Published by HarperCollins on February 28, 2017
Genre: Young Adult
Challenge Theme: A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you
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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, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a 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 alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
I spent my Saturday reading this book. I did not want to put it down. I have never read a 400+ page in less than 24 hours before in my life! This is a book EVERYONE should read. It is a relevant subject in our society today, unfortunately. It is so important that I don’t even really want to review it because I am afraid I won’t do it justice. The author manages to write about a sensitive subject matter in a way that engages you, outrages you, saddens you, and makes you want to help make a change…no matter what race you are. I also absolutely LOVE Starr. She is a great protagonist. You easily fall in love with her and sympathize with her at every turn. All of the characters are essential to the story in their own way, even the ones you hate like King and at times Iesha. The main story in this book is about the epidemic of black men & women being killed by police officers but the book is so much more than that. It is an important insight into what a race as a whole has had to go through, and continues to go through, even in this day and age. I hope there is a day when a book like this doesn’t resonant in our world. Until that day comes we all have to stand up for what is right and unite as one regardless of race/gender/religion/sexuality/class etc.
I also just went through the casting for this movie and everyone is spot on to what I imagined them to be. I can’t wait until the movie is released. I hope it makes the book & Thomas proud.
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
“At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”
“I can’t change where I come from or what I’ve been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me?”
“Listen! The Hate U—the letter U—Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. T-H-U-G L-I-F-E. Meaning what society give us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out. Get it?”
“I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve Tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down.
Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.”
“Intentions always look better on paper than in reality.”
“Once you’ve seen how broken someone is it’s like seeing them naked—you can’t look at them the same anymore.”
“People say misery loves company, but I think it’s like that with anger too.”
“The truth casts a shadow over the kitchen—people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.”