Friday, January 11, 2019

Buddy Read Time!! The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas
Hardcover, 444 pages
Balzer + Bray
February 28, 2017
African-American Fiction,Coming-of-Age, Contemporary Fiction, Diverse Reads,
Social Justice, Young Adult Fiction

A three-time winner of Goodreads Choice Awards

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.

Be sure to read Barb's Launch Post, which you will find HERE!!

So here I am, teaming up again on a buddy read with fellow book blogger extraordinaire, Barb @ Booker T's Farm -- Books and Nails and Puppy Dog Tales!

In May of last year, Barb and I embarked upon our very first buddy read, for the paranormal YA novel, Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland. We had SO much fun, and it was such an interesting experience, we decided to do another one! And we'll DEFINITELY be doing more of them in the future! 

This time around, we both agreed that The Hate U Give was the PERFECT choice! As you can see from the partial list of literary awards above, this book has definitely hit a nerve with the American reading public. It's sad that it should be so, but unfortunately, it is. Our current political climate has brought all kinds of bigotry to the limelight. However, the United States has a long and terrible history of racism directed toward its own African-American population. Far from being a thing of the past, this particular brand of racism has continued to be a blight upon this nation that is supposedly dedicated to liberty and equal rights for ALL. The recent creation of the activist group, Black Lives Matter, is clear evidence that our ugly heritage of racism is definitely not a thing of the past. 

So this is a very relevant book, as well as a very important one that should be read by everyone who is concerned about social justice in America.  It has also been made into a movie of the same name, which premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2018, and was released in the U.S. on October 5, 2018. This film has received critical acclaim, also grossing over $32 million at the box office. (Source: Wikipedia)

For our buddy read, Barb and I have decided to read certain chapters each week. We'll be posing questions to each other, which we will then be answering in each other's weekly update posts.  Our last post will be a review of the book. Please refer to the schedule below. 

Buddy Read Schedule
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

Launch Post - 1/11/19
Buddy Read Update No. 1 - 1/18/19
(Chapters 1 - 7)
Buddy Read Update No. 2 - 1/25/19
(Chapters 8 - 14) 
Buddy Read Update No. 3 - 2/1/19
(Chapters 15 - 21)
Buddy Read Update No. 4/Wrap Up - 2/8/19
(Chapters 22 - 26)
Book Review -  2/16/19
(This review date is tentative.)

And now I'm going to answer Barb's first questions for me, regarding this buddy read!

Barb: We've planned on reading this together for so long. What initially made you gravitate toward this title when it was released? Does it fall into something you'd normally read, or is it more "out of the box"?

Maria: Yes, we certainly have been planning on doing this buddy read for quite a while now! But it seems that one thing after another kept coming up. Finaly, HERE WE ARE!!! :)  :)

I'll answer your last question first. This is definitely the type of read that is more "out of the box" for me. I don't much like to read stuff that's TOO similar to "real life". I much prefer to read novels that take me to magical, fantasy lands, or far-flung planets. However, I felt I had to make an exception for this book, because it's such a VERY important one, as I stated in the paragraphs above.

Actually, part of the answer to your first question is contained in my answer to your second question. Lol. I gravitated toward this book, first of all, because the topic of racism, especially as it relates to African-Americans, is one I've always been interested in, as well as totally appalled by. WHY this type of thing should exist is totally BEYOND me! I've felt this way my whole life, too. 

I remember seeing the movie "Beloved", back in 1999, and how horrifying it was..... (Spoiler coming!) That an African-American slave mother should be willing to kill her own daughter, so as to spare her the evils of slavery.....well, suffice it to say that this film was not only an eye-opener for me, but something that tore at my heart. I need to read the book this movie is based on.

So, when I came across The Hate U Give, I felt that, in spite of the fact that I know it will be an emotionally-wrenching read, I really need to read it. It's just too important a book for me to NOT read it, even though it won't be easy for me to do so.....

Barb: The movie releases on DVD and streaming soon. Do you think you'll watch it?

Maria: I really don't know if I'll be able to...... I mean, "Beloved" affected me VERY strongly. I cried and cried and cried and cried...... I know I should watch "The Hate U Give", but it might be too much for me. I'm a very visual person, as well as a very emotionally sensitive one. If do watch this movie, it will have to be on a weekend, on my PC, with headphones on, and a box of Kleenex nearby.....

So that's it, folks! Barb and I have officially launched our buddy read! Come on over to each of our blogs every Friday for the next few weeks, as we share our thoughts and insights on this highly-acclaimed novel! Thanks in advance for any comments you might wish to make!  :)


Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi, as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine, with a picture included. 

She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University, and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. 

She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books.
  Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction.
The book has won several awards, and has
been translated into several languages.
  Film rights were optioned by Fox 2000, with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.
 The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in the U.S. in October 2018, grossing $32 million at the box office. The DVD is currently available on Amazon.


  1. So yes, Beloved was quite a gut wrenching movie. I remember it well. I've read that book eons ago as well. You are very true and it seems out political climate is not getting any better.

    I agree in that I usually read books to escape and get away from real life so this is a change in that aspect. Mr. Barb is already previewing the movie and I told him we had to wait until February when I was done.

    Thanks for calling me "book blogger extraordinaire" but I don't know that I'd go that far :) I appreciate all the hard work you're putting into our read. Makes it extra special.

    1. Hi, Barb!

      So sorry for the late reply, Barb...... :( I'm trying to catch up with all of my replies and comments back! As you know, I've gotten busy with class preparation....

      "Beloved" was, indeed, a gut-wrenching movie!! Very well put! I don't know how I was able to get through the entire thing! Well, there were times when I had to put my head down and cry, and not look..... I still want to read the book, though. I think I might check it out of the library.

      Thanks to that man currently in the White House, all these racists have come out of the woodwork. So this means that racist incidents have become more overt and common, and this, of course, includes police shootings of black people.

      I have never liked "real life", as much of it is either boring or appalling, so the books I tend to read are either fantasy, romance, paranormal, SF, or any combination thereof.

      If I do watch the THUG movie, I, too, will wait until we're done with our buddy read. I'm glad you agree that it's better to read the book first! (In the case of "Beloved", I was on a date, and the guy picked this movie..... No, this was NOT the guy I later married, lol.)

      You're very welcome for my calling you "a book blogger extraordinaire", and I feel it's well deserved, too!! Your posts are always interesting, at times, hilarious, and it's also fun to see how you integrate dogs into a lot of them! If I owned a horse, I think I'd be doing the same! Sadly, I'm not reading many horse stories these days..... :(

      Thank you for appreciating all my hard work! Thank you for saying that makes our buddy read extra special! <3 <3 <3

      So THANK YOU for this lovely comment!!

      HUGS TO YOU AND YOUR CUTE PUPS, AND "WOOF, WOOF" TO THEM!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  2. Hey Maria- A very exciting event! As you know I want to read this book myself. It not only takes on vital social issues but it looks like it incorporates some nuance and complexity into the mix.

    I really look forward to your upcoming post.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      So sorry for the late reply..... :( As you probably know, I've gotten bogged down with class preparation. I'm now trying to catch up with all of my replies and comments back!

      Yes, this is indeed a very exciting event!! This is very much a politically relevant book right now, with everything that's been going on.

      You're right about this book being nuanced and complex. So, in spite of its tragic theme, I am enjoying it tremendously! (And also in spite of the colorful language. "The F bomb" appears pretty often in the narrative..... which surprised me, as this is a Young Adult book. On the other hand, young adults ARE using colorful language. I hear it all the time, when I get to work in the afternoon. I work in a high school, although I teach adults, not teens. But, when I'm going in, I overhear parts of conversations. The colorful language is there, all right! I mentioned this in my first buddy read update.

      Thanks for the great comment, and your interest in this book, as well as our buddy read! Hope you're having a WONDERFUL weekend!! (I don't like to say "Happy MLK Day", because this holiday is a sad one.....) <3 :)

  3. I wish I could have read more of your post. Trying to avoid spoilers as I just now got the book. Wanted to read it before the movie! This was such a fun way to do a buddy read:) Tried to chat with Barb but for some reason there's no way to comment on her post today?

    1. Hi, Laura!

      So sorry for the late reply.....:( I've been very busy preparing materials for my ESOL classes....

      I don't blame you for avoiding the spoilers in this post. I don't like spoilers, either. All of these buddy read posts will contain them, too.

      I'm just like you -- I prefer to read the book first. In the case of "Beloved", though, I was on a date, and the guy picked this movie. I don't know why. Anyway, we just had that ONE date! Lol.

      Since this is a late reply, you have probably been able to post a comment on Barb's Launch Post by now. She had a problem with a comment, and had to put in comment moderation.

      Thanks for the nice comment!! <3 :)

  4. Eek! The movie of The Hate U Give hasn’t opened here yet and it’s already coming out on DVD over there? Unfair!

    A wonderful book! I hope the two of you will enjoy it.

    1. Hi, Sue!

      So sorry for the late reply......:( As you will see from my replies above, I've been quite busy with class preparation. Trying to catch up now!

      You're so funny!! :) :) The movie first opened in Canada, and then the U.S. And yes, it's now available on Amazon U.S. Lol. But I'm sure it'll make its way to Australia soon! :)

      Yes, this is indeed a wonderful book! And both of us are, indeed, enjoying it, in spite of the sadness of the topic.

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 :)


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