On “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

I’m not going to write about The Hate U Give in terms of pros and cons: this book doesn’t fit into standard categories and is way beyond a simple review.

It took me a while to read The Hate U Give because it was so intense. Although I feel uncomfortable reading something with so much swearing in it (and other edgy material), the writing was beautiful. Angie Thomas knows how to use words – she is amazing. I cried and I don’t think I’ve ever cried reading a book before – so that says a ton. But I won’t let my kids read it until they are in high school (I’m pretty liberal about what I let them read, but this book was no walk in the park).

Angie Thomas used the characters to show me a world I had no clue about. I enjoyed her commentaries on faith, family, community, race, economics and relationship. Like I said, there is so much in this book. So much to process.

The part that I loved most, but that also left me most puzzled (because I’m trying to figure out how to relate it to my own life) was on friendship – starting at Momma’s advice to Starr when they are eating pancakes and how that all unfolds: the story left me wrestling with the concepts of forgiveness versus reconciliation versus breaking ties (not that they are always mutually exclusive, but from the book there is definitely a clear message about breaking ties). Hard questions.

That’s what I’m left thinking about. Weird probably, but that’s what it is. I think it comes down to relationship and figuring out how to handle destructive and hurtful ones. When do you draw the line and how? What happens when you get hurt over and over again? Hard questions, especially if you are trying to follow Jesus.

Okay – that’s all I feel like sharing about the book for now.

It’s a beautiful, but heart breaking book.



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