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Review | The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Hello, all! I (Rachael) am back with another review of a popular young adult title. I’ll be reviewing The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The Hate U Give was released on February 28, 2017. It has a Goodreads rating of 4.52. Angie Thomas is writing a prequel novel called Concrete Rose, which releases on January 12, 2021. Concrete Rose will focus on Starr’s father, Maverick.

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Image taken from

For this review, I’m going to do something different and answer some discussion questions provided by Malden Reads. Click the link to view the questions. I’m only going to pick five questions from the list to answer, but there are 19 total questions. If you read this book, please do take a look at the questions.

  1. What was your overall reaction to this book? What did you like/not like about it?
    I really enjoyed reading The Hate U Give because the story was very eye-opening for me. You don’t think that police brutality happens to the Black and other Persons of Color communities very often until you read a book about it or hear stories from someone in those communities. A book like The Hate U Give makes you rethink everything that the news and social media share about officers and police brutality. There wasn’t a part of the book I didn’t like. The aspect that I loved the most was Starr’s growth throughout the novel. She goes from being silent to speaking up for what she believed in.
  2. Starr shares that her parents gave her and her older brother the “talk” – specifically about what to do when encountering a police officer. Have you had that same talk with your parents or have you given it to your children? Reflect on why or why not.
    I have never had this talk with my family because I identify as White. Just because I didn’t experience it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen, though. Recently, I watched Just Mercy with my church and during the post-movie discussion, one thing that was brought up was the “talk” that Black parents have with their children. I understand why parents have to give this talk to their children, but we should live in a world where no one has to do this to survive.
  3. The police, the media, and some of Starr’s friends refer to Khalil’s background of drug and gang activity whenever the case is discussed. Is this fair and/or relevant?
    No. It is not fair nor is it relevant. In the beginning of the novel, Starr and Khalil are pulled over at a traffic stop, but the officer doesn’t tell them why. The fact that the drugs had nothing to do with the traffic stop (or so it seems) makes it irrelevant to the case with Officer 115. Khalil may have been selling drugs or in a gang, but it had nothing to do with the reason the officer stopped them nor did it have anything to do with the reason why Khalil was shot.
  4. Why does Starr keep her role as a witness a secret for so long? How and why does she come to the decision to finally use her voice?
    Starr was afraid of what would happen to her if she spoke out against the police officers. There were already people rioting in her neighborhood and shooting off guns while the police were responding with tear gas and most likely, rubber bullets (similar events to what happened earlier this year in one of my neighboring cities). At first, she didn’t want to face what others would do to her. I also think that she kept it a secret because of her friends at Williamson. One of her “friends” was the type of person to say very racist things (evident throughout the novel) and then proclaim “but I’m not racist.” This had a clear impact on why Starr stayed silent because her “friend” was already making comments about Khalil and Starr probably thought she would get similar comments as well. The way she used her voice was to speak to the rioters in her neighborhood. She came to that decision because no one had the correct facts about Khalil nor what actually happened that night. Starr wanted to make sure that everyone heard the true story while also standing up for what she believed in. She believed in the change that needs to happen and was upset over the fact that the officer didn’t get charged with Khalil’s murder.
  5. Why do you think this book is winning lots of awards and getting so much attention?
    The Hate U Give is winning a lot of awards and getting so much attention because it is relevant to today’s culture. Police brutality is still very prevalent in society and officers are killing people (specifically the Black community, but other communities are affected as well) right and left. The novel was written in 2017 (adapted to film in 2018), but the themes are still happening even to this day. The Hate U Give is thought-provoking and really makes you think about what is going in the world and how the media portrays it, especially when the media misinterprets the story.

Similar Books:
As always, we like to share books that have similar themes to our featured read. Each of the books mentioned below explore race and police brutality. These books can play an important role in starting discussions with teens about race and police brutality, which are prominent social issues in today’s society. I have yet to read any of these books, but they are on my TBR.
1. Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
2. The Black Kids by Christina Hammond Reed (releases August 4, 2020)
3. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Have you read The Hate U Give? What did you think of it? Did you feel it changed your perspective on race and/or police brutality? Let us know in the comments!

Bookish Lovers

Published by Rachael

Hello, all! I'm 1/3 of Always, Bookish Lovers. Currently, I will be starting work in October at a public library in my area. In the near future, I plan to go back to school to get a Masters in Library and Information Science so I can become a librarian. Along with the blog, I'm pretty active on Instagram. If you'd like to check out our Instagram, it is linked below for you.

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