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Review based on Amazon Audiobook, not the actual book. Pay close attention. All other versions of this book are in English but audiobook only has the Danish version. Didn't realize until it was too late.
OMG, so good. This book destroyed me, but I loved it. Outside of just being a great book, it was also meaningful for me personally. I had several startling experiences while reading it. The first being that I live in Saint Louis, MO, home of Michael Brown and Lamar Smith and the protests around their deaths and the acquittals of the officers who killed them. The events of this book could easily have happened here.
I wanted to read this book from the moment I saw it, but put it off (even after I won an audio version of it) because I didn't know if I could handle it while my city and on occasion I am currently protesting yet another failure of the justice system. I don't make it to as many actions as I'd like, but the book still seemed like it would be too close, too real.
Even once I started it, I listened to the first chapter and it took me a full week to come back and face chapter two, where I knew Khalil would die. Then, once I did, I listened in the car. Not three minutes after I managed avoid bawling my eyes out at the scene where a traffic stop about a tail light (if it was even out) turned deadly. I was sitting at a stoplight and a police officer pulled up beside me and motioned for me to roll my window down. I did. He asked, "Did you know only your top break light is working?" "No," I said, "I'll have that looked at. Thanks." He nodded and drove away. The timing shook me, life mimicking art but with one GIANT difference that was impossible to miss. This book is fiction, but there are so many Khalils and I—a white women in a Subaru—didn't even merit an officer getting out of his car! He was terse, but otherwise polite.
But those things are about me and my circumstances with the book, not the book. The book is amazing, ya'll. It takes a community that is too often dehumanized and reduced to "thug" or "gang banger" and makes them real people.
This book is the direct opposite of another I read recently in which the author kept having generic "gang bangers" threaten the heroine. The gang bangers did this. The gang bangers did that. There was nothing human about them, "gang banger" could have been substituted with "the monsters" or "the evil entities." This, I think, is too often the case. But even people in gangs or that sell drugs are people with families, histories, hopes and desires. They are real people and this book makes you see this in a way I think too many people sadly need to be reminded of. I honestly think this should be required high school reading!
It's also just marvelously written and has a surprising amount of humor for such a serious topic. It is one of the best books I've read this year and certainly the best audio I've listened to. Bahni Turpin did an amazing job with the narration. Everyone go read/listen to this and Hollywood better not mess up the movie!
I always worry about over-hyping books, not wanting to inflate expectations that the book can’t live up to them. Regardless, this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The story tackles some difficult and controversial issues which can be difficult to do without seeming condescending. Where Thomas gets it right is that the characters are so well-developed. You care about them because they are so real. They are funny, loyal, complicated, stubborn and sometimes stupid and judgmental. And the Narrator, Bahni] Turpin brings the character of Starr to life. As a reader, I read about the issues around race in a way I never have before. Yes, the characters can be angry and a little scary but it’s not what defines them. And the background unfolds in a matter-of-fact human way to elicit a different thought process rather than pity.
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2018
Interesting all the 5 stars🤔. This book is tacky. I submit it’s soft porn with all the sexual language used. The cussing is rampant. It’s like the author(or ghost writer) sat in front of a CPU and found every cliche and stereotype imaginable and some and logged them into this text. I strongly doubt I could sit with any of my friends and come up with all this. The constant reference to “Black Jesus” is highly questionable. Don’t know any black families that speak in this manner. This is suppose to be realistic fiction(no need for to relive the trauma experienced it seems weekly). It’s suppose to be a BLM read and show a strong black father. The father doesn’t run his home, he is shooshed by his wife every time he starts to talk about racism. His Uncle raised his daughter. How this book is a young adult read is beyond me. At a time where people dislike Colin Kaepernick kneeling for injustice. For this book to be a bestseller is suspect.
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2017
In the powerful book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, the main character Starr is dealing with the death of her childhood best friend. Throughout the course of the novel Starr faces discrimination and struggles with coping with her loss. The book takes you through the journey of Starr facing her fears and facing the people who get in her way. The Hate U Give is an inspiring story of a young teen facing the huge problem of race while dealing with a normal teenage life. This is a story of the love, the hope, and the determination of a teen girl and her community. Over the course of the novel the reader is able to make connections to Starr and her family and friends. The reader gets to know the characters as if they were truly in the book. Each character has a unique characteristic that makes the reader able to have an emotional connection to them. There was never one point in the novel where the storyline wasn’t interesting. Angie Thomas shows the perspective of life through a teenage girl’s life who lives in the projects. The storylines in the novel are very interesting and make you never want to put the book down. As you read you can picture yourself in the novel and hope for the best. This book can relate to events that are happening in today’s society and today’s racial injustice. Many people fight for justice and equality, just like in The Hate U Give. There are many leaders in today’s world that stand up for what they believe and represent Starr. This book is a definite read for both teens and adults. Teenagers and adults would be able to connect to the story and receive the authors message about having a voice.
I was surprised one day when my boss and I were traveling to a training and she had the audio book on in her car. I was so relaxed, then excited , then sad. I asked is the narrator just one person or several- she responded just one...so amazing how the narrator brought the characters to life. I order it on audio but am having a little trouble getting it to work it is me. I am looking forward to ordering the book as well.
Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2018
This book was so good! I got the audio version for convenience, and I enjoyed it even more than I think I would have enjoyed the print version. I hoped I could share it with my middle school students, but there is profanity and some sexual stuff, so it's not appropriate for them. I, however, couldn't stop listening, and basically binged this book until it was finished. Highly recommend!