Starr is sixteen years old, living in a rough neighbourhood but attending a posh (mostly white high school in the suburbs. One night, Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her friend, Khalil (unarmed), by a police officer (white). As the only witness, what Starr says could make her a target by both the police and her own community. But, it could also help to make a change.
I really, really enjoyed this book. It’s funny, current, and moving. The characters are fantastic and relatable, especially Starr. Our lives are nothing alike and yet, because she’s such a well-written character, I was able to connect with her. I loved Starr’s narrative voice, and the way the book is written in her accent. The writing was very easy to read and very well done.
The Hate U Give is an important and eye-opening story. It was particularly interesting for me as a white, British reader because we definitely don’t hear as much about the kind of issues addressed in this book as maybe we should.
As far as teen fiction goes, I’m not sure this book actually deserves the amount of hype it has received. Honestly, I feel like the main reason it’s been so popular is because it deals with such an important topic. It’s a good book, but it’s not the best. That being said, I still think it should be read, especially by teens who don’t get much exposure to the real issues behind #BlackLivesMatter.