Note from Elena Reads: My friend, Oscar Wolfe, 14, is the founder of a blog called That is Great! – a kid’s take on stuff that is great. Check it out after you read his guest book review below:
The Hate U Give is a new, timely, controversial, and fascinating novel by Angie Thomas. Essentially, the main character, Starr, lives in Garden Heights, a very poor, dangerous, and almost completely African-American neighborhood. But, her school, Williamson Prep, is the complete opposite. It’s rich, safe, and almost completely white. Because of this divide in Starr’s life, she has to act like two completely people depending on where she is and who she’s with.
Then, Starr’s life gets extremely complicated when she is the only person in the car with her close friend Khalil when he is shot and killed by a police officer, making her the witness to a high-profile, controversial case.
As you can probably tell, this book is not for little kids. In addition to the main plot of the police shooting, there are other subplots containing sexual pressure, drugs, gangs, violent crimes, and the like.
However, I found it amazing that I, a 14-year-old white boy from Minneapolis, could relate on so many levels to this book. While it may seem that the main plot is about the police shooting, the underlying message is about how Starr was forced to live two lives, and I think that’s something most kids can relate to, no matter where they come from. For example, I live in a mostly white suburban neighborhood but go to an extremely diverse public middle school.
Everyone else who I’ve talked to about this book has had a similar experience. It’s an emotional roller coaster. I laughed out loud and practically cried. I was silently raging against the system in the middle of geometry.
Overall, this is an absolutely amazing book. I would highly suggest it for anyone over the age of probably about 12.
This book gets 4 out of 4 roses.