“Pac said Thug Life stood for The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody.”
I raise my eyebrows. “What?”
“Listen! The Hate U ― the letter U ― Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. T-H-U-G L-I-F-E. Meaning what society give us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out. Get it?” ―
The Hate U Give is a young adult novel by Angie Thomas. The book was first published in 2017. It is Thomas’ first novel and apparently it has been expanded from a short story she wrote in college following the police shooting of Oscar Grant.
I haven’t read YA in a while, or honestly outside science fiction and fantasy, I don’t think I have read YA for years and to add to the honesty, I think I finally read this only because of the movie coming out. I’m glad I did because this is a stunning book. The Hate U Give follows the life of 16-year-old black girl Starr. One day on a way home from a party, Starr and her friend Khalil are stopped by a white police officer. Khalil exits the car but grabs a hairbrush and officer fires shots at Khalil, killing him. Khalil’s death becomes a national news story. He is portrayed as gang banger and drug dealer, by the media while more favorably portraying the white officer who killed him. Starr’s identity as the witness is initially kept secret. Case goes to grand jury and they fail to indict the white officer which leads to protests and riots. During the book, Starr takes more and more initiative to come out as a witness first and then as an activist.
“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” ―
The Hate U Give is an inspiring read. It’s about injustice and fighting the injustice and about finding your voice and using it. This was clearly inspired by “Black Lives Matter” and it has a lot of criticism towards the system and it does deliver the message very strongly. Kids are dying. I haven’t been paying that much attention to the news in general in past few years or to this particular campaign. And I also don’t know if that was partly because of my own skin color but in some way I have been ignorant of racism…. and that is why it’s so important that we have books like this. Moreover, this is beautifully written, characters are sympathetic and it just gives you such a different perspective upon things. I’m still not the biggest fan of YA and also I did not like how this book, despite clearly trying to make things right, still had us vs. them thinking , like I’m pretty sure there are decent white officers around so thus not giving this full five stars.
How-To Read The Hate U Give
1. I wish everyone would read this or that schools would make more people to read this book. You’ll like this if you are interested about fighting injustice and it’s in many ways eye-opening for white readers. I really did not think of many things presented in this book because I was lacking the right perspective.
2. You’ll like this if you like societal criticism.
3. It’s not too fast-paced of a book but offers many good points.
“I can’t change where I come from or what I’ve been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me?” ―