While this book still fits the bill with the many I am currently reading (main character has a best friend of opposite sex who needs help), it dives much deeper than the other books with this same characters and problems. In this book, teen issues are still very real and talked about, but color and race are thrown into the mix along with things that have to do with the law and discrimination.
It was interesting and well written how Starr, the main character, can’t seem to feel comfortable or find a place in which she fits between the two worlds in which she floats-one being where she lives in the ghetto and the other being where she goes to school which is a predominately white area on the other side of town. While at a party with her friends from the ghetto, she runs into her best friend Khalil. Though they haven’t talked in months, they grew up together and pick right back up where they left off. A shot breaks the party up and they flew to Khalil’s car. While driving, they get pulled over by a police officer and Khalil doesn’t fully cooperate. Next thing you know, he is being shot three times for simply moving while outside his vehicle…he doesn’t have a gun or drugs, and Starr sees the whole thing. She must stand up for what she believes in, and that is the fact that Khalil did NOT deserve to get shot. Between his death and the final decision of the grand jury, you see what happens behind the scenes in Garden Heights with the King Lord ruling everything with drugs and violence and how families are intertwined with the same mom or dad but all spread out.
This book was full of violence, sex, drugs, money, racial differences, status differences and so much more…things that aren’t just things teenagers growing up on the wrong side of town deal with, but also adults, and things that everyone as whole needs to pay attention to.
This book won many awards such as the Printz Honor and Coretta Scott King honor.
Click on the image to visit the author’s Amazon page to find more books written by Thomas.
Thomas, Angie (2017). The hate u give. New York, NY: HarperCollins.