The Hate U Give: Book Review

Morgan Cook

It took sass, a hairbrush, and an officer with a gun to end the life of an enthusiastic teen and change the life of another for good.

Now an original motion picture, The Hate U Give envelops readers in the story of Starr Carter, an African American teenager who was forced to witness the death of Khalil Harris, her friend since childhood, at the hands of a Caucasian police officer. Now, she struggles to move onward, trying to wrap her mind around what to do next.

As if attending a more white-dominated high school isn’t hard enough for Starr, she must take on the roles of two people. One at school and one in her home, which her classmates recognize as the ghetto. Deciding to keep her involvement in the murder a secret toward her high school friends, Starr tries to keep her cool. But people talk, and now, faced with the fact that the officer might not be punished as she thinks he deserves, Starr must inform people from both of her worlds what really happened, including ones she loves and ones she would rather not speak to. Throughout this novel, we follow the journey of a young girl in the midst of a town full of gangs, violence, and amazing people, who learns to use the power that her voice has. But will her voice be enough to receive justice for Khalil?

This fantastic novel captures the essential and controversial issue of police brutality and will change the lives of all who read it by opening the eyes of those who are unaware of what truly happens outside of our their little bubbles. It is my humble opinion that this should be a required read for all high schoolers, for it will make readers aware that there is more to a person than the labels society gives them on the radio or in the news. As Starr Carter would say: “They lived.”


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