Riveting novel brings social injustices to light


Shelby Foster

“The Hate U Give” follows 16-year-old Starr Carter as she navigates life at the fancy prep school she attends and her poor black neighborhood, after a cop shoots and kills her best friend Khalil. This wonderfully-written book concerning racial issues, police brutality, and staying true to oneself is being made into a movie that will be released sometime during 2018.

Dana Gould, A&E co-Editor

Readers searching for a stunning, heart-wrenching novel concerning one of the many social issues currently plaguing society are in luck. “The Hate U Give” is an eye-opening experience that gives readers insight on racial issues, police brutality, and being true to oneself.

Starr Carter, a 16-year-old teenager, lives two completely separate lives. One at the fancy prep school she attends, where she does her best to not stand out as the sole black girl in her grade.

She lives another at home in her poor neighborhood, where she can act like herself but she is not fully accepted. Starr manages to juggle both lifestyles individually, until a tragedy strikes Starr’s neighborhood and the entire black community, breaking the fragile boundary between Starr’s worlds.

After a party one night, Starr finds herself in the passenger seat of her best Khalil’s car. Only minutes after getting in the car, a white cop pulls them over and ends up shooting and killing Khalil.

As Starr is the sole witness to this tragic crime, she is the only person that can help bring Khalil justice.

— A&E co-Editor Dana Gould

The tragic incident becomes a national media headline, leading to riots and protests. Not only do protests occur, but people with no true knowledge of Khalil or his particular circumstances begin calling him a drug dealer, gang-banger, and thug. As Starr is the sole witness to this tragic crime, she is the only person that can help bring Khalil justice. Will she choose to stay silent or will she face the crowd and be heard?

“The Hate U Give” fully allows readers to take a walk in Starr’s shoes and understand the obstacles she faces everyday because of something as simple as race.

The book’s complex and flawed characters are one of the many characteristics that add to its overall appeal. Each character is impeccably human as they each have positive and negative qualities that readers will see in themselves or their acquaintances. Even the cop that killed Khalil, while he is definitely not the “good guy,” isn’t portrayed as evil.

The plot also remains intriguing throughout the novel, as it never loses the overall message. The way the author manages to switch between a normal everyday event and something like violent riots and protests is commendable. This also adds to the truthfulness of the novel as even though losing a close friend is awful, there are still moments of normality.

While this novel is beautifully written, it does contain profanity and many violent scenes that may not be ideal for younger age groups. Readers also may not want to pick this out as their newest fun read as the issues the book tackles require more than just a passing glance. However, anyone ready to engage in thought-provoking reading should absolutely give this book their time.

“The Hate U Give” is an amazing read for anyone trying to better understand current racial issues and bridge the gap between races. This book could not have been written at a better time as its subject matter is something people ignore rather than tackle head on. The deep understanding and quality discussions this book bring are just as worthwhile as the book itself, making it a double win.