For the better half of 2017, I’ve been hearing about The Hate U Give(THUG) by Angie Thomas everywhere with people commending on the author’s courage and honesty for penning down such a sensitive and ever present social issue, I knew I had to get it.
But before we start a DISCLAIMER: THUG is a story advocating along the lines of the Black Lives Matter movement and my opinion is with regards to the book only. No insinuation whatsoever to the movement or the many lives lost against a prejudice that has plagued the world for centuries, with regards to race, color, creed, religion and more.
The story takes place the night of the murder of Starr’s – the main character – childhood and best friend Khalil, by the hands of a white police officer. Khalil is suspected of carrying drugs as the neighbourhood they reside in is notorious for gangs and drug distribution. Starr – being the only witness to the brutal murder of her unarmed friend – has to make a crucial and vital decision of how to make sure Khalil’s story is known to the world and the man responsible receives the judgement he should get.
Meanwhile, she manages two separate identities as the “cool Starr” who goes to Williamson prep – a preparatory school 45 mins aways from the neighbourhood she lives in- her “White” boyfriend Chris and two best friends Maya and Hailey. Similarly, the other Starr aka “Big Mav’s Daughter who works in the store” who minds her own business and doesn’t get involved with activities that go in her area.
Throughout the book, the sensitive topic of “racial discrimination against Black people by White people” plays hand in hand with the reflections of a 16 year old black girl who is at odds with grieving her bestfriend and trying to change the system by doing the right thing of speaking out while protecting her own life.
“Khalil I’ll never forget.
I’ll never give up.
I’ll never be quiet
The story was so riveting from the beginning I felt as though I was watching a movie, there were so many parts that I couldn’t stop laughing while at others I couldn’t stop tearing up. The way Angie showed the culture, values, and slangs only found in Africa American’s and the way those character owned it, it was about time. The way small attributes that distinguish them and their culture like the love for Jordans, basketball, and Tupac Shakur and his meaning to THUF LIFE.
“Listen! The Hate U – the letter U – Give Little Infants F**ks Everybody. T-H-U-G L-I-F-E. Meaning what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out. Get it?”
I just felt that in order to empathize with the cause the color of my or someone’s else skin shouldn’t be the first deciding factor, humanity always comes first, and by the natural instinct of good and bad instilled in us – irrespective of whether you straight ignore it – our actions shouldn’t be clouded by what is safe. Speak up in any way you can, be it Black Lives Matter, Islamophobia, Refugee Crisis, Sexual Harassment, our voice can do wonders.
This is what Angie Thomas wrote, and I’m a fan already.
So, back to the basics:
- Rating: 5.0/5.0
- Favorite quote: “see, that’s why I hate it when somebody dies. People do stuff they wouldn’t usually do ”
- Reader level: Easy.
- Should you read: of course you should.
- Would I read it again: most definitely yes!
Plus I’ve heard Liberty Books have a sale going on The Best Books of 2017, go check it out and you can get this book at a discount.
-Till next time,