What’s the point of having a voice if you are going to be silent??

The Hate U Give is a book written by Angie Thomas. It is her first novel and is one of my favourite books. The story revolves around a coloured teen named Starr Carter. She lives in a poor neighbourhood called Garden Heights but goes to school in a posh and “white” neighbourhood. This book talks about her journey of discovering who she is and how to do the right thing even when the world is against you.

Image from Amazon

The story starts with Starr meeting her best friend, Khalil after eight years. Soon both of them are forced to flee when a gunfight erupts. Khalil was driving when a cop stopped him. He was neither speeding nor was he a minor. The cop assumed that since they were coloured kids, they were up to no good. The cop took a full body search of Khalil thrice and was still suspicious. But when Khalil leans towards the window to ask Starr if she is alright, the cop shoots him thrice, killing him. Khalil was not doing anything wrong and was killed just on the pretext of being coloured. This affects Starr’s life as nothing was done to the officer. He was white and was able to get away with murder. In this book, she learns to raise her voice and use it against the officer. She decides to fight for Khalil and make people understand that each life matters.

This book talks about personal relations, racism and the injustice prevalent in our society. It also talks about finding your true self and finding people who accept you for whom you are. It gives good advice to people who are fighting battles within themselves or with others. One of the most important lessons that I learnt is that there are times when you lose battles but you should never lose hope of winning the war. People might be against you in all stages of life but it’s up to us to stand up for ourselves and the people we love.

Angie Thomas has written this book in a very relatable way. Throughout the story, all the characters portray emotions and behave in ways which make you understand and empathise. This goes for almost all the characters. We can equally understand the pain and sadness along with the happiness and joy. It depicts the current world scenario of racism and prejudice. I really appreciate the way she took this problem and presented a realistic story where the problem isn’t solved but the issue is still prevalent instead of the cliche story of good winning over bad. But it is also not a depressing story as it teaches us that our voices matter. It may not solve the problem but it does make a difference.

In a remarkable way, the author shows us how not all coloured people are bad or thugs. It drills in the fact that even if a person is a drug dealer or a thug, IT IS NOT ALRIGHT TO KILL THEM. They too have families and people who depend on them. She also explains that due to racial profiling, many coloured people are unable to get jobs. This leads them to the alternative of selling drugs to survive.

I would like to recommend this book as it raises awareness and makes us want to put in a conscious effort of helping the world. It tackles several social problems that are prevalent in our society. Thus for all those who desperately want to make a difference, this is the book for them. Lastly, this story is intriguing and wouldn’t let you put it down anytime soon.

~ Ananya Milak, Grade X, Ekya School JP Nagar


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