Book Reviews

Book Review – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Disclaimer: If you believe Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Ezell Ford, Rekia Boyd, Sandra Bland, etc. deserved to be killed, kindly leave my blog and never come back. Kay, thanks…



Also, I have nothing against cops; in fact, my aunt’s a cop, and I respect the jobs they have to do and know that the good cops outweigh the bad ones. I do have something against cops who shoot first and ask questions later, are racist, or just are all-around shitty people.

The Hate U Give is an extremely powerful novel stemming from the Black Lives Matter Movement and multitude of cases where unarmed African American men, women, and children have been gunned down by (mostly) white police officers. It is a novel that needs to be read in today’s current political climate, especially by teenagers. The novel follows Starr Carter, a girl who feels she is straddling two worlds: her life in a not-so-great neighborhood where gangs run the streets and her predominantly white prep school. After leaving a party, Starr becomes the sole witness of the murder of her best friend, Khalil, at the hand of a white police officer.  Starr is the only one who is able to give the full story about what happened that night and there are some who don’t want that story told. 

What I Liked: 

ALL OF THE THINGS!

First, I love Angie Thomas’s prose and writing style: simple yet powerful. I also really love that Ms. Thomas used a lot of slang and even cuss words within the novel. It made the novel so much more authentic. I mean, people can be up in arms about there being cursing in YA novels all they want, but there’s no use pretending that teens don’t cuss. And this is coming from someone who said “What the fluffer-nutter!” until my junior year of college. 

The characters are just amazing, especially Starr, her parents, brothers, and other relatives. They were not perfect by any means, but their love and devotion for each other was solid. Starr’s father’s character arc is one we don’t normally see: an ex-gang member trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his wife, children, and community. The bond Starr has with him brought tears to my eyes on numerous occasions. 

Starr’s relationship with her boyfriend, Chris, was really cute. If there’s a sequel or companion novel, they still better be together.

I definitely side-eyed Starr’s friend, Hailey. She’s that type of friend that leaves you constantly cringing about whether what came out of her mouth might have been racist but to avoid drama you don’t say anything. I have definitely learned that when it comes to these types of so-called friends, you have put a lid on comments that offend you from the get-go or they’ll constantly think you’re okay with it. 

However, the cop that killed Khalil and the cops that tried to justify Khalil’s death especially bothered me.  Just because someone sells drugs does not mean they deserve to die! Especially not in cold blood. You see this again and again with these cases. Look at the Mike Brown case. They made him seem like a thug to make his death seem justified and it’s not fair. With Philando Castile, they said he was a monster because he smoked weed in front of his child but there was recently an article about “supermoms” who smoke weed. And don’t tell me it has nothing to do with race because it does but that’s a post for another day. 

The only thing I particularly didn’t like about the novel was King, the neighborhood drug lord. Ugh I wanted to slap him with a brick on every page he was on. 

I appreciated how realistic the verdict was, and understood why the author wrote the ending the way she did. 

There is honestly so much more I can say about this novel, but I have to say you have to read it for yourself. I am floored that it took me this long to read this. I firmly recommend The Hate U Give to everyone, especially African American teenagers. After all , the scene where Starr describes being talked to about what to do if stopped by a cop is a common staple in many homes, including mine. The problem is that it shouldn’t be. Ms. Thomas’s book is  a stunning one about police brutality and its consequences. 

Book Tags

2017 Mid Year Freak-Out Book Tag

Well, we’re 8 days into August and there’s only 5 months left of the year. Let me be the first person to say I absolutely cannot wait for 2018 to make its presence because I am hella over 2017.

bye felicia pocahontas

This year, I have been stressed to the breaking point what with my intense grad-school classes, intense wedding planning, health issues, and other personal issues. The only thing I’m regretting about 2017 is how little I’ve read so far this year. Despite that, I’m here to share with all of you the amazing books that I have managed to fit into my busy schedule through the Mid Year Freak-Out Book Tag. Here we go:

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far: Definitely Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo! I so need to get my hands on Crooked Kingdom like now!

six of crows

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far: Well, I haven’t exactly read any sequels yet but I will soon…eventually…

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet: There are soooo many, but number 1 on my list is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. A close second is Because You Hate to Love Me.

The Hate U Give

4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of 2015: It’s not my most anticipated read but I think I’ll like Blight by Alexandra Duncan. I haven’t finished her Salvage duology yet but I remember really liking it.

Blight Alexandra Duncan

5. Biggest Disappointment: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. I have been looking forward to reading this book for months, but I came to find Charles Lindbergh to be the most insufferable man to ever be brought to life in a historical fiction novel.

The Aviator's Wife

6. Biggest Surprise: I’m really surprised I liked A Court of Thorns and Roses as much as I did. But what can I say, I fell in love with Feyre and Tamlin.

Court of Thorns and Roses

7. Favorite New Author: Easily Leigh Bardugo! Again, Six of Crows has become my favorite book of the year and I LOVE her writing style.

8. Newest Fictional Crush: Nikolai from The Crown’s Game. I was floored by how the story ended and how much I found that I was rooting for Nikolai. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel to this one as well!

the crown's game

9. Newest Favorite Character: Inej from Six of Crows. She is my child and needs to be protected at all costs.

10. Book That Made You Cry: While the World Watched, a memoir by a woman who survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, AL. She watched her friends die in the worst way possible and lived with so much survivor’s guilt and depression. This was a hard read, but I’m extremely glad I read this one.

while the world watched

11. Book That Made You Happy: A Court of Thorns and Roses because it ended up (semi) happily and it gave me soooo many feels.

12. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Acquired: Because You Love to Hate Me. That book cover is gorgeous! I love the simplicity of the blue rose with the black ink spilling out of it against the purple background. Love it!

Because You Love to Hate Me

12. Books You Need To Read By the End of the Year:

  • Because You Love to Hate Me
  • The Chronicles of Elantra series
  • every Brandon Sanderson book ever
  • When Dimple Met Rishi
  • The English and Their History
  • The Next Together
  • The Gemma Doyle trilogy
  • more 2017 releases….

Well, there you have it, most of the books I have read (and want to read) in the year 2017. It seems like I finally have time to get some reading done this weekend so I fully plan to get to it!