Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood 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, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does – or does not – say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
For a debut novel, The Hate U Give had an incredibly powerful voice. Unintentionally I ended up reading this when the riots and black lives matter protests began to appear all over the news. It really resonated with me how depressing it was for people’s rights to be completely ignored like that in this day and age. Starr’s perspective in the book feels so real and at times I almost could have sworn I was witnessing everything right there with her. As heavy as the issues The Hate U Give portrayed are, there are so many well developed and loveable characters that you can’t help but feel a glimmer of hope too. I definitely think this book is a must read for all young people, especially now we start to delve further into the anti-racism movement.