Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Hate U Give

The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

George Eliot said, “The only effect I ardently long to produce by my writings, is that those who read them should be better able to imagine and to feel the pains and the joys of those who differ from them in everything but the broad fact of being struggling, erring human creatures.” It's interesting to note that George Eliot was only Mary Anne Evan's pen name, and that she perhaps understood better than many why empathy and appreciating others' differences were essential to the human experience.

Angie Thomas' "The Hate U Give" is one of the most powerful stories I have ever read. Every step of the way, it challenged my assumptions and my life experiences and gave voice to issues that demand our attention. I'm not sure I would have read it had I fully known what the subject matter was, but I am so glad that I did. Thomas' main character Starr comes to life in a way that I felt like I was with her as she walked through Garden Heights and listened to her incredible mom navigate an impossible parenting situation.

Raw, poignant, and brilliantly alive, "The Hate U Give" will stay with me for a long time. Describing it in more detail would not do justice to the impactful narrative, Thomas has created. It is almost better to go in with no expectations. That said, the language and the violence are jarring and may not be to everyone's tastes, so I add that caution as you're making your own reading selections.

It's perhaps corny to say, but I am exceedingly grateful that we get to hear other people's voices through reading. C.S. Lewis said, "We read to know we're not alone." While I 100% agree with Lewis, I also would add, we read so we can help others not feel alone. This is our blessing and our responsibility.

As always, happy reading and happy living--

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