Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

February 28, ,2017 – Balzer & Bray

464p – Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

Purpose: Review, #offmybookshelf

Source: Edelweiss, Publisher, Bookshelf

5 stars

I was given a copy of this title, free, en exchange for my honest opinion. 

his is another book that talks about a white police officer shooting a black male. But make no mistake, it is also a book that stands out on its own. You have probably already heard of this book, as it came out and took the world by storm. I am not one that ever feels that a book deserves a bunch of hype, but in this case I can understand it. It is good for so many reasons, but it is not a perfect book. (I have yet to find one that is.)

Starr is at  party in her neighborhood when shots are fired. Her old friend, Khalil is there with her and quickly gets her out and safely away. While heading to her house or her father’s store, they are pulled over by a white officer for  a busted headlight. While Starr is mentally reciting the lessons of how to behave when pulled over by the police, it is apparent that Khalil did not receive those lessons.  As the police is making his way to the car, Starr does ask if there is any drugs in the car. What could have simply been a routine stop quickly escalates into a homicide. This is due to both Khalil’s mouthiness and the officer’s fear/prejudice/choice.

**With the rising number of shootings, people -black people in particular- have been having conversations with their kids about what to do when you are pulled over by the police? Is it necessary? If you have taught your kids to be respectful of authority then no it’s not. Because, regardless of your opinion of the police or your socio-economic circumstance the police are in a position of authority. EVEN IF YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG. I have been pulled over before and was told that I resembled a suspect that the police were looking for. No I didn’t believe them, but I was still respectful. Sometimes, it’s not about being right, it’s about doing the right thing.**

Starr then struggles with how to reconcile what has happened, with the way the world reacts and how the police handle the situation. It’s murder to Starr and every other black person that was not there that night. But the police do not see it as such. This brings up a lot of emotions, one that just didn’t make much sense to me. She felt that by being with Chris, she was somehow betraying Khalil. After a year of dating, you’re just not realizing that your boyfriend is white and now you think you’re betraying your race? In reality, all of these feelings would have come up at the beginning of their relationships and not now, and they would have been resolved  by this point. Especially with Big Mav as a dad. So, I’m calling flag on the field.

**I am with a white man, I have two biracial babies. My dad always had something about white people. I did not go to a school that was dominantly white, but I was constantly the only black person around.  And before anyone thinks that you only date white guys cause that’s all you’re around, bull. It’s a choice to date outside of your race-regardless of what your race is. It doesn’t happen by accident, so you can’t wake up one day and realize dude my boyfriend’s white. Yes, there are some things that make the differences in race more apparent.  But I’m calling foul on Starr’s sudden realization. **

As Starr deals with the loss of Khalil and with what the news is reporting about him, she is learnign that there is more to him than even she knew about. And she has to come to terms to that. At the same time the communities around her are reacting. Either by trying to figure how to deal with the anger and the hurt that they feel or by trying to get justice in a situation that is all too familiar to them.

This is bringing to light so many things for Starr, not just with her community, but with her family and her fellow classmates. She is learning so much,  she is learning to use her voice but most importantly, she is joining the conversation.

This book is powerful, not just because of the content of its pages. It is joining the conversation. It is lifting back the covers and giving the world an inside peek at how things really are -as much as  a work of fiction can. The Hate U Give acts as a window into Starr’s story that is at once all to familiar and completely foreign-depending on a reader’s own experiences.  Thomas does an amazing job in creating characters that are real and emotionally authentic.  She has taken a situation that is in itself already complex and controversial and pulled back to give 360• view of it. There’s surprises. there’s humor and there’s truth. Truth about the pain, the anger and the feeling of being lost in your own world.

 

Always Shine!

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Book Round Up- Kid Edition

I am curating my library as well as my kids’ library.  Which means that I will be reading books that have been on our shelves to determine whether or not to keep them or checking them out from the library to see if I want to purchase them. So here are my thoughts for the last 6 books that I’ve read so far—

I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 (I Survived, #11) (Library) I liked this. It was easy to read and nicely balanced between survival action and historical information. This is a big series, so I am not sure if this is something that I will invest in until my kids are old enough to say that they want it. I do know that I will be using select books as supplemental material.

Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club, #1) (Library) This was very nostalgic for me. I remember reading it as a kid. Again, this is a big series, so I will not be buying the whole series. I may buy the first couple as placeholders and to share it with my kids, and buy more as they say they want more. Re-reading it was fun, and I remember why I liked it so much. I think that it is a series that kids today would also enjoy.

Mrs. Jeepers on Vampire Island (The Adventures Of The Bailey School Kids Super Special, #6) (Little Free Library) I don’t know where I was when this series first arrived on the scene, but I am sorry that I missed it the first time around. But I am glad that I came across it now. I enjoyed it and want to check out more. Again, as appears to be a pattern, this is a big series. So I will be waiting for my kids to ask for it before investing in it.

Nate the Great and the Big Sniff (Personal Library) Okay, I didn’t like this one. It was simplistic and I wasn’t too impressed with it. While I know that my kids will all go through the stage where the simplistic writing will be necessary…I didn’t find this story interesting enough to check out more from the series.

Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, #3) (Library) Again, I enjoyed this series. Eddie it the ringleader of trouble. It was short, but still fun and gave a nice glimpse of the characters. The ending was a little quick, but I still want to read more from this series.

Crash (Stay Alive, #1) (Personal Library) I liked this story. I found that it would be good to talk about survival as well as group dynamics. You got multiple reactions to the situations and that helped make it believable No one character was perfect and knew everything. They all made mistakes. Some characters didn’t survive the entire experience. I did like the fact that there were survival tips at the beginning of each part. I will be getting the rest of the series.

What you should know:

Books that I don’t plan on investing in (currently or later) are still books that I plan on continuing to read from my public library.

Books that I don’t enjoy will be donated or sold, but I won’t be keeping them in our collection.

 

 

Do you  have a children’s book that you  think everyone should read and/or own? Let me know in the comments below!!

 

Always Shine!

DNF Review: The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, #1)

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Department Q #1

August 23, 2011 – Dutton Adult

395 p. -Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Crime, Political

Source: Netgalley, Publisher

Purpose: Review

I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Full disclosure: this is one of the very old titles that I just hadn’t read or reviewed.  I am slowly working through my backlog of titles, hoping to catch up in the next century. Because it is so old, I no longer have the downloaded galley and I ended up checking out the audio-book from my library. So, I can’t say if I would have a different opinion if I had read it myself instead of listening to it.

My Thoughts:

I am not sure what I was expecting with this novel. I guess I was thinking it would be more about the investigating of cold cases, but that’s not what I got. At least not in the first 30% of it. I found this slow and hard to get into. The time jumps, as well as the character jumps made it more confusing than it needed to be.  I didn’t like the main character.  It appeared that he was kind of waiting around until he was fired, but he didn’t really want to be fired. I think he came back to work too soon. He didn’t seem to be interested in working, let alone actually investigating or solving a case. The final thing that really turned me off of this book was the politics.

I don’t know maybe this book would be better if read in print or digitally instead of listening to it. I am pretty good at not judging a book by the narrator though, let me know if you’ve read this and think I should give it a second chance.

 

 

Always Shine!

 

Books That I DNF’d -January

While, I have read a read a lot this month and enjoyed most of that, there were a few books that I couldn’t quite make myself continue with, and it’s unlikely that I’ll pick them up again anytime soon.  These are those books.. you can click on the image to go to Goodreads.

Stand by Me (A SouledOut Sisters Novel #1) Stand by Me by Neta Johnson- I was really sad that I wasn’t enjoying this. I remember wanting to check it out a long time ago, and then forgot about it.  When I remembered it, I had to hunt down the title before I could check it out. And then I started reading it. And I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the voice of the black character, it just didn’t sound right to me. That’s the best way that I can describe the thoughts that were swirling around as I tried to figure out what I disliked about it.

Poison Study (Study, #1)  Poison Study b Maria V. Snyder – Ok this is one that I may actually pick up next year or whatever. And it may be poor timing that made me dnf this one. I am currently reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass and it was just too similar. Yelena -Selena, assassins, not a fan of the king, both had bad things happen to them at the hands of some higher official. Since Poison Study was published first, it would be fair to say the Mass’ book isn’t all that original, but it’s what I started reading first.

32 Candles 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter – Sixteen Candles all grown up? Yes Please. Or maybe not. I started listening to the audio book version, and the person who narrated this made Davidia sound stupid and annoying. But again, this is a book that I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while. So I will probably pick this book up -after I get the narrator’s voice out of my head.

We'll Never Tell  We’ll Never Tell by Kayla Perrin – This is a new to me author, I discovered her as I read a novella of hers for my February project. I enjoyed the novella. But this one, I just wasn’t motivated to finish. I was really interested in the event that was supposed to happen, and the small mystery that was going on. But Phoebe was the stereotypical sorority girl and that was annoying. I just couldn’t get behind that character without wanting to throat punch her. The brewing violence was foreshadowed a little heavy-handedly, and that didn’t help the situation.

 

Okay, so at the beginning I said that it was unlikely that I’d be picking up these books again. And now I’m thinking that there’s at least two that I will probably try again later—much much later, and one that I definitely will try again later. But the hard DNF is Stand By Me, I simply didn’t like it and since I was reading it, I can’t blame the narrator.

What are some books that you DNF’d this month?

Always Shine!

 

My Addiction: Edelweiss

Yes, I also get titles from Edelweiss. I’m a little better at reading those titles, or at least I used to be.  But here are the next ten titles that I will be focusing on.

The Fossil Chronicles: How Two Controversial Discoveries Changed Our View of Human Evolution Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version

Teeth Mistle Child (The Undertaken, #2)

Domino Falls (Devil's Wake, #2) Legacy of the Clockwork Key (The Secret Order, #1)

Escape Theory (Keaton School, #1) The Iron King (The Accursed Kings, #1)

Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter (Itch, #1)  Murder on Olympus (Plato Jones #1)

So I have posted a Ten Book TBR for all of my digital titles. I don’t know how soon that I will finish them all, but when I finish enough (either in sets of 5, 7 or 10) I will do a wrap-up of everything. Before a new TBR will be created, I plan on finishing all 30 of these titles. (If I could just avoid the library I’d accomplish this faster, but…. )

Always Shine!

November Reading Part 1

I stopped doing wrap-ups a while ago, they are too long to do as blog posts. Or they had been. So then I started doing quarterly check-ins, highlighting my readings. Sometimes I would a bunch a books that were just okay, and so it seemed pointless to just say that over and over. But this month, books have been sort of a hit or miss with me. So I thought that I would check in now and talk about them. I want opinions on some the books.

What I’ve Read:

Shadowshaper (Shadowshaper, #1)

Shadowshaper (Shadowshaper#1)by Daniel Jose Older 5 stars– This was a re-read for me. I listened to this one on audio and enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time I read the book.

Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3)

Archangel’s Consort (Guild Hunter#3) by Nalini Singh 4 stars– This is one of those series that I randomly picked up and ended up really enjoying.  I liked this installment very much and can’t wait for the next one.

Just a Kiss (Summer Harbor, #3)

Just a Kiss (Summer Harbor) by Denise Hunter 3.5 stars -This is the last in a trilogy, so a series that I was able to knock out before the end of the year. While this was not the best thing that I had read this year, it was refreshing and easy. It was a quick read and I still very much enjoyed it.  This is an old Netgalley title that I had, so a review will be posted shortly.

Currently Reading-

The Unleashing (Call of Crows, #1)

The Unleashing (Call of Crows) by Shelly Laurenston– I heard about this series from a Book Riot podcast, and immediately requested it from my library. I finally picked it up and I am surprised at how much I like it. I will be finishing it tonight, and I am pretty sure it’s going to be 5 stars. The humor is what hooked me, along with the premise that it’s about women tapping into and following their anger.  (Finished and loved it!)

Can't Help Falling by Kara Isaac

Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac– This is the second Isaac book that I’ve read. One that I immediately wanted when I finished Close to You. I am sad that it has taken me forever to pick up this title, as it is another that I have from Netgalley. But, I am happy to be reading it. It’s a sweet romance with humor, and blunders and mistakes.  (Finished and loved it!)

Books that I’ve Not Yet Finished-  These are books that I’ve started but have set aside for one reason or another. Let me know if there is one that I definitely need to finish before I officially decide to DNF or not.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

A Throne of Glass (A Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Mass – This is a book that I am reading for my #offmybookshelf project. Honestly, this book isn’t bad. But it also isn’t very good. I mean, if I didn’t have a million other things that I was dying to read I probably wouldn’t mind reading it. But I’ve spent two weeks with this book and I am only halfway through it. Whereas, I picked up The Unleashed yesterday and I’m going to finish it tonight. Yes, I know that some books take longer to finish then others, but there’s no reason it should take me this long to get through 400 pages.  If this was a library book, I’d dnf it and move on. My indecision comes from the fact that this is my book, and I own the next two plus the book of novellas.

The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance

A Memory of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson- This was a Clarke Award Nominee, so it fits in my goal to read all of the Clarke and Nebula award nominees and winners. I have heard of Robin and had been meaning to read something of his. But, this book is a bit off putting. It is all about music, and I often find myself tuning out for paragraphs or pages at a time. From what I have read, it is a bit interesting, just not enough to hold my attention for a long time.

Warrior Women

Warrior Women edited by Paula Guran-  I have no idea how I heard about this anthology. I know that as soon as I heard about it I requested it from the library. The first two stories grabbed my attention immediately. I stumbled through the third one and that was when my attention started to lag. This is one that I am pretty sure I’m coming back to at a different time.

Books I Dnf’d

Black Goat Blues (The Mythos War #2)

Black Goat Blues (Red Right Hand #1) by Levi Black- To be honest, this is a series that I had been meaning to get to for a while – since the first book came out. But I didn’t pck it up until I was selected to be a part of the blog tour. I started the first book,  Red Right Hand, fully expecting to enjoy it.  I didn’t make a quarter into the book before I DNF’d it. It was too repetitive, I didn’t like the character and the plot -at that point- was too vague for me to care. The only reason that I picked up the second book was because I was selected for the blog tour and they had already sent me a review copy. I did try to read it, depsite of what I thought about the first book. Unfortunately, I DNF’d the second book for pretty much the same reason I dnf’d the first one.

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims (Adventures of Rush Revere, #1)

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims by Rush Limbaugh-  I picked this book because I am looking for fun and interesting ways to introduce and teach history to my kids when we get there in homeschooling. I wanted to get multiple perspectives. But I made it to the middle of the second chapter before I put this one down. The main character just sounds pretentious, and there was too many flaws with the time-traveling aspect for me to take it serious.

Always Shine!

Book Chat: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1)

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber 

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1

June 6, 2017 – Thomas Nelson

Source: BookLook Bloggers

I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Rating: DNF 

If you want to know what this book is about, you can click here for the Goodreads Summary.

To be completely honest, I cannot say that this was a bad book. I can say that I was hoping and expecting something a little bit more. The idea was a great idea, it was just poorly executed. I really wanted to like this book, and I made it halfway through before I decided to put it aside. There were things happening, and the story was moving forward. But, I still didn’t know very much about the characters, what was happening or even why it was happening.

I really wanted to like this book, at least enough to finish it. But, that was not the case.  If I had finished, I know that the rating wouldn’t have been higher than 3 stars, but it was currently sitting at a 2. Would I consider coming back to this book? Possibly, but not anytime soon.

 

Always Shine!