Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.
IG pressure! Well, that is what made me buy The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Having seen it all over bookstagram for months and months and bookmarking it on GR, I only bought it last year as a part of my now much-mentioned birthday haul. Although I read it weeks ago, I just got round to writing this review because, well, let’s not go there. It’s a rant in itself. Anyway, just forgive me if I am not using all the names, because frankly, I have forgotten. I only remember the names of the lead and the other important character, so there you go.
Starr is a regular girl. A teenager who disagrees with her mom, a sister who fights with her brothers, a daughter who defies her father, and a girl with a boyfriend. A black girl with a white boyfriend (if just the mention of this last line doesn’t make you feel nauseous at the state of the world we live in, I think you should stop and go back to whatever else that it is you were doing and not read my review) So Starr, our girl, reconnects with her once best friend Khalil at a party in their neighborhood, years after being out of touch. Reason? To begin with, she goes to a fancy white school while he is still doing classes at their community school, the breeding ground for all kinds of gangs. After an unfortunate accident the party creates chaos and Starr finds herself in Khalil’s car, speeding away from the scene. Just when she thinks they are now safe, they are flagged down by a cop and what happens next, changes Starr’s life and that of her family and her community.
Khalil’s death was no accident, it was murder, a cold-blooded one at that. An unarmed boy is killed just because a cop felt threatened by a hairbrush? A gun was pointed at Starr’s head just because she cradled a dying Khalil? What is fair, what isn’t, Starr loses all of it. Her mind, her friends at her school which she tried way too hard to adjust to, and yet, she can’t speak. Her family comes at a risk. Her life is engulfed the same way her father’s store is gutted. She is the only one who could stop all of it, yet, she can’t speak.
If you think racism didn’t exist anymore, just look sideways with open eyes and mind. If you think the world has come a long way from slavery, just look into your homes, and see if your help is being treated like a human. If you think people cry fake wolf, maybe they aren’t wrong, maybe the real wolf is you.
Starr is the star of the book, and with her, her family, which is as real as it could get. I loved how the relationships are dealt with. Close but not overbearing, loving but not overprotective. Their disagreements are real and their fights with each other and for each other are real. Their fear is real. Their want to have a better life is real. Their problems are real. Their struggles are real. Their weaknesses are real and their strength is real. And their fight for justice real.
With much praise of this book already being written, the next thing I am going to say might be offensive to some, but democracy, right? I have the right to speak my mind too. So while the author expertly brings into light the racism that black folks have to suffer and the consequences of that racism which only they have to suffer, I feel she forgot that the same aforementioned folks have their own prejudices against people not like them. Yes, their acceptance of others come easy as compared to their acceptance by the others, but I can’t seem to ignore that they too do what their tormentors do, albeit in lower degrees. The end can not justify the means. Having said all this, I must add that there is no specific gender, caste, creed, or race to be cruel and inhuman. It is all in the head. If you see people as people, you are good, man. If you see people as being defined by any of the above criteria, boss, you have to rethink your ideologies.
Now tell me, have you ever faced racism/prejudice? Have you ever been made to feel less worthy by someone/something because you aren’t as white as the other? Have you ever fought against it? Or did you just feel not worthy of even fighting for yourself? If the answer to all the questions is yes, then this book is for you. If the answer to all the questions is no, then this is definitely the book for you.
THUG is not just about America and its people. It is about every damn country in the world and every single citizen of those countries. It is an eye-opener, that the hate we give, comes back to whoop our own asses. THUG life will come to thug you one day.
What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?0 likes