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Why we think it's Essential - Every now and then a book comes along that speaks to your soul. Angie Thomas' debut novel, The Hate U Give, is one such book. Each editor here has listened, and the feeling afterwards is unanimous - this is one of the best performances we've ever encountered. Thomas' message is both timely and transcendent. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this book is important, necessary, fearless, and, quite simply, stunning.
Narrator Bahni Turpin manages to give voice to such a broad and rich cast of characters, each with their own authentic perspective, demonstrating the power of performance to bring new depth to a complex social issue.
We believe this is truly the definition of required listening.-The Audible Editors
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas' searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.
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.
But what Starr does - or does not - say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
In this world in all societies, there are givers and takers whether you are on Wall St. or you are in some inner city ghetto. Human nature is so heavily influenced by our surroundings that once engulfed it is so hard to get out and make significant changes. The reality of this book is that it takes tremendous courage to stand for who you are and what you believe when there is so much pressure around you to go with the flow. I thought Angie Thomas did a brilliant job of highlighting the day to day courage required by all of us in embracing race, society, and local community to create a peaceful world. Love needs to connect with the color of our blood regardless of the color of our skin.
69 of 74 people found this review helpful
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.
48 of 53 people found this review helpful
This book starts out with the feel of a Young Adult novel. If it was written for that genre, it quickly transcends it. It is the story of a 16 year old girl, Star, who is a witness to a police shooting that results in the death of her friend. It is narrated by Star, a girl who straddles two worlds - her dangerous inner city neighborhood and her elite, mostly white private school. Star is so believable, as is Star's family and friend groups. The story is riveting, disturbing, sweet, and hopeful. I feel like I have been part of her special and totally believable family. The reader is great. I can't say enough good things about this book. I love coming-of-age novels, and this is a great one. I recommend it for teens and adults, male and female. I am an older white man, and I chose this book because I teach a diverse student body. I thought it might give me better perspective. This important book did do that, and so much more.
34 of 39 people found this review helpful
As an English teacher, I have read many, many novels, and this is officially the top of my list as one I would have EVERY student of mine read, and every member of our society, if I could! The perspective Angie Thomas gives in this is exactly one that EVERYONE should hear, understand, and be culturally conscious of. Also, as a lover of audiobooks (and very picky), Bahni Turpin KILLED this performance; I didn't want to shut this book off. The pacing of this novel was perfect. All of the characters felt real and relatable. The best part was the depth of the theme and the way the title is an allusion, a symbol, and an allegory -- if I could give more than 5 stars I would. So read this, then go be the change.
33 of 38 people found this review helpful
For the past week or so, I’ve gotten in my car each morning, turned the key, connected phone to stereo, and thought to myself, “it’s time to check in with Star, I wonder what’s happening with her today?” I love this kid, this sixteen-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. I’m not quite done listening, and I really don’t want to ever be done listening. But even without knowing the end, having gotten to know Star Carter, I’m left with a new kind of hope for the future. Thank you, Angie Thomas, for creating her.
25 of 29 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Hate U Give in three words, what would they be?
Best narrator ever!
Who was your favorite character and why?
The main character, Star, was my favorite character because the author ingeniously shows us the frustration and confusion she deals with as she tries to make sense of the double-sided racism in both the black and the white worlds she lives in.
Which character – as performed by Bahni Turpin – was your favorite?
The narrator nailed it with the character Goon. I was surprised that toward the end of the story she had yet another version of "hood speak" that made Goon stand out as the as the bad boy from the "hood" with a big personality and a bigger heart.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Every paragraph in the book seemed to have insight to the confusion and angst of teenage life that the main character, Star, faces on a daily basis. I couldn't wait to find out how she would deal with each upcoming conundrum as she maneuvers along this unusually difficult path from youth to maturity.
Any additional comments?
I had to go back to my computer to see that this story was narrated by only one person. I am amazed at how Turpin made each character come to life. I always knew who was speaking because each voice was so unique to the character. This narrator has some serious talent!
12 of 14 people found this review helpful
Actually I don't know how close to perfect this book is. The novel itself has some minor flaws (e.g. Male characters lack nuance) but keeping in mind that it's a YA first novel I wouldn't hesitate to universally recommend it. If you're a stickler about no curse or vulgar words, you might want to skip it. This would be your loss however. And although everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I would argue that this is the way people talk these days and this story would be inauthentic (is that a word?) if it was "cleaned up".
At any rate, the novel itself is very good, the message it conveys is essential in these times, but the thing that sends it to the top for me is Bahni Turpin's narration. I can see why she was awarded narrator of the year (not sure what year). Her voice is pleasing and lyrical to begin with, but after you're immersed in the story, she is so good that you don't really even notice her (which I consider the highest compliment to a narrator). She gets all the characters right, no matter their age, gender, race or socioeconomic background. I admire her so much that if she is the narrator for an Audible selection, the chances I will pick it go up like a thermometer on a hot day.
So I say, use a credit on "The Hate U Give", enjoy it and then think about it.
40 of 49 people found this review helpful
Lovely, haunting, incredible. Bahni Turpin brings it to life! This book is a treasure and should be required reading for everyone.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
I thought this book was absolutely wonderful emotion provoking thought-provoking. I would definitely recommend this story to my friends made me laugh and made me cry.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful
This book was so well read - the performance was excellent. It saddens me that people are forced to live like that. Forced to do things they know are wrong.
Lastly, the family dynamics are awesome!!
Please write more books!!!
11 of 14 people found this review helpful