Book Reviews

Banned Book Club’s June BoTM: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Banned book clubBanned Book Club is a meme I host where we read one historically challenged book a month. We support free speech and fight censorship every chance we get. Join our Goodreads group and DM me on Twitter to join our group chat.


Book of the month: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Banned for: Drug use and explicit language

Goodreads synopsis:

The Hate U GiveSixteen-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.


Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this stunning novel by Angie Thomas spent 38 amazing weeks at the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list. Very well deserved, I have to say!

Starr is from Garden Heights, a poor neighborhood, but she attends a rich and fancy school an hour away from home. She’s constantly switching back and forth between Garden Heights Starr and Williamson Starr, changing the way she speaks to sound less black. This is something POC teens in mostly-white neighborhoods will definitely relate to.

On a car ride home from a party, Starr’s childhood friend Khalil is shot and killed by a white cop right in front of her eyes. This is the story of Starr trying to get justice for Khalil and standing up for her community in the process.

One of my favorite things about this novel is how YA is used to to show something as serious as police brutality and racial profiling in the United States. Who said YA couldn’t be serious and deal with important issues?

I found this book heartbreaking, yet uplifting. This is a groundbreaking novel that can start discussions about discrimination based on race, religion, or sex. The treatment of African Americans by cops in the US needs to change.

The world is bad enough. It doesn’t need more systemic violence and racism in it. American law enforcement needs to take a long hard look at itself in the mirror and figure out how it’s going to avoid one more Oscar Grant, one more Trayvon Martin…Michael Brown…Eric Garner.

Enough is enough.

~ Shruti

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22 thoughts on “Banned Book Club’s June BoTM: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  1. I’ve heard so much good about this book! Unfortunately, I tried to read it and didn’t get very far. I think it might be an age gap thing. If I was thirty years younger, I’ll bet this would be a favorite read. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime.


    1. I think the best thing about this book is how it deals with such a serious topic. I don’t think it’s meant for a young audience at all. It’s for everyone! Do try again. I’m sure you’ll like it. 🙂


  2. Sorry Shruti couldnt manage to read this one, maybe some other time. Although I did read the other book you recommended – The upside of Unrequited. Easy reading but a very ‘so what’ kind of a book. There’s not much happening except that she is desperate for a BF in a LGBT family. This also kind of felt forced as if it was used to garner a niche audience or stand out from the rest. So what book is next?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m sorry you didn’t like Upside as much as I did. I really enjoyed it and appreciated all the queer elements added to the story. 🙂

      We’re voting for next month’s book on the Goodreads group! Do check it out and vote! ^_^


  3. I’m seriously loving this book so much!! I’ve had a pretty bad reading week last week, but I should finish this one hopefully early next week! Fantastic review! 😀 And thanks for hosting the banned book club! I don’t know when/if I would have ever picked this book up without it!

    Liked by 1 person

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