Book Review: The Hate U Give

the hate u giveThe Hate U Give
By Angie Thomas
Place a hold here.

Starr Carter is torn between two worlds. Her home is in the projects where wearing the wrong color can get you shot, where police officers can be more dangerous than the gangbangers, where “snitches get stitches” and loyalty is everything. But she is equally at home in her elite, suburban prep school where the students’ biggest concerns are basketball games and dating drama.

When Starr witnesses her childhood friend, Khalil, being fatally shot by a cop, she’s the only person alive who knows what really happened. But sharing what she saw could destroy her place in both of her worlds.

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So many feels. This book is full of feels. I am so sad for Khalil’s family. I am enraged at the cop who shot an unarmed teenager and the society that created him. I feel sympathy for Starr and her family and the dilemmas they face. I fear for their safety. I am warmed by the obvious love they share.

Sometimes, when an author has an important topic to discuss within the pages of their book, they skimp on character development and plot. Not this author. Starr, Khalil, their families, and their friends are fully realized and realistic. Their troubles and reactions are all too real. They feel fear and anger but also love and humor and joy.

If The Hate U Give sounds good to you, you might also like:

American Street by Ibi Zoboi  (Place hold.)

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon  (Place hold.)

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds  (Place hold.)

X; A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz  (Place hold.)



Book Review – All-American Boys

All American BoysAll-American Boys by Jason Reynolds is not a fun read. I did not laugh until I cried. Mostly, I just seethed. You see, All-American Boys is about racism and police brutality.

Told through alternating viewpoints, the story revolves around two young, All-American kids in an all-American city. One is in the ROTC and is an amazing artist. One loves basketball and partying with his buddies. One is black. And one is white. One gets beaten by a police officer. One witnesses it.

Rashad just stepped into the convenience store to grab a snack. It didn’t matter to the cop that some lady had tripped over him, making him drop the bag of chips he’d been holding. All his attempts to explain were just “resisting arrest.” And the police officer beat him senseless for it.

Quinn wanted to stop off at the convenience store on his way to a party. But, as he turned the corner, he saw his best friend’s older brother beating up a boy he knew from school. Nobody saw Quinn there and he didn’t want to tell anyone what he saw. The whole thing was already recorded and online, so what does it matter? But it does matter. This event and others like it have formed a rift through Quinn and Rashad’s city and all over the country. And Quinn must decide which side he’s on.

All-American Boys is not a fun read, but it’s an extremely important one. I loved every uncomfortable, horrifying, empowering minute of this book. You can place a hold on it here.