Well we can admit that the #100booksin2019 challenge is a complete failure as this book number 14 and it’s September… it’s so unlike me to read this little! I’m also very behind in keeping you all updated and we can blame it all on stupid work, it’s been an extremely busy couple of months!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is an absolutely briliant book! I feel like you hear me say that a lot but this book deserves it because it is insightful and extremely eye opening. It’s not as though I was ignorant of what it’s like in America for minorities but this drops you right within their community and envelops you in it. This gives you an ‘inside looking out’ perspective because the main character, Star, goes to a private high school outside of the projects with kids who are white and middle class; reflected in them are the kind of opinons that I have even come across amongst my English peers (although, our cops generaly can’t shoot and kill people, this bias still exists pretty badly here too).
You feel her trauma, her fear and you have to sit there and hear one of her closest ‘friends’ tell her that he probably deserved to be shot and killed (as she doesn’t reveal to them until quite late on that she is the witness for the case or that she was friends with the guy who was killed since childhood). The whole time you read it you will be sat there wanting to scream that a child has been killed, regardless of his race, or whether he was dealing drugs, a child is dead (which is, essentially, the point of the entire plot). The story is narrated from Star’s point of view, which helps you feel her frustration all the more, as well as her anger and fear. Also, it doesn’t end with a happily ever after, it ends without justice or vindication, much like these cases do in real life.
In conclusion, this story was gut wrenching and helped me to not just understand but to feel the fear that black people in America must feel in their every day lives. Again, it’s not like I was ignorant but it’s just very different to read it from the perspective of a black kid, witnessing the death of her friend, going through the minutiae of a trial, the media attention etc all whilst being a teenager in high school, doing normal kid things. However, when I say it was gut wrenching, I don’t mean it was overtly sad, I wasn’t crying the whole time. It was more that it made me feel that hollow dissapointment in the pitt of my stomach, my heart feeling that little ‘squeeze’ of sympathy. I wasn’t brought up with prejudices by my parents but I definetely saw people I know (not close friends, thankfully) reflected in the white characters and their opinions.
It is very clever book and very well written, I finished it the same day because I didn’t want to put it down. I also lent this to a friend, who finished it just as fast and loved it!
Here’s the Goodreads plot summary.
Stay tuned for more ‘what I’m reading’ posts, I have quite a few to update you on!