Friday, February 1, 2019

Buddy Read Update No. 3: 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.


This buddy read is presented by 
Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books
Barb @ Booker T's Farm!!

For this week's post, 
we both read Chapters 15 to 21.

Be sure to visit Barb's blog to read
her half of our "chat"! 
You can access her post HERE!!

This post, as well as that of my fellow
buddy reader, may contain spoilers!
Read at your own risk!!

Well, things have REALLY heated up (cough, cough, Barb, hint, wink......) in this book!! I can see why it's been praised so much!! Again I have to say it -- this is truly a RIVETING read!! Thomas has created characters that you can really resonate with, to the point that you FEEL like part of their family!! To be quite honest, I want MORE of them all! (Well, except for Hailey and Officer Cruise. UGH.)

So now I'm going to answer this third week's questions from Barb. She, too, will be answering my own questions. The link to her post is above.

We both had some trouble coming up with questions for this week's update, for some reason. However, I think our questions ended up being GREAT! "All's well that ends well", as The Bard so wisely said! Lol.

Next week, we will publish our final post, with the last set of questions, and a wrap up. 

Our very last post will be a review of the book. Please refer to our Launch Post for the weekly schedule. You can find that post HERE.

Barb: The relationship between Starr and Hailey finally comes to blows (literally), and before you know it, Seven has also jumped in. I can't believe Hailey commented that Khalil would have probably ended up dead sometime anyway! How do you feel about the incident and how Starr's family handled it? Would you have done the same thing?

Maria: ABSOLUTELY I would have punched Hailey, too!! She totally deserved it! Her remarks were callous, cruel, and racist. Starr just couldn't take it anymore, ESPECIALLY in light of Hailey's continual denials that she was, in fact, a racist. It's just SO infuriating when someone says they're not racist, when all the evidence points to the fact that they ARE. Also, Hailey showed a total disregard for Starr's feelings, since Starr was present at the scene of Khalil's murder, and was in anguish over it. I know that violence is not the best course of action, but, in this case, Hailey did have it coming. Some "friend" she was to Starr!

I LOVE Seven, by the way!! He went to his sister's defense at once, and whooped Remy's butt.  I always wished I had a big brother to look out for me....

As for how Starr's family handled the situation, I liked that, too. They were feeling the same frustration and anger Starr was feeling over the grand jury's decision. They understood exactly how she felt, so they weren't too hard on her. If this fight had been over something trivial, things would have been different. But this was a VERY important issue.

Barb: We get to see Starr and her friends go to Prom. Chris is very distant and Starr learns that he is upset she was not honest with him about being the "witness" everyone is talking about in Khalil's shooting. If you had to choose sides, do you believe Starr or Chris had more valid points and why?

Maria: Actually, I don't think I can take sides. They each had their valid points. That said, my first thought was that, instead of sulking, Chris could have asked Starr straight out why she hid this from him, why she apparently felt that she couldn't trust him. At first, I also thought his sulking was immature. In a relationship, people sometimes have to talk things over. This sulking thing only made the situation worse. On the other hand, guys are not comfortable talking about their emotions. (I know this from experience, lol.) So Chris probably found it difficult to start such a conversation with Starr.

By the way, you were right -- Chris is PERFECT for Starr! I'm glad Angie Thomas had them stay together. He's SO sweet to Starr! And he's totally committed to their relationship. He wants to share everything with her. He's just GREAT!! So I can forgive him for sulking. In fact, that shows he truly does care for Starr. If not, he wouldn't have felt hurt by her not opening up about being "the witness" everyone was talking about.

As for Starr, I can understand her reluctance to tell Chris that she was, in fact, "the witness". Although she and Chris have a very special relationship, and do love each other, Starr did feel that, because Chris was white, she might have somehow been "betraying" her own race. She was all torn up about this feeling, too, because she did know how Chris felt about her. 

I think Starr would have eventually told her boyfriend that she had been present when Khalil was murdered. But she was afraid that EVERYONE at school would find out. I'm glad she finally found the courage to go ahead and tell him, as well as finally make the decision to speak out.

Barb: Starr finally faces the media and I feel that her interview goes very well overall. However, toward the end of it, she goes off-script from what she and Ofrah had planned, and puts some truths out there. Starr is constantly battling over if she is being brave or not, but I think she definitely was in this case. Do you think she did the right thing?

Maria: For SURE! She was no longer afraid to speak out. More accurately, her anger at the injustice of it all overcame her fear. 

The long, horrible history of racism in this country is something that African-Americans have to deal with on a daily basis. Even after the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed, thanks to the Civil Rights Movement, racism did not go away. Instead, it became more subtle. Black people applying for good jobs were told things like: "Unfortunately, another person has already been hired, but we'd like to thank you for applying." The same thing happened regarding housing: "Yes, the apartment was available, but just this morning, someone came and rented it. They've already signed the lease."

Recently, racism has come out into the open again. It's a VERY UGLY thing. Besides, people still remember the Trayvon Martin case. Black Lives Matter was founded (and inspired Thomas in the writing of this novel) because of this and other, similar cases. So Starr felt that "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH." 

Barb: So we get to celebrate Seven's 18th birthday and people from both of Starr's worlds attend. During the party, Seven's mom Iesha shows up and Seven goes off on her. Do you think he was justified in doing so? In another reference to the party, do you find it weird that Kenya is always referring to Seven as HER brother when he is in fact Starr's half-brother as well? Why do you think she does so?

Maria: I can certainly feel for Seven..... The fact that he was the product of the affair between Maverick and Iesha must have made him feel that he was "a mistake". And, incredibly, Lisa, Mav's wife, has been more of a mother to him than his biological mother. 

I really like and admire Lisa, by the way. A LOT of women would have rejected Seven because his father cheated on them, but not Lisa. She really does have a big heart! 

As for Iesha, I have VERY mixed feelings about her. She dresses like a you-know-what, and she slept with a married man. But she has to endure King's beatings, so I kinda feel sorry for her. I'm wondering, too, if there isn't another side to the story, if her apparent neglect of Seven was in fact an attempt to protect him from King. That might be the real reason she put him out of her house. Of course, Seven wouldn't understand that his mother may actually have been trying to protect him from her husband. 

I don't think Seven should have acted the way he did, right in front of all those people, but, like in the situation with Starr and Hailey, there's only so much that people can take. You tolerate things up to a point, and then you explode. He didn't plan on acting that way. 

As for Kenya calling Seven "her" brother, I think that's because she has resented Starr for years, really. I just get that feeling, from all the little digs she has thrown at Starr for the longest time. Her attitude toward Starr begins to change after Starr finally decides to speak out.

Thanks for the GREAT, thought-provoking questions, Barb!!  <3  :)

Blog visitors and regular readers, come on over to each of our blogs next Friday for the last set of questions and the wrap upl! Stay tuned as well for our reviews!! 

What do you all think?
Have we piqued your curiosity
about this book?
Be sure to let us know!
Don't forget to visit Barb's blog
to get her side of this "chat"!!


  1. This is great post. Evan not having read the book, the questions and discussion between yourself and Barb make the novel sound fascinating. It digs into such important issues.

    Personally if someone is a racist, I understand wanting to completely disengage with them. However, if one cannot do that, or if one chooses to continue to engage with them, I think that calling them a racist would probably be counterproductive. I think that instead, it would be better to try to convince them that certain values, such as equality, empathy, anti - stereotyping, etc. are beneficial values. I have seen people change over the years so I believe that it is possible.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Thanks for the compliment!! <3 <3

      Yes, this novel is indeed fascinating! And, as you have stated, it does deal with some very important issues.

      I must respectfully disagree with you regarding calling someone a racist. I don't think it's counterproductive. If someone directs a comment at me that I consider racist, I have every right to call them out on it. Every person has the right to set boundaries on the behavior they will or not tolerate from others.

      I work for the Miami-Dade County Public School system, and there are very definite guidelines for all employees -- and this includes teachers, of course -- regarding what categories are protected from discrimination. Furthermore, employees are expected to report any instances of discriminatory behavior, Sexist behavior is included, as well as any type of gender identification discrimination.

      I guess things are different in the case of friendships, although this depends, too. I am certainly not going to tolerate any racial slur directed at me because of the fact that I happen to be a Latina.

      Of course, I would totally disengage from a "friend" who called me a racial slur, or said anything derogatory about Hispanics in my presence. And yes, I would indeed call them a racist. Then, the so-called "friendship" would be over.

      Perhaps you're right that racists can change. I have not seen that myself, but I suppose it's possible. But, man, if they ARE capable of change, they SURE take a long time to do so! Lol.

      Thanks for the thought-provoking comment!! <3 :

  2. Awesome answers and I knew you would come over to Chris's side :) Like you, I feel he was being brattish by sulking and I wanted to criticize him for that but then I took a step back and realized these are very adult situations these kids have been thrown into. Given that, I think they've all handled it pretty well - well, except for Hailey. It's hard for me to find something positive about Iesha but you are right, she is a victim of domestic violence and some of her actions are spawned by that treatment I'm sure.

    1. Hi, Barb!

      Well, I'm STILL trying to catch up with my replies and comments back..... :(

      Yes, now that I've finished reading the book, I'm TOTALLY convinced that Chris is the right guy for Starr! His apparently brattish behavior was actually based on his love for her; he felt hurt that she had not confided in him.

      I agree that these kids have handled the adult situations they've been thrown into pretty well. That's especially true for Starr!

      As for Hailey, she is a product of her upbringing, and it will be difficult for her to overcome that. Starr wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt at first, but finally realized that the only option she had was to drop Hailey as a friend.

      I IS hard to find something positive about Iesha. The funny thing is, I did agree with Ms. Rosalie's criticism of her at the funeral! Lol. But, by the end of the book, I was able to see that Iesha was a victim of King's violence, and this factor did, in fact, influence her actions.

      Thanks for the great comment!! HUGS TO YOU AND THE PUPS, AND "WOOF, WOOF" TO THEM!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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