Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (5/5)

11 Sep

I first heard of this book because of its incredible run at the top of the NYT list. Then my sister-in-law posted about it. She lives in Katy, TX which has banned the book in its schools. She got a copy of it and read it and loved it. (Seems a good soul was buying copies and filling the Free Little Libraries with them.) That was enough to get it on my TBR. Then my book club picked it and I had no excuse but to pick it up and read it. I’m so glad I got through it before the movie and while there are so many people to talk about it with.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

I was really blown away by this book. Starr’s life is complicated and Thomas doesn’t narrow it down to just one plot line. She recognizes that there are a lot of things going on in Starr’s life and they’re all impacted by Khalil’s death. I liked how everything ran together and impacted one another though it did mean that a lot was left unfinished when the main plotline wrapped up. The characters were great and I loved how fleshed out the majority of the side characters were. Thomas set a high standard with this as a first novel. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

I loved all the characters in this book. Starr is brave but we see that it’s hard for her to be that way all the time. Her family loves her a lot and recognize that they’ve gone through a lot to get to where they are. Their struggles are very real and the people around them are very real. Small details like Lisa’s mother being a retired drama teacher made them all come to life even more and I adored it.

Maya and Seven were my favorite characters. I honestly can’t pick one. Maya was a great balance to Starr. She came from privilege but still dealt with people like Hailey say, the micro-aggressions that end up being very uncomfortable and rude to a minority. I liked that her perspective was worked in. Seven was a really interesting character because of his relationship to Starr, Lisa, Maverick, Kenya, and King. I loved how he protected his sisters and how he had a back-and-forth relationship with Iesha. I adored how much Lisa cared for him and took him into her family. I also loved how strong he was and how smart he was and how the utilized that to stay strong. I had a lot of respect for him and what kind of character it took to be himself.

I felt Chris was the easiest character for me to relate to. He understood the impact of what was happening around him and wanted to help but he didn’t physically fit into the group that was protesting. He was comfortable but uncomfortable at the same time. He experienced the cultural clash that Starr had lived on a daily basis. His perspective amplified how much the Carter kids had to deal with and how bicultural they had become.

Angie Thomas
Image via the National Book Foundation

I thought the opening chapters were really well written, probably the best in the book. I have to imagine that Thomas re-wrote them a number of times and I think she hit gold. Being introduced to Starr and Kenya and learning about Khalil the way we did was great and it delivered a strong punch when he died even though I’d just met his character. I thought it was impactful that we spend a lot of time with Starr in Garden Heights before seeing her in Williamson.

I felt DeVante’s storyline was a bit more than the book needed. I think someone else could have ratted on King without pulling in another character who shadowed Maverick’s path out of the King Lords. It wasn’t that I disliked DaVante’s story, I just thought it was repetitive.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Bahni Turpin. She was incredible. She had a voice or inflection for each character so it was easy to figure out who was talking. The only one I didn’t like was Hailey but I ended up disliking that character so it seemed to fit in the end. I adored the emotion she put into Starr because there were some very emotional scenes for her character. Overall, I think it was one of the better narrations I’ve heard.

This book is very timely and addresses a lot of issues going on in the US now. It made me question the way I look at minorities and challenged me to overcome the stereotypes I hold and question where they come from. Showing how unconscious bias can be deadly and how that can impact a community was really powerful. I think this should be taught in schools and I think the movie that’s about to come out will help spread this powerful message.

Writer’s Takeaway: Thomas did a great job of getting into the head of a 16-year-old girl and making it relatable to someone of a different generation and race. It was great to get her personality with her reactions to her mother and father using colloquialisms that mirror my own thoughts. I think Thomas has an amazing career ahead of her and I’m so excited to see what else she can deliver.

This was an amazing book and one I highly recommend to anyone who’s reading this. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
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THE HATE U GIVE by ANGIE THOMAS | Written in Ink Blog
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | Reviewing Shelf


30 Responses to “Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (5/5)”

  1. lilisblissfulpages September 11, 2018 at 10:09 AM #

    Great review for a great book. 🙂 🙂


    • Sam September 11, 2018 at 10:43 AM #

      Thank you! More to come on this one next week. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Priyasha September 11, 2018 at 10:26 AM #

    Great review 💖💖


    • Sam September 11, 2018 at 10:44 AM #

      Thank you! It’s easy when the book is wonderful. Happy reading!


  3. Aymee September 11, 2018 at 11:44 AM #

    I really need to read this soon. Thanks for another push towards getting this book.


    • Sam September 11, 2018 at 1:52 PM #

      I hope you can, it’s a great read. Happy reading!


  4. beccaleighanne September 11, 2018 at 12:07 PM #

    Wonderful review! This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year! ♥


    • Sam September 11, 2018 at 1:52 PM #

      Glad you felt the same. I hope to enjoy more by Thomas soon. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. thebookcollectiveblog September 11, 2018 at 1:47 PM #

    I loved this one too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mani September 11, 2018 at 2:47 PM #

    This is my favourite book so far this month.


    • Sam September 11, 2018 at 3:07 PM #

      It’s still early in the month haha. I bet it stays at the top of the list, though. Happy reading!


  7. Leslie September 11, 2018 at 5:06 PM #

    Great review! Hoping to read it soon!


    • Sam September 11, 2018 at 5:31 PM #

      I hope you can. It’s an amazing story. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Leslie September 11, 2018 at 10:44 PM #

        Thank you!


  8. B Lostinacoulee September 11, 2018 at 6:29 PM #

    Fantastic review, Sam! I haven’t read this one yet but I will be soon! So glad to see your review. I am looking forward to starting it!


    • Sam September 11, 2018 at 11:01 PM #

      I hope you can soon, it’s really incredible. Happy reading!


  9. lorrs33 September 12, 2018 at 9:23 AM #

    I loved this book! I got it as a Christmas present last year and read it almost immediately. I liked how it didn’t sugarcoat the reality of the situation and without spoiling the ending, I think it was true to real life.


    • Sam September 12, 2018 at 5:22 PM #

      I completely agree. It’s a book that needed to be written because it had a strong message that a lot of people need to hear. What a great Christmas present. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lola September 12, 2018 at 3:28 PM #

    This one keeps eyeing me up from my shelves, but for some reason I have not picked it up yet. Maybe it’s the hype it has had? I must make it a priority though. I haven’t seen a single bad review!


    • Sam September 12, 2018 at 5:30 PM #

      See if you can sneak it in before the movie so you avoid spoilers! And so you can see an awesome movie. Happy reading!


  11. Sharon Taylor September 13, 2018 at 8:26 AM #

    Couldn’t get to the Top Shelf discussion. Will be interested in your recap of the group’s comments. Got cool points from my 17 year old granddaughter when she saw in on my table:-)


    • Sam September 13, 2018 at 11:57 AM #

      Nice! I’ll be posting about our chat next week. We universally liked it and I hope you did too. Happy reading!


  12. Rae Longest September 17, 2018 at 8:03 PM #

    Your review does the book justice. Mine at fell a bit short , I feel. Search for it if you’d like to see (once again) how our tastes in reading are so well aligned. I bought a second copy when mine never came back from a young man who read it, then “loaned” it to his friend.


    • Sam September 17, 2018 at 8:16 PM #

      The perils of lending books! I’m so sorry but at least the book has made it to someone else who might be touched by it. Happy reading!


  13. hemingwayandchardonnay October 5, 2018 at 5:03 PM #

    I’m so glad you reviewed this — I’ve seen it around the store and library and was wondering if I’d like it. You did a great job explaining the plot without giving it away. I’d love it you checked out my blog!

    Looking forward to your next one.



    • Sam October 5, 2018 at 5:15 PM #

      Thanks! I enjoyed this book a lot and I’m looking forward to the movie. Happy reading!


  14. thebookbachelor1 October 25, 2018 at 7:36 PM #

    Omg I love this book!


    • Sam October 25, 2018 at 8:37 PM #

      Great read! I can’t wait to see the movie. Happy reading!



  1. ‘The Hate U Give’ Movie Review | Taking on a World of Words - April 29, 2019

    […] hoped that I would be able to watch the movie for The Hate U Give closer to when I finished reading it, but life didn’t agree. I was able to watch it two weeks […]


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