Book Review: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give is an outstanding contemporary novel written by Angie Thomas that follows the life of Starr Carter. The writing in this book is realistic and flows extremely well. The plot and characters are realistic and keep you engaged in the story throughout.

The Hate U Give won the Goodreads Choice Award Best of the Best (photo from

 As the story moves along, the characters grow, along with their passion for Black Lives Matter. This really pulled me in. Their courage for standing up for what they believe in inspired me to become someone who forms my own opinions and gave me the strength to vocalise and share that opinion. 

This story kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The plot twists and fast-paced story will keep you engaged and eager to read more. 

Starr is a sixteen-year-old girl who lives between two worlds: the poor black neighborhood she lives and the fancy prep school she attends. She learns to switch between both versions of herself which results in her not knowing quite who she is. 

She maintains this unstable balance between her two worlds until one day, it all crumbles away as she witnesses a police officer shoot Khalil, her unarmed childhood friend. It is the most recent police shooting of an unarmed black man. Starr is the only witness. She is pulled into a life of activism and involvement into the Black Lives Matter movement. This book is a reflection of the systematic racism that there is in the United States.

All around her, people are saying he probably deserved it, calling Khalil a “thug” and a “drug dealer.” Some are even calling him a “gangbanger.” Gangs are using his death to expand their turf and gang wars start to break out. 

Throughout the story, Starr’s eyes are opened to the loopholes in the system that allow people in uniform to get away with things that should be illegal. She is shown a new world that is the systematic racism and oppression of black people that is seen in the United States every day. 

Starr’s voice starts to emerge as she realizes that Khalil isn’t getting justice. The media quickly blames the victim and the investigation into his death is being done carelessly. Starr is infuriated by the amount of disregard towards this case and becomes a huge participant in the Black Lives Matter movement. Her passion inspires her whole neighborhood to take a stand against the oppression and racism black people face.

This book does an excellent job of bringing to light the struggles black people face every day in the United States. A lot of people around the world and even in our community are not aware of how common it is for a black person to be stopped on the street for doing nothing. Or even black people getting harsher treatment than white people when it comes to petty crimes. We live in a kind of world where someone’s classmate could be shot and killed just for being black. We are so lucky that in our ASL community we aren’t exposed to that kind of cruelty. That is not the case for some parts of the United States. This book is an eye-opener to the harsh reality that systematic racism does exist in the United States. Reading this book inspired me so much. It was moving and insightful and really helped me understand how common it is for black people to experience racism in the United States and how important it is for me to It has already inspire thousands and reading it will show you the hard truth that is the discrimination that still exist in the United States today.

About Selma Hansen ('23)

Arts Editor (2018-19)

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