What sixteen-year-old Starr witnesses, becomes more than headline news as she sees her life shattering for what many would see as being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A car ride should be uneventful, but that night when Khalil was driving Starr home, they got arrested. White cop, black kids, gun shot, Khalil dead and Starr potentially next, only to be saved in the nick of time by an intervening police force now dealing with a crime scene.
Starr not only just watched her childhood friend being shot for no apparent reasons, but she is now the star witness of a white cop/black kid murder investigation. Not a great position to be in as it comes with its own layer of complication.
It is true that you will hear a lot that this debut is reminiscent of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. But in my opinion the association to the movement is rather limiting. “The Hate U Give” is so much more than that.
You will see in Starr story that she is just human. That she is raised in a loving family, that her parents are two very hard working people. You will see that Starr is fluid in the way that she navigates her life between the black neighbourhood and community she loves and lives in, and her life in a private school with her friends. Basically, Starr is just growing up, which as a teen is difficult, but she now also has to seek justice for her fallen friend.
No doubt, this novel deals with an uncomfortable topic and there is no getting away from the fact that this book is the true-life story of too many families, but beyond that it personifies the familiar headline, it just becomes more. This novel goes beyond the white and black issue to gift the reader with a lot more colour and I will wholeheartedly recommend it to all.