Sixteen-year-old Starr feels like there are two versions of herself: she lives in a poor neighbourhood and is one of the few black students at a private high school. When her unarmed best friend, Khalil, is killed by a police officer, Starr’s two worlds collide. As the only witness, she knows the truth about what happened. But speaking out could cost Starr her life and put her family in danger.
This book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. THUG is a thought-provoking, powerful and relevant read. Angie Thomas is a skillful storyteller who shines a light on systemic racism.
Starr is a brilliant main character and you root for her the whole time. She’s a sharp-witted and intelligent teenage girl who loves to watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She also has a wry sense of humour. Her life is turned upside down after the death of Khalil. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to see your best friend get killed right before your eyes. Starr has to deal with so much as she grieves for Khalil and tries to stand up for what she believes in.
I especially enjoyed how this is a YA book with an emphasis on family. Starr has a supportive family who look out for her. Their bond came across as realistic. It’s also a moving story about friendship and community. Whilst this book is about a serious subject matter, The Hate U Give has some funny moments. I loved Maverick’s Harry Potter gang theory!
Overall, an excellent debut novel by Angie Thomas.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐