Finished The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I received a copy for review.
Starr is the only witness to a police-involved shooting that left one of her best friends dead. She is afraid to talk about it (primarily because it could end up making one of the neighborhood gangs mad at her; secondarily because she now doesn’t want to be near any police officers). The events leading up to and immediately after the shooting are harrowing and Starr has a hard time moving past them (and understandably so; it’s not something you’d ever really get over). But as time does go on, Starr starts to find her voice.
There are no words for how much I love this book. I appreciate the care that Angie Thomas took to ensure that the book shows good cops too, because hopefully that will make it easier for everyone to read this novel without feeling defensive.
I’m white. I grew up thinking that police officers were there to help me. Starr’s experience would have been completely foreign to me if I hadn’t moved to Baltimore ten years ago. Even before what happened to Freddie Gray (and I am so proud to live in a city where the accused officers were indicted and did face trial, and a city where our elected officials marched with protesters), I had heard stories of people whose experiences with police weren’t as benign as mine have been. I also know we have good cops…but there are bad ones, too. I believe there are more good than bad, but I also know it’s hard for some people to get justice.
This novel shows what can happen when it feels like you’ll never find that justice. It’s not condoned but it is explained.
Highly, highly recommended.