The Hate U Give Review: An Incredible, Raw, Masterpiece

32075671Sixteen-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 gan

gbanger. 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.

 

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

So honestly, at this point, I have a feeling that I was the only person left on this planet who hadn’t read this book yet. I mean, it’s not my fault–I was waiting for something like three months for the 30 holds ahead of me at the library for it to finally be my turn!!! And oh WOW it was SO WORTH THE WAIT this book is AMAZING. So, to the teeny tiny itsy bitsy percentage of people living under a rock who still haven’t read this book: READ IT. Honestly, if you read just one book this year, make it this one.

The Hate U Give is an incredible novel about Black Lives Matter. It does not sugarcoat. In any way. It portrays the world just the way it is. And the fact that this book is so raw and so honest makes it just remarkable–it just absolutely blew me away.

Starr was the only witness around when her unarmed childhood friend, a black boy, was shot an killed by a white police officer. In that instant, her whole life changes. Speaking up is frightening, but she just might have to do something, or else do nothing and the whole cruel vicious cycle continues. Starr doesn’t want to speak up, she doesn’t want to become an activist–but sometimes life is cruel and forces people to grow up too quickly.

The Hate U Gives is honestly the type of book that I can see being a classic, and being assigned for school reading a few years down the line when it’s a little older. It’s definitely something that I think everyone should read and be aware of. Things like this are happening in America, and you can’t just ignore them, and live in your own bubble. Things like these are the things that really matter. I can also see this book being challenged–and I’m pretty sure that, sadly, it’s already banned in some parts of the country–but in my eyes, that’s all the more reason to read it. You can’t just live in some sterile world where you only look at the good, PC things.

Starr experiences some incredible character growth in this book. She kind of has to, with the situation she’s thrown into. It’s so amazing and remarkable to see her grow. It’s a little sad that this is what she’s forced to do, but she ultimately becomes such a strong, amazing character. And I definitely think that I changed reading this book too. It definitely changed how I see the Black Lives Matter movement, and how I see the world.

One thing I was worried about going into this book was “reverse racism,” or discrimination against white people, which I’d read was there in a couple of reviews. I actually live in an area that is not predominately white–I think my high school is only around 30% white or so–and I would say that I’ve experienced a bit of discrimination and people assuming things about me because I’m part white, so I was worried about that. I shouldn’t have worried.

I think the passage some reviewers are worried about was concerning Starr and her white boyfriend, thinking that because he is white he can’t understand what she’s going through, and that maybe she shouldn’t even be dating him. But I think the book actually would not have been complete without this. Maybe if Starr just broke up with her boyfriend because he was white, I would be a little upset, but instead, she got to have a good conversation, and question their relationship, and if they can even last because of the cultural differences between them. This is so important, and such a healthy portrayal of interracial dating. If you are dating someone with a different ethnicity or culture than you, you’re going to have this conversation, these questions. You’re going to have differences. The important thing is to get past them. As someone biracial, I believe this was a strikingly honest and amazing portrayal of a interracial relationship.

Another thing I heard was that this book is anti police, and again, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Starr’s uncle is a police officer, and he’s shown to be an incredible, amazing person, one of the people Starr looks up to most in her life. On the flip side, the white police officer who shot Starr’s best friend is not a good person, and he’s portrayed as such.

The fact of the matter is that black people are getting disproportionately targeted by police officers, and you can not ignore that. Not all police officers are bad. Not by a long shot. The vast majority of police officers are good, amazing, wonderful people. They protect us, and endanger their lives for us, the members of society. But some of them are not like that–some of them are racists with too much power. I think this book does an amazing job of juxtaposing Starr’s uncle, a police officer, with the other police offer to show both the good and the bad. Like just about everything in this world, police are not all bad or all good, and the author does an incredible job of showing that.

Finally, this book showed some so, so, so amazing relationships that I absolutely adored. If nothing else (and there’s definitely a lot else amazing) I would read this book for those relationships. There’s the relationship between Starr and her parents, especially her dad, and between her uncle and her, another father figure. Then there’s Starr and her brothers, and how much they look out for each other. Then there’s Starr and her friends, both her white (and Asian!) friends, and her black friends. Seeing Starr have so many amazing people in her life is so incredible, because I hate how so many books seem to gloss over platonic relationships.

Anyways, I feel like there’s not much else I can say for this book that the whole world that’s already read it hasn’t already said. Bottom line: It’s amazing and you HAVE to read it. At the end of the day, a lot of crap doesn’t matter. But living in America in 2018, THIS matters.

★★★★★ / 5 

Monthly Wrap Up || September 2018

Wowowowo can you believe it’s already October?? It’s time for my all time favorite Pumpkin Os cereal it’s delicious 10/10 recommend lolll. Also, pumpkin bagels. Anyways, here’s my September 2018 wrap up! I know it’s a little late but hey–better late than never!!

Books Read

1Dreams of Gods and Monsters: 2.5 stars. Unfortunately, this book was a huge bore, despite how much I loved the first one!!
2. Save The Date: 4.5 stars. This one was just so much fun!! I adored it!!
3. On The Fence: 1 star. Yep. The worst book I’ve read all year, and the book to finally make me decide to just stop reading Kasie West.
4. Between Frost and Fury: 4 stars. This book is seriously underrated–it’s totally amazing!! Can’t wait for the third book!

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5. The Woman Warrior: 2 stars. Read this for a class and would NEVER read it voluntarily.
6. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (reread): 5 stars. This book is too perfect ❤
7. The Hate U Give: 5 stars. The most meaningful book I’ve ever read. If you read one book this year, make it this one.
8. The Sweetest Kind of Fate: 4 stars. 
So cute! So fun!!

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Life Happenings

So if you haven’t noticed, I’m on a bit of a hiatus right now!! Meaning I have a crazy irregular posting schedule and I’m not really replying to comments or going through my feed. School is crazy right now, and I’m deep in the middle of college applications, so pretty much all my free time is going to writing way too personal essays 😦 I still care about all you lovely people and can’t wait to get back to dedicating more time to this blog ❤

Between Frost and Fury Review || A Thrilling, Romantic Space Plot

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Delaney has been kidnapped by aliens. Again. After only a month back on Earth with her hotnew alien boyfriend Ruckus, the deadly and devastatingly handsome prince Trystan has dragged her right back to his planet.

While some girls may dream of winning a prince’s heart, Delaney just wishes this one would leave her alone. Instead, she finds herself at the center of both a tense political battle between two alien kingdoms and Trystan’s romantic attentions, both of which are absolutely ruining the life she’s built on Earth. Not to mention the fact that she’s about to be crowned queen of a planet she’s barely even visited. Just another day in life of an ordinary human girl.

This series is genuinely one of the most underrated ever. Seriously. How do more people not know about it?? It’s total love ❤ ❤ I’m obsessed. Where is my sequel???

Between Frost and Fury is the second book in the Xenith Trilogy, and it picks up right back in the action where the first book, Amid Stars and Darkness, leaves off. It took me a little bit to get back into it because we’re just dumped right into the action, but I came to love this–no unnecessary time wasted on exposition or fluff.

So Delaney is back in space once again, but this time, she isn’t impersonating anyone–no, she’s just there as herself! She’s been thrown back into politics, and is being used to avert a potential war–a war between three planets that could threaten the homes of all she loves, including her own Earth.

What makes Delaney a really compelling character, though, is the fact that she’s flawed. She’s realistic. Delaney is just like you and me–she’s just a normal person who’s been thrown into something that she wants no part of, and keeps trying to get out of, ignoring the fact that it might be starting a war because it doesn’t really directly affect her. She’s not a savior, a hero–she doesn’t feel particularly compelled to put the lives of others above her own wants. And this makes her really relatable, really easy to get into her head.

However, Delaney really does have some significant character growth. Despite being held against her will, she is willing to compromise, to try, and of course, she ends up having to make some sacrifices too. Watching her struggle, not sure exactly what she wants, is really compelling.

Trystan, Trystan, Trystan… This book IS clearly a love triangle, which is really annoying since I pretty much hate love triangles on principle, and this one really isn’t an exception. However, I will say that I’ve been Team Trystan since book one, and so that just made this book that much better for me! Ruckus is really much more of a minor character, and while that and the whole love triangle thing is a little annoying since it seems like the author didn’t put much effort into giving him a personality and making there any real competition, I’m lowkey okay with it because it means more Trystan time.

This love triangle actually really reminds me of the love triangle in Shatter Me, with Trystan being Warner and Ruckus being Adam. Ruckus is the sort of lovesick puppy, but Trystan is the one who is willing to make hard decisions, and pushes Delaney to really be better, to be her best person and not just flee back to Earth and take the easy choice.

There are some really complex politics going on here, and I have to admit, they went a little bit over my head. If I recall correctly, they were explained really well in book one, but since it’s been about a year since I read that, I mostly forgot it all. I did recall enough to get by and understand the general gist of the book, though I would really recommend reading this series back to back. (And then the torturous waiting period for the next book!)

Another thing that was different from this book and the first was that we got a couple of chapters from Trystan’s POV. It’s all third person, which is good because I really hate when first person books randomly change, but it still felt a bit cheap, a way to convey knowledge to the reader that we otherwise wouldn’t have known. Don’t get me wrong–I absolutely adored being in Trystan’s head!!!–but since most of the book is from Delaney’s POV, it seemed really jarring and out of place.

Overall, I continue loving this series and I can’t wait for the next one!! Highly, highly recommend 🙂

★★★★.5 / 5

Top Ten Tuesday || Looooooooong Books!

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s prompt is Longest Books I’ve Ever Read! Yes that’s right: it’s time to gloat about those huge books that make me feel so accomplished haha. I haven’t logged every book I read in Goodreads since I’ve had my account for less than a year, so I don’t have a handy dandy way to tell, but here are long ones I recall! (Yes, I am ashamed that so many of these books are Twilight books…oh well).

1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix: 870 pages. 

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2. Winter: 827 pages.

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3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: 759 pages. 

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4. Breaking Dawn: 756 pages. 

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5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: 734 pages. 

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6. A Court of Wings and Ruin: 699 pages. 

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7. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: 652 pages.

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8. Eclipse: 629 pages. 

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9. A Court of Mist and Fury: 626 pages. 

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10. Dreams of Gods and Monsters: 613 pages. 

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For a grand total of 7165 pages in 10 books 🙂

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday || Authors I MUST Meet!

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is Authors I’d Love To Meet. I’ve never actually met an author! Never gone to a book convention or signing or whatever. But there are some I’m dying to meet! Some day!!

1. J.K. Rowling: The QUEEN. Does anyone not want to meet the mastermind behind the wizarding world of Harry Potter?

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2. Marissa Meyer: Pretty much my favorite author! I’d just ADORE fangirling about Cinder and Co with her!

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3. Gail Carson Levine: Ahh all my childhood favorites! Just talk to me about Ella Enchanted ❤

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4. Holly Black: Another one of my favorite authors!! I just need to meet all the favorites!!!

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5. Meg Cabot: Ahh I’ve read and loved so many of her books I could literally fangirl about them for hours!!! Princess Diaries ❤

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6. Jenny Han: There is no end to my love of her and her book TATBILB. She’s created the most relatable character I’ve ever read about! And her experience with not wanting Lara Jean to be whitewashed, with writing such a beautiful diverse character…

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7. Emily X. R. Pan: The Astonishing Color of After is basically the book of me…half Asian, half white, going back to Taiwan and being unable to communicate with grandparents…(although I’m glad my mom isn’t a bird!). I’d never seen someone like me represented in a book before, and I’m so grateful ❤

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8. Gloria Chao: I guess this is sort of a theme…well, it’s important! It’s so amazing how a strong Taiwanese woman can write such a beautiful book with amazing culture.

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9. Julie C. Dao: Agh I haven’t even read her published book! But I read a draft on Wattpad by her, before she got published and huge, and talked over comments with her a few times, and it would be so amazing to talk in person!

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10. C. G. Drews (Paper Fury!!): I mean. Don’t all of us book bloggers want to meet her 🙂

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Let’s Chat!

Who are some authors you’d like to meet? Anyone on this list? I’d love to chat in the comments below 🙂