Sunday 30 July 2017
The Hate U give by Angie Thomas
This book kept popping up everywhere, everyone raving about it. Oh dear, to read or not to read? Mostly the hyped books are just not worth it. But I had some Audible credits, so why not, right?
Indeed. Starr Carter is sixteen. She lives in a poor neighbourhood with her parents and two brothers and attends a fancy school. She is pretty much a typical teenager, trying to fit in without giving up who she is. She introduces a friend this way:
“Once upon a time there was a hazel-eyed boy with dimples. I called him Khalil. The world called him a thug.”
There is a horrific incident with Khalil, which I'm not spoiling, but if you read the blurb, it will, which rocks Starr's world. The fallout ripples through all her relationships - immediate family, her uncle and cousins, friends at school, her boyfriend - just everyone.
This was an amazing listen - not once did I feel he need to go and find the book and read excerpts, which is unusual for me. The characters jumped into the back seat of my car, tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention, and when they took the floor, I was entranced.
Momma reaches her fork onto my plate and breaks off a piece of pancake. “What is Tumblr anyway? Is it like Facebook?”
“No, and you’re forbidden to get one. No parents allowed. You guys already took over Facebook.”
“You haven’t responded to my friend request yet.”
“I need Candy Crush lives.”
“That’s why I’ll never respond.”
The fact that this was so relatable and these people were my friends threw the racism issues into clearer focus for me.
“Daddy once told me there's a rage passed down to every black man from his ancestors, born the moment they couldn't stop the slave masters from hurting their families. Daddy also said there's nothing more dangerous than when that rage is activated.”
"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?"
If you haven't rushed out to get yourself a copy yet, try the free six chapter sample - see here.
"Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right."
Angie Thomas' debut novel, this is going to be difficult to follow up. It's a smart, larger-than-life, emotional read that will have you on the edge of your seat for all 444 pages.
I loved it.