The Hate U Give
- By: Angie Thomas
- Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
- Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed....
This Book Changed My Entire Perspective
- By Wendi on 01-14-18
- Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
- Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
- Release date: 02-28-17
- Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
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Regular price: $29.65
I know it's a generalization, but I tend to assume that YA books just focus on a teenager lamenting over high school issues. So when I hear that a book is YA, I'll usually pass.
The Hate U Give completely challenged my (incorrect) assumptions. It's hard to believe that this is Angie Thomas' debut novel, as she created a strong and insightful protagonist who is not only believable but relatable. Starr, who witnesses an unthinkable trauma, is, in one moment propelled into the forefront of a much larger, and much more complex, national issue.
This is so much more than a YA novel. Yes, it is about a 16-year-old high schooler dealing with parents, with friends, with relationships, with fitting in. But it's also a profound story about the systematic failures and institutional dilemmas that our country faces. It's about making sense of the senseless, and finding your voice amidst the noise.
While listening, I found myself checking the product detail page over and over to confirm that this is a solo performance. Bahni Turpin's ability to transition from teenagers to adults to children was (almost) unbelievable.
--Laura, Audible Editor
The Hate U Give is a dishearteningly relevant and eye-opening story in today's society. It is an audiobook for those who cannot understand why the #blacklivesmatter movement exists, and at the same time the book is so much more than that. Whether you understand it, half understand it, or are an existing supporter of the movement, the story of Starr, Khalil, and the world they exist in has so much to teach. These issues are not, excuse the pun, black and white. They are layered with greys including what is relevant and irrelevant when a life has been taken. Bahni Turpin's narration is so full of emotion and her ability to give each distinct character a life and personality results in effortless concentration and connection for the listener. No matter which camp you find yourself in, I encourage you to pick this up as your next listen.
--Nicole, Audible Content Team
It's safe to say that I've never encountered a YA book like this before. Never has one felt as immediate and honest and real and consequential as Thomas' debut. And yes, that's partly because the event that sets the story in motion is cruel and heart wrenching, but also because Thomas sugarcoats nothing and refuses to indulge in any fairytale notions. Instead, she writes to the top of your emotional intelligence; to your heart and your humanity. You can hear all of this registered in Bahni Turpin's narration, which is all the more stunning for a book that's all about the power of being who you are and finding your own voice. This is a powerful and necessary listen.
--Doug, Audible Editor
This is in my Top 5 audiobooks. It stayed with me for days, and I raved to anyone who would listen (and they, in turn, raved back to me after listening). I also went and downloaded everything the narrator, Bahni Turpin, has done.
At the risk of being reductivist, I have to say I'd compare this book to Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me, but hear me out: Where Coates addresses the listener/reader directly, bringing them into his sphere so that you feel you can better understand what it is to be black in America, the inherent anxieties and dangers and hatred you must face, the positive attitude you try to have in the midst of it all, Angie Thomas has illustrated and dramatized that sphere, made it cinematic, almost virtual reality. Coates' work is critical for understanding, at least somewhat, the black experience in America on an intellectual level; but you feel it—you sweat, feel afraid, crushed, angry, triumphant, and hopeful—when you listen to Thomas' book.
My favorite moments include, of course, the beginning, the traffic stop, which was incredibly tense and I missed my subway stop and must have looked like I'd been slapped across the face. But also the scene on the street where Starr's father is trying to quiet the tough, old Mr. Lewis, who is endangering himself by railing to a TV camera crew against the local gang and its kingpin. In the midst of their argument, the cops appear and the scene just becomes breathless. I felt intimidated, angry, afraid, and indignant along with Starr's father; as traumatized as Starr. I think it was this scene that made me text several friends. This scene moves mountains.
Incredible listen. I hated pausing it.
--Erin, Audible Range
What a book!
I'm not normally into YA, but I don't know if you would categorize this book as such, and you definitely couldn't pigeonhole into that one genre. It is something of an allegorical tale about the Black Lives Matter movement, and racist police brutality.
But it's not just a diatribe about what is wrong with the world, and the way things should be. That's where Angie Thomas shines; she doesn't sacrifice her story or sense of character development to send a message. This is a real, holistic story about a young woman's coming of age in a fulcrum of racial and political strife, all while confronting the standard and not-so-standard complications of teenage life: communication issues, identity, family, and responsibility.
Bahni Turpin does a miraculous job giving these characters the voice they deserve. There is a lot of style behind the dialogue that I could see might be hard to pull off, but she does it with ease and it draws you that much more into the story.
--Michael, Audible Editor
I finished this novel a few months ago this point, but it’s still lingering as if I had just finished moments ago. I think that feeling is a testament to just how heartbreakingly timely this story is and how effectively debut author Angie Thomas captures this moment in history through the eyes of one very captivating young character—Starr Carter. My fellow reviewers have already described this book as required listening, and I’ll echo that statement. Whether you’re a teen or an adult, whether you think you have a strong opinion on this issue or have felt distanced from it—listen to this book.
Bahni Turpin’s performance is nothing short of masterful. I was blown away by how effortlessly she embodied not only 16-year-old Starr, but also her family, circle of friends, antagonists, and supporters. The relationships felt all the more real, and the emotions all the more palpable, thanks to Turpin’s interpretation.
--Sam, Audible Editor
Important feels like too small of a word to describe this debut novel. Transformative. Searing. Stunning. Necessary. Fearless. Authentic. I could go on. The fact that this is Angie Thomas' debut novel still floors me. Her prose is both elegant and deliberate—there is not a wasted word in the near 500 pages / 12 hours of text.
The Hate U Give, which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, follows Starr Carter as she attempts to balance two very different worlds: the "ghetto" where she lives, and the affluent prep school she attends nearly an hour away. During spring break Starr is in the car with her best friend Khalil driving home from a party when they are pulled over by a cop who ultimately fatally shoots Khalil. He was unarmed. As the sole witness, Starr faces an impossible burden—she wants justice for her friend, but she also wants to protect her family and that means staying out of the public eye. What amazes me about Thomas is her ability to handle this important (and sadly timely) topic with such grace, poignancy, and authenticity, but then seamlessly switch to a less heady topic (like prom dresses and boyfriend drama) with the same level of authenticity. Teachers take note—this book should become required reading.
I'm excited to watch Thomas' career and see what she does next. Bahni Turpin, Audible's 2016 Narrator of the Year, was the perfect choice to perform this novel. She embodies Starr.
Bravo, Angie. Bravo, Bahni. Put this at the top of your listen list.
--Katie, Audible Editor
For the week I listened to this book, I got in my car each morning, turned the key, connected phone to stereo, and thought to myself, “It’s time to check in with Starr, I wonder what’s happening with her today?” I love this kid, this 16-year-old black girl whose inner life has become a central part of my every day. The struggles she faces—the unimaginable losses, overwhelming fear of very real threats, and the universally shared stresses of high school in America—are so authentic that it feels like I’m living her life beside her as events unfold. This is a now story. A today story. A story that feels like you just might be able to effect the outcome if you will it hard enough. Knowing Starr Carter, I’m left with a new kind of hope for the future. Thank you, Angie Thomas, for creating her.
--Tricia, Audible Editor