Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Page Count/Review Word Count: 448
I was a little bit worried about picking this one up because there’s been a lot of hype around its release and I knew before going in that it dealt with a policeman shooting an unarmed black dude. I worried that if it wasn’t well-executed, the whole thing would just feel off somehow. But I needn’t have worried.
True, I did have occasional problems with the book, but it was mostly just where stuff didn’t relate too well to what things are like here in the UK. Even the way that the characters talked is so different to how people talk here in the UK, but at the same time it was consistent with itself, if that makes sense. I might not have heard some of the slang, but it definitely felt like the dialogue was realistic and true to the characters.
I was also worried to begin with that because Khalil is killed so early in the book that there was a risk we wouldn’t ever get to know him. Luckily, Thomas thought of that and made sure that we continue to learn more about him after his death, and that actually reflects what generally happens when a cop kills someone. Considering it’s such sensitive material, it’s really, really well handled.
Honestly, I can see The Hate U Give going on to be considered a contemporary classic, and while I did have a couple of problems with it here and there, there was nothing that I’d consider a deal-breaker. It took me a little while to get used to the dialogue, but the same thing happens when I read an Irvine Welsh book. And after the first fifty or sixty pages, it became hard to put it down, even though strictly speaking not a great deal actually happens. Or more accurately, the biggest thing to happen is what happens right at the start of the book, and they spend the rest of the book coming to terms with it. It’s a pretty powerful way to tell a story.
All in all then, there’s not much that I can say here that hasn’t already been said somewhere else. I also see a lot of people saying that because they’re not black, they’re less qualified to share an opinion as to the accuracy of its depictions of race and culture. I’m not sure if that’s true, because I think that being from a different culture to the one portrayed made me appreciate it even more. Ultimately, it made me want to be a good person. Excellent.