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The Hate U Give Review

Samantha Zakrzewski, Writer/Editor

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Told to us from the perspective of Starr Carter, a sixteen year old African American teenager, The Hate U Give follows the shooting of Starr’s unarmed friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. We watch as Starr copes with this traumatic event, while also trying to find her voice.  

After witnessing the murder of Khalil, Starr is angry, sad, and in denial. At first, she doesn’t want people to know that she was the witness. However, after hearing media outlets focus on the possibility that Khalil was a drug dealer and even going as far as victimizing the officer who killed him, Starr decides that she has had enough- she is ready to stand up for her friend. 

This novel addresses many other issues that are present in today’s society as well. For starters, Starr must travel between her two worlds, going from her poor neighborhood of Garden Heights to her predominantly white school. Starr’s behavior differs between her worlds- she tries not to use slang at her school, this way she doesn’t sound ‘ghetto.’ She carefully chooses her words and makes sure that she can pronounce them properly. Starr is also dating Chris, a white boy. She doesn’t tell her father about Chris because she fears that he won’t approve. 

The title of this book comes from rapper Tupac Shakur’s saying “The Hate U Give Little Infants [expletive] everybody.” This quote is an important motif throughout the novel. Khalil explains that Shakur is referring to the fact that the racist, unjust social system leads to poverty and crime. Through this quote, Starr realizes that she cannot be quiet about Khalil’s murder- she needs to find the courage to speak up for him.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone. Not only is it a quick read, but it is also very eye opening. We don’t truly understand what other people are going through, until we see it for ourselves. By reading The Hate U Give, I have developed a better understanding of a serious issue that I was not fully aware of.

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