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Review: “The Hate U Give”

Hailey Krasnikov, Staff Writer

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I recently read a realistic fiction novel called the “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. It addressed social injustices as well as the struggles faced by a teenage girl and her family.

A major theme of the novel surrounds the meaning of “THUG LIFE” – which may seem like a normal caption, although it turns out to have a much deeper meaning. Even its extended meaning seems to be a bit more complicated but is clear after reading the novel.

The main character is a sixteen year old girl named Starr Carter who lives a somewhat double-life. She lives in a low-income neighborhood with gangs and violence, while getting her education at a sophisticated private high school. Starr then faces a moral struggle between keeping life somewhat normal and getting justice for her long-time friend , Khalil, after seeing him get shot by a policeman.  

The novel demonstrates the dysfunctional nature of the legal system,  as well as addressing racism and stereotypes. The officer who shot Khalil  was victimized, although he mistook a hair comb for a gun. Starr is the only other person who actually knows what  happened in that moment, and therefore has the best chance of getting justice for her friend (who may have been more than just a friend).

In addition, Starr is a teenager after all and faces identity issues due to her double-life. She is part of a family where she is the second oldest child, as well as having an older half-brother named Seven and a younger brother named Sekani. Starr’s family is a close-knit group, and I would say there’s a lot of love and support there for her.

Overall, “The Hate U Give” is a eye-opening novel that gives a teenage perspective on social issues.  This novel uses some expletive language, touches on domestic violence, and crime, but all of that adds to the message and reality of the novel. I would completely recommend this novel  to those looking for a captivating read, and seeing that there is apparently a movie in the making, you better read fast!

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