The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Reading a book is entering a completely another world. You have become someone else, live a different life through a collection of words. You can pretend you are saving the world and fighting villains. However, the best books are not the ones where you become a hero, in the end, the best books are those who leave you shattered and broken. They leave you with a sense of disorientation. A new perspective, leaving you as a different person.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is one of the books that completely breaks you apart and leaves you more than disorientated. The aftermath of finishing the book is the worst and that is why THUG is one of my favorite books. It took me months to even start the novel, simply because I could not get in the right reading mindset. I carried the book around in my bag until one day during a shift and a cup of coffee, I finally got through the book.
THUG follows a young black girl, Starr Carter who witnesses a police officer shoot her childhood best friend, Khalil. Starr lives in two different worlds; the poor, black neighborhood and the predominated white prep school. The reader follows the young girl’s struggle to balance and keep the two worlds separate while also going through the trauma of her best friend’s murder.
We constantly read on the news of another young black man who was shot due to police brutality. Richard Cottier, Spencer Ashworth, Edson Da Costa, Khalid Masood, Yassar Yaqub are just a few of the young men who were shot by the police while undergoing regular activities, in the last two years. However, due to many of being unrelated to these horrible atrocities, we put them at the back of our minds until it occurs once again on the news. THUG gives the reader a whole different perspective by engaging us and making us feel as though we were, in fact, struggling to grieve properly for our childhood best friend.
Starr Carter is not allowed to grieve for Khalil but is surrounded by a political stance. She is ridden with nightmares each time she closes her eyes, the police want to talk to her about the incident and Is trying to hide the fact that she is the witness from the public eye. It is a little overwhelming to read as she doesn’t get the chance to just be herself and let her emotions out. Even during school, Starr tries to control her emotions, so she doesn’t seem like an angry black girl. She allows one of her friends to pass racist remarks until one day it gets a little too much for her and she stops caring about being silent.
For me, THUG made me understand the struggle and difficulty every black person in the entire country has. The fear every time they see a cop’s car pass through the street, the struggle of compressing their identity. I was so indulged in the novel, that driving home after my shift, resulting in an intense fear after the sight of a police car. My heart had literally splattered across the road. And therefore, we need THUG! For people to understand why we need the Black Lives Matter movement. To stand together and challenge our justice system until we get justice for the people who brutality killed by those who are meant to keep us safe. THUG shows non-black people the reality of our black brothers and sisters and honestly, we need to do more.