his gun on her, threatening her to stay where she is. 

This isn't the first time Starr has seen a friend die. As a kid she saw her best friend get shot too, and the image has never left her. She didn't want to be 'poor Starr who saw her friend get shot' again, so she tells no one at her white school. 

But it's hard to keep things separate, especially when you're the witness in the investigation into the cop. An investigation that shouldn't even exist. As the novel progresses, Starr gets more and more angry about it: this man murdered her friend, and she watched him do it: why isn't he being arrested?

The book is dedicated to an upsetting number of young black people who have been murdered by cops in the states. It highlights how the media twists our perspective of what happens: Khalil is labelled a thug, a drug dealer and a gang member. One of Starr's closest white friends even sympathises with the cop. What a whole tonne of people miss is that even if Khalil did do these things, he does not deserve to die.

Starr's family are political activists who end up involved in the riots that result from Khalil's death. Starr begins to question whether having a white boyfriend means that she's betraying her own blackness, and everything is politically charged. 

This book was almost painful to read because of how emotionally charged it was. But painful in a good way. Painful in an 'oh my fuck we need to change the system' kinda way. And that's why I think we all should read it.

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  1. Soo many people have told me to read this book, it is added to my reading list, it seems very important and eye-opening.

    1. It's incredible - you should listen to them (and me, hehe)

      Steph x


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