By Haroula Barbounis
One of the most popular and influential books this year and last year has been Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, which has recently turned into a movie starring Amandla Stenberg. It touches on many significant issues we have today, such as racism and police brutality. A best-seller, it talks about a girl named Starr Carter who copes with many hardships in her life, such as fitting in at her rich white prep school and balancing that with her life at home in her low-income black neighborhood. This alone is relatable in everyday life, when trying to balance two completely different lives. She witnesses her best friend from childhood get shot by a police officer, even though her friend was unarmed. As Starr deals with the emotional trauma, she must decide if she will speak out about her friend’s undeserved death.
After reading this novel, let me tell you, this book was a bestseller for a reason. While not everything in this book may apply to everyone of all ages or race, you really feel that you are in Starr’s shoes in the book. It’s easy to visualize what is going on, and The Hate U Give is a consistent page-turner. Altogether, you just feel that this story is relevant to your life and to this day in age, regardless of the fact that it came out more than a year ago. And the dialogue runs smoothly and isn’t choppy or inconsistent. There is next to no plot-holes in the storyline. The characters sound believable and aren’t just randomly placed in there for convenience. And there were many times in The Hate U Give where it makes you think. You think to yourself, Are people really this cruel? Is this how people really see other people? and Is this how the world really is? The Hate U Give is a perfect example of seeing the world without sugarcoating or exaggerating; it shows how our views and opinions separate us as a society.
Overall, The Hate U Give is very eye-opening, and the importance of having empathy and having the courage to stand up for what you believe in are the central messages that we as a society need to remember.