A lot of Cannonballers have already read and reviewed The Hate U Give in the past few years. I don’t want to repeat everything that’s already been said, but if you haven’t read this book yet, do yourself a favor and add it to your list.
The Hate U Give is the story of Starr, a teenager who witnesses her friend being murdered by a cop. Starr, who is African-American, lives in a tough neighborhood, but her parents send her to a nearby private school. Her story has layers upon layers, and she feels like a real person. Her world is so three-dimensional, and every person she is connected to feels real. Even Khalil, the boy who is murdered at the beginning of the book, is a real person, quirks and all.
Every time we hear about another person murdered by police in the U.S., we have a choice. We can choose to sigh and lament about why this keeps happening, and allow ourselves to go numb to the sheer number of deaths, or we can stay angry. The Hate U Give reminds me why it’s so important to keep being angry, because every person who is gunned down is a real person, whose inner life, hopes, opinions, personality, are just as real and rich as my own. It’s never okay to be complacent or defeated about things like this. Staying angry is hard, and this is something I think Starr struggles with in the book as well–it’s so much easier to forgive her friend who is flippantly racist, and it’s certainly much safer for her to stay quiet after Khalil’s death than to speak out. But the great thing about Starr is that she’s not content to live a safe and easy life, and that makes her a tremendous role model of young adults (or anyone). The Hate U Give is the kind of book that everyone should read. It will make you question how you would respond in a situation like Starr’s and as uncomfortable as that is, it’s more necessary now than ever.