The Hate U Give Proves Why #OwnVoices Is Essential | Book Review

Friday, March 03, 2017


The Hate U Give Book Review | sprinkledpages


Today I am bringing to you a review for one of my absolute most anticipated reads of 2017 which is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The moment I heard about this book, I knew I was going to love it. The synopsis had me so intrigued and everyone in the book community was so so hyped about it. 

Those who had gotten ARCs were talking about how amazing it was, it had such fantastic and credible authors blurbing and talking about it and it was the basically the buzz of the community. 

And let me just say…I can see why it’s already been picked up to be created into a movie even before the release because DAMN.

Disclaimer: I am not an African-American reviewer so I can’t really say if this book had good representation or not because I wouldn’t know.


About the book. 

Book: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Pages: 464
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life. (source)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Recommended for: Anyone 13+. Just watch out for some swearing. 

Thank you to Walker Books Australia for sending me a review copy however all thoughts and opinions are my own and this is an honest review. 

My thoughts.

{ WRITING }

Okay, so can I just begin by saying that I loved how ‘Black’ this book was? The use of ebonics, the slang, the rapping – it just highlights the importance of #ownvoices because you can’t get any more authentic than that. 

I found myself absolutely immersed in the world that was Garden Heights from the good to the bad and in comparison, I found I couldn’t connect as much with Williamson. 

There was this realness to the writing that is too hard to describe. There was this realness to everything that is absolutely impossible to describe. The book is written in such a subtle and unsubtle and moving and terrifying and beautiful and emotional way that you feel absolutely swept away. 


{ IDEA }

So if you didn’t know, this book is based on the #blacklivesmatter movement to end police brutality happening in the USA. And I thought a book based on that was not only really amazing but also really necessary. 

Other than the idea being extremely unique, this book is important. This book is so very important because it taught me so much, it will teach you so much and it will teach anyone else who reads it SO DAMN MUCH. 

This book is everything from entertaining, to informative to educating. Thomas entertains us through the quick wit and sass of Starr and her amazing, close knit family and informs us of what injustices are being inflicted on her people. And finally, she educates us. She educates us on what must be done, she educates us on what we need to do – Americans or not, African Americans or not – she tells us that we need to stand up against police brutality and we cannot let this go on.

I love how Thomas wrote this incredibly moving and emotive piece of literary work but she also kept it light hearted, at times positive and enjoyable. She made it easy to get wrapped up in the story and harder to come out and that is what every good author should do and very few can. 

ALSO! The explanation of The Hate U Give title (THUG) is so amazing and GAHHH I cannot deal with how well Thomas linked that into the book. ALSO ALSO I’m not really into rap or basketball or shoes but damn this book makes me want to get into those things.

The Hate U Give Book Review | sprinkledpages

{ PLOT }

So the plot of this is not what I thought it’d be but I’d rather not say too much in the fear of spoiling it. However, what I can tell you is that this book focuses a lot on prejudice within society, stereotypes and racial bias many people seem to have. It touches a little on white supremacy. 

This book is mostly about Starr and her family and her community as they struggle to come to terms with not only the death of her best friend but the treatment of African Americans in the US. This book is about healing and learning to become strong and to stand up for what you believe in. 

I learnt a lot reading this book, maybe more than others as I don’t live in the US. I loved the sensitivity with which Thomas handled the topic and the way in which she explained possible solutions and better outcomes that we as a society have to work towards. 

This book is eye opening yet oddly gentle at the same time. 


{ CHARACTERS }

Starr is honestly such a fab protagonist. I loved how real she was – her sass, her pain, her kindness, her pettiness (at times). It just made for such an honest and realistic character. She was incredibly realistic and wonderful and every author needs to be able to write a character like her. 

I loved the family aspect in this. Big Mav and Lisa and Sekani and Seven were such amazing characters and they didn’t feel like side characters at all. They were all so involved and important and had such great personalities and attitudes. They all looked out for each other which I loved and you could see how much they loved each other in their actions rather than their words. 

I also want to talk about the friendships in this book. While I feel Starr did have some good friends, you don’t really explore the depth of friendships she has in this novel because I feel they were more superficial than the relationships she had with her family. However, there are some pretty positive female friendships in this novel and I felt I liked and enjoyed most of the characters.

The Hate U Give Book Review | sprinkledpages

{ FINALLY }

This was quite a difficult review to write because it was hard to put into words why exactly this book was amazing so I’ll end this off by saying READ THIS! IT’S AMAZING, IT’S IMPORTANT, IT WILL MAKE YOU A WHOLE NEW PERSON. 

I learnt so much from reading this and I hope this book will encourage more #ownvoices authors to write their own stories to share with the world. 

OVERALL RATING:

½

Have you read THUG? Did you enjoy it? What did you think? Or are you planning to and is it on your TBR? And what are some of your other #ownvoices recs? I’m looking for some new ones to read!

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44 happy thoughts

  1. Great review! This sounds like such an important read and I can't wait to start it :) That's great that is also already optioned for a movie!

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    1. Thank you so much Lindsey! I hope you enjoy it when you do start it!

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  2. Amazing review! I have an eARC of this and I keep thinking about picking it up to read it, but for whatever reason I just haven't gotten around to actually reading it yet. It sounds like such an important, wonderful book that NEEDS to be read, too. I didn't realize it had been picked up for film - that's amazing!

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    1. YOU HAVE TO READ IT KELLY! IT IS AMAZE! I hope you enjoy it whenever you do get around to it and thanks for reading and commenting <3

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  3. Great review! I have this on my TBR pile and hope to get to it soon. I didn't know it was optioned for a movie. I hope that happens too.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it Christina and thanks for reading this review and commenting!

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  4. I have not read the book yet. But I see a lot of love for THUG on social media. Great review and love your pictures too

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    1. AHHHA thank you so much Resh! And you must it is amazing!

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  5. Great review, I can't wait to read this. It sounds like such an important book and I'm so glad it's getting the attention it deserves!

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  6. I think that - now more than ever - stories like these are essential. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much - it sounds so powerful and emotional. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review!

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    1. Nawww thank you so much Zoe! <3 I hope you enjoy this when you get around to reading it!

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  7. Love your review, Anisha! I agree with everything you said - so many times, when I'm reading diverse books, I ask myself if this book is FOR the people it's writing about, you know? For this one, I could tell that this book was for black youth just as much as it was about them, and that's exactly why #OwnVoices is so important. I loved its authenticity; I loved seeing the culture integrated into nearly everything, from dialogue to the different sides of Twitter and Tumblr, and how communities exist WITHIN communities, and it's so important to recognize them.

    I don't think I'll ever stop raving about this book, honestly. Great review, once again, Anisha! x

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    1. AIMALLLLLLLLLLLLL BRB CRYING!!!!! YOU'RE TOO SWEET THANK YOU SO SO MUCH ALSO A++++ EXPLANATION!!!!

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  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed this Anisha! I CAN'T WAIT FOR MY COPY TO ARRIVE *squeals*

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    1. YAAAS OMG JAN YOU HAVE TO TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF IT!

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  9. I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS!! I MIGHT BE BUYING IT SOON!

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    1. YAY OMG LET'S GET READY SO WE CAN DISCUSS IT AT THE END OF MARCH DURING THE YA ROOM TALK! I'm excited!

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  10. I haven't had the chance to read this so far, but I'm planning on ordering a copy for myself this week for sure. I'm so glad that such an important book became THIS successful - I mean, it's already becoming a movie AND is going to be translated to tons of languages?? So cool! Great review!

    (Also, I LOVE your blog + and you review all the great books?? Instant follow, tbh.)

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

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    1. OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH VERONIKA FOR MAKING MY DAY <3333 SENDING ALL THE LOVE YOUR WAY!

      I hope you enjoy this when it arrives! It really is such an amazing book!

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  11. I just won a copy of this book the other day :) Now I'm really intrigued to read it - it sounds like a really important read that will stay with you long after your turn the last page. And its becoming a movie? That's exciting, but I'm always wary of movie adaptions... Some are amazing, others not so much... Fingers crossed this one turns out well. Great review!

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    1. OMG I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT! And haha congrats! I have a feeling if this movie has the right cast and director it can be ground breaking. Hopefully it is! Thanks for reading and commenting

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  12. I actually finished THUG last night Anisha and thought it was such an important narrative, not only for white readers to be able to understand the BLM movement but most importantly, for POC American readers to see themselves within the pages. I found it really confronting, not because I'm white, but the gun culture is so far removed from what we experience here in Australia that that environment is frightening. Wonderful review Anisha, such an important read <3

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    1. AHAH Kelly you always leave such thoughtful and beautiful comments! And YES I totally know what you mean! It was quite shocking for me to realise a few years ago that almost anyone can own a gun in America and that recently, there is so much prejudice against people of colour simply for being people of colour! This book taught me so much and I look forward to it teaching others too!

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  13. I did read this one just recently and LOVED it! Such a powerful story and so important and ajdkflsad so well written. Basically Starr's family though = <3 I LOVED how she had such epic parents and they were such a big part of her life. So refreshing! And I love how the book managed to be heartbreaking but hopeful at the same time. I mean, it honestly makes me sick to read about what happens and it's so cruel and unfair. And I'm so glad this story is out there and I hope it makes a big difference in the world.

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    1. YAAAS I hope so too Cait! This story deserves to be read and shared and loved and it is basically absolutely amazing everyone has to read this gem! Thanks for reading and commenting lovely <3

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  14. I need to read this book! It's such a huge publication in YA and I know I'll enjoy it. I'm from Baltimore and was very much present when the riots occurred. I'm so glad the author has written about this particular topic. Ahhh! I need to get a copy asap.

    Wonderful review! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I really look forward to reading your review when you get around to it! I can't wait to see what you think about it!

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  15. AHHHH CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS. It's at the top of my TBR so I hope to crack it open tonight (but not literally crack it open...I don't break book spines lmao). You're so right, #ownvoices are INCREDIBLY important, and I love the sound of Starr <3 Lovely review and photos!

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    1. AHAHAHA EMILY THANK YOU FOR JUST MAKING MY DAY YOU LOVELY PERSON <3333

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  16. I'm so glad to see you loved this, Anisha. It was an amazing read for me as well and I loved that it taught me so much and I'm grateful for that. How awesome was Starr and her family? I loved her boyfriend too and omg I pretty much loved everything about the book as you can tell!
    Wonderful review!

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    1. STARR'S FAMILY IS SO AWESOME! I loved how close knit they were and how much they cared for each other. Not many YA books focus on family and I'm so glad this one did because it just added another element to the story!

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  17. i just finished the hate u give the other day, and it was way better than i'd expected. (in saying that, i didn't really have many expectations to begin with). this book is so important and i'm so glad it's currently #1 NYT bestsellers (over carve the mark!).
    i'd never heard the term "black jesus" before reading this book and i found it rather amusing!

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    1. Haha, I'd never heard of it either! And really good to hear you enjoyed it, I'm so glad!

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  18. I haven't read this one yet but I want to, and I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this! It is definitely, definitely an important book that deserves all the attention it gets, and I'm glad for all the hype. I need to get on this soon. ;)

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    1. YESS GET TO IT QUICK REG! IT'S AWESOME!

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  19. This book is next on my TBR and I'm really looking forward to reading it! Because I don't live in the US either, I'm sure I'll learn a lot from it and I love the accurate black portrayal of the characters too. Lovely review Anisha!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Aha thank you so much Jeann! I hope you enjoy it when you get around to it!

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  20. Okay, this one is DEFINITELY getting pushed up on my TBR!!! :)

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  21. YES! Such an amazing read! I loved Starr's personality and her family and friendships so much too. Definitely an important read!

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    1. It really is! Thanks for reading and commenting Sara!

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  22. Wonderful review! I've got this one coming in the mail and I can't wait to read it. I also love all your pictures of the book!

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    1. YOU ARE THE SWEETEST MEGAN THANK YOU SO MUCH! <3

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