This was a surprisingly powerful book. I knew it would be amazing based on how much everyone I knew loved it, but I still didn’t quite know what was coming. I had never heard the saying that the title comes from. In a way, I guess that tells you something about me and where I grew up.
I have since heard and read a lot about the issues involved in this book. Though I would still have enjoyed it, I’m glad I read Between the World and Me, You Can’t Touch My Hair, and The New Jim Crow before this book. They gave me a basis of understanding that helped me understand the characters and their concerns and the way they looked at the world. Pretending that the world doesn’t treat us differently based on the how we look is a mistake and it was good to know ahead of time what Starr’s concerns would be. More than that, what her parents feared for her and Seven. That said, there are many stunning reviews for this book all over the blogosphere and Goodreads where it has a 4.58 star rating.
What I loved most about The Hate U Give is that this is the kind of book I could easily see added to the list of American Literature books in high school classrooms though I know that it has already been banned in some places. To me, it beautifully captures everything I know about the Black Lives Matter Movement. I probably missed some things about both the book and the movement, but it goes a long way to bridging the gap even on a first read. It can be hard to grasp the situation that kids in Star’s community find themselves in as someone who doesn’t live in a similar community.
I didn’t grow up quite as privilege as the kids at her prep school either, but I still know more than a few people who would see things the way that her classmates did. I found the way the students handled the situation typical for those who don’t understand it. I have heard similar words out of the mouths of people who grew up in areas that don’t constantly deal with a police presence or the idea that they could be hurt by people in authority.
Despite the language and the truthful depiction of teenage hormones, I hope the book does find it’s way into classrooms, even if it must be a part of college curriculum to do so. Sooner than that, I saw that it will be turned into a movie with an interesting cast. I look forward to getting to watch it one day.