The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Hate U Give
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Fiction
Reviewed: August 2018
Panda Rating:

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Side note: I reviewed this book in 2018 and well, this was really at the start of when I started reviewing books more. I think I probably could’ve said a lot more about this book but I just really sucked at writing reviews back then, which you can obviously tell!

“Sometimes you can do everything right but things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right”

I think this book has shot to the top of my best reads in 2018 and I think it will be one of the books I recommend people read if they ask. I cried countless times and laughed like crazy while reading this. I loved the Carter family and their relationship with each other; I loved that despite the tough situation Starr found herself in, the family could still find reasons to laugh and they continued to live their life doing good and right. I also loved the sense of community that was shared too. It was like a shared commiseration of their situation but still, they didn’t let that get them down.

Honestly, I admit that I found Starr’s attitude a bit childish/petulant at the beginning, I realized that I was expecting her to act like an “adult” and to speak from that “adult perspective”. Once I realized how silly my perception was, and I changed how I viewed her character, I realized that Angie Thomas perfectly captured a young teenage girl who is not only going through the typical “high school drama” but is also trying to navigate her way through the two worlds she straddles, without having to diminish herself in any way. She struggles but she gets there in the end. It was a heart-wrenching, heart-warming journey that I’m glad we got to go on.

“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”

This book covers such important issues (prejudice, injustice, racism) that unfortunately haven’t lost traction in today’s “modern world”. It’s disheartening, frustrating and mind-boggling to know that issues people faced decades ago are still an issue today – it’s like humans haven’t progressed and we’ve only regressed. Okay, I’m discounting all the good people in this world, but it’s frustrating to know that people are still so arrogant and so blind to their privilege and that they refuse to acknowledge that they are, indeed, privileged…

Anyway, before I go on a crazy rant about this, I will say that I recommend everyone read this book. I hope people read this and come away with some understanding. Thomas provides a glimmer of light amidst the darkness with this one.

Have you read The Hate U Give? What’d you think of it?
Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Friday Favorites: Books Set in High School

It’s time for another Friday Favorites hosted by Kibby @ Something of the Book! This weekly meme is where you get to share a list of all your favorites based on the list of prompts on Kibby’s page. Sounds fun, right? This week’s prompt is: favorite books set in high school. I don’t know whether to rigidly or loosely interpret this prompt because while I’ve read a lot of books about being a high school, I don’t think I’ve read that many where the story is set in high school? Am I overthinking? Probably. I choose to blame my high anxiety and stress levels from this week because y’all, it has been a freaking week and I’m so glad it’s over! 😭 Here are some of the ones I could think of:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I feel like this is pretty self explanatory! THUG has received so much hype and all the praise, and it 100% lives up to it. This was one of my top reads last year. It’s a hard hitting and emotional story that I think everyone needs to read at least once in their life!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Who doesn’t love a good fluffy YA romance? I was skeptical AF when I picked this book up; sure, it sounded like a fun read but it also sounded like it’d be full of potentially bad corny/cheesy YA writing. I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself and actually picked it up because I was pleasantly surprised by it! Yes, it’s cheesy & super fluffy, but it’s the perfect feel good summer read, and I’m not sorry that I loved it!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Yo, this book. I think this is one of the only books I’ve ever reread (not because this is my favorite book of all time, I just don’t reread as much as I want to) but I think that it made me cry even harder the second time around, despite knowing exactly what happens!

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus. I didn’t put this book down until I finished it in the wee hours of the morning. This was a great YA thriller and I loved every second of the Breakfast Club/Gossip Girl/How To Get Away With Murder vibes! I’m not a newbie to thrillers but this one seriously had me wondering whodunit for a good 50-60% of the book, after which it really started to fall into place and while it was slightly outlandish, the truth was also totally fitting!

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir. This was my first book of 2019 and even though it didn’t take the route I expected, I really enjoyed it. I can’t even fathom what it would be like to grow up in such a super conservative and religious household, let alone one that’s broadcast nationally. A lot of people said it reminded them of The Duggars, but I had no idea who they were, but that didn’t mean I enjoyed it any less/more. But apparently a lot of the family dynamics and even the “scandal” was reminiscent of this real life family.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. Okay, I really don’t know if this one counts but I’m making it count because this was became a favorite of mine very recently. I honestly loved everything about it and I wrote a bit of a gushing review for it that you can read here.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. This was the third Rowell book I read and it just solidified her as a favorite for me. When I read this a few years ago, it felt like it was the first time I encountered a male protagonist/love interest with a non-Asian female protagonist. Is that sad? Maybe I’m just not well-read enough? 🤷🏻‍♀️ Either way, it was surprising but I enjoyed it! Both characters had deep-seated issues that were heartbreakingly relatable, but I loved how their relationship started and grew, and I was so there for their love story.

BONUS: The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. These are the books set in high school that are still sitting on my TBR but I’m predicting that I will love them when I finally get to them–which is going to be soon because they’re also on my reading list for pride month! Yay! Have you read any of these books?

What are your favorite books set in high school? Do any of my faves make your list? Feel free to leave me recommendations in the comments!