The Hate U Give

32075671by Angie Thomas
YA Contemporary
5 of 5 stars
Debut novel: February 28, 2017

I don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said – important, powerful, emotional, hopeful – all of those things and more.

Starr Carter has two identities. She is one of the only black students at her preppy high school, careful never to present herself as “sassy” “loud” “angry” or any other stereotype that will make her friends raise an eyebrow. In her neighborhood, she’s Big Mav’s daughter who works at the store, “too snobby” to hang out at parties or date any guys. (Her boyfriend is Chris–rich, white, and definitely a secret). When she does go to a neighborhood party with her friend Khalil, they have to leave when shots ring out. But on their drive home, a cop stops them–and five minutes later, Khalil is dead. Starr is the only witness to the shooting, and what she decides to say or not say about that night will have far-reaching consequences.

Although there are definitely moments of humor, love, and hope, the overall mood is somber, as it should be. I suppose the pacing is unhurried, but it definitely captures the feeling that law enforcement is unhurried when you need them. When it’s your situation, the waiting is agonizing. Around all that, Starr shows us how her two worlds are colliding and it can be the best or worst thing imaginable.

The true strength of this story is Starr’s voice. Everyone you meet and every place you go feels so real you could blink and be there. I loved her, her parents, her friends (even her “annoying” younger brother). This story doesn’t pull any punches–I teared up so many times–and it’s something I will recommend to everyone.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, The Hate U Give is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

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What’s new this month

302267232/7 – King’s Cage – by Victoria Aveyard

This series captured the YA world with its blend of superpowers and dystopian elements. The conflict between commoner Red-bloods vs the elite Silver-bloods with extraordinary abilities has finally come to a head, and Mare is a powerless prisoner caught between the royal boys she loved. The rebellion struggles on without their symbol and Cal plots to get Mare back at any cost. Twists and betrayals abound in the first two books so my advice is to be prepared for a torturous ending and a long wait for the next one!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

250264032/7 – Starfall – by Melissa Landers

In the sequel to last year’s Starflight, we follow new characters Cassia and Kane through space and bouts of politics. The estranged princess returns home to claim her birthright, but allying herself with Kane will not advance her new ambitions. I have yet to get to the first book (but I need to, YA sci-fi is so small right now!) but this sounds like a fun and fast-paced adventure with strong-willed characters. The crew of the Banshee returns in this installment. Don’t be like me–read both of these now!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

247636212/7 – Wintersong – by S. Jae-Jones

My goodness the more I hear about this book the more intrigued I become! JJ is one of the hosts of the Pubcrawl podcast (which is excellent, go subscribe!) and I heard about her project from that. Liesl knows of the Goblin King like everyone else, but when her sister is taken by goblins, she finds herself face to face with the mythical monarch. To save her sister, she offers herself as the Goblin King’s bride. But humans aren’t meant to live underground, and even as they grow closer they must figure out what else they are willing to sacrifice. I’m so excited to see what this unique worlds holds in store!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

303127472/14 – Not Quite Narwhal – by Jessie Sima

This adorable debut captured my heart with it’s cover and summary! Kelp has always known he’s not quite like the other narwhals. He looks different, he doesn’t care for the food, he’s not a strong swimmer–but that’s all right. But when a storm sweeps him to the surface and he sees a creature like him, he learns he’s actually a unicorn! Can he learn to be a part of both worlds? This sounds like a completely adorable story about belonging and family. I want it on my shelf!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

303125622/21 – Blacksouls – by Nicole Castroman

For everyone (including me) who finished Blackhearts and said “Wait, that’s it?!” here is the sequel to Teach and Anne’s story! We saw how Teach’s ambitions are tending towards piracy, and how Anne desperately hopes he’ll find her again in Nassau. Separated but making their way to the Caribbean, Teach tries to figure out how to save his crew from Spanish pirates. Anne struggles to build a life in Nassau when it seems everything and everyone are full of corrupt and dangerous plans. Given the previous book’s ending I’m not confident in how this will turn out but I am very curious!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

299392302/21 – A Conjuring of Light – by V.E. Schwab

The conclusion is finally here! I fell in love with this series from the first line. I mean fell in love so hard it shocked me. Now we finally get the fates of Kell the Antari (a magician traveling between the parallel worlds), Lila the pirate, and Prince Rhy, who isn’t inclined to be too proper as a monarch. Kell, Lila, Rhy struggle to keep the balance between the four Londons as magic spirals out of control and old enemies resurface. Another set of twists and inventive magic and stress is sure to await you here!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

320756712/28 – The Hate U Give – by Angie Thomas

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this story tackles the issues of police violence and racism. The excerpt released a few months ago was unflinching–this is going to be a tough but timely read. Starr Carter’s life is divided between her poor neighborhood and her prep school. When she witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, she is drawn into a national debate and a series of protests as everyone demands to know what really happened. Starr’s statement will affect her community and could endanger her own life. This is already optioned for a film–pick this up now for an #ownvoices look at these divisive and tragic events.

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

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