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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January Wrap-Up

I used to do these all of the time, and then stopped. Then I tried just talking about my favorites and least favorites. Well, I am just going to show the statistics of what I read and then show what I read in images. January was a decent reading month.

Here are the Stats:

Total Books Read: 16>> Digital: 4 – Print: 9- Audio: 3   Review Books: 5

Total Pages Read: 4100   Average Rating: 3.6

Here are the Books:    

          Dark Screams: Volume One Nate the Great and the Big Sniff Mrs. Jeepers on Vampire Island (The Adventures Of The Bailey School Kids Super Special, #6) Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, #3) To the Moon and Back (Baxter Family #3) I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 (I Survived, #11) Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club, #1) Explanatorium of Nature The Unyielding (Call of Crows, #3)

                                        The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts #1) Blood of the Earth (Soulwood, #1) Forces of Nature                                                                                                                       Love Story (The Baxter Family, #1) Shadows of Hope The Dog Who Came for Christmas Wolves (I Bring the Fire, #1)

 

Always Shine!

Featured Post: Top 10 Reasons to Read Darby Karchut

If you  have been with me this month than you know that I have featured the author, Darby Karchut, on my blog.  If you  are a long time follower, then you have probably seen all of the reviews for her books and know that I am unashamedly a huge fan of hers. While we have moved from fan and writer to friends, I am still honest about my opinions. As my friends know, you may not like what I say and you may not agree with it, but I am honest.  I thought that I would end this month’s feature with a top ten list.  And I will do my best to not go on and on about it.

10. She is not a one hit wonder. I have read all of her novels starting with the Griffin series and ending with Stone’s Heart, and I have yet to be disappointed with anything that I’ve read.

9. She’s got something for everyone. She has written middle grade (Finn Finnegan), young adult (Griffin), adult (Bannerman Boru under Darby Kaye) and adult contemporary-ish (Stone’s Heart).

8. She is a writer who writes good books, with characters you love! I’ve been there from the beginning, she has gotten so much better with each book.

7. She will talk to you! Go to her Facebook page, and write a message. See what happens? –Okay, to be honest, maybe she just talks to me and Kelly, and a random few other people. But she always responds to me so I’m happy. J/K I have written messages/emails to a variety of authors, all of whom are busily working and crafting their next novel, and I know that their world does not (and should not revolve around me), but it still amazes me that she actually responds. To be fair- Kevin Hearne, Jonathan Maberry and Eric Devine have also been pretty chatty when I’ve dropped them a message. But this post isn’t about them so….

6. She is actively involved in the care and literacy of young minds. She is involved in writing retreats, and book clubs for middle schoolers. (Addendum- I am not sure if she is still doing book clubs, I think she is. )

5. She is constantly working on something. Did you  hear that she has another book coming out soon? Del Toro Moon is scheduled to release this summer! So it’s the perfect time to jump on the DK Fan-wagon!

4. She shares what she knows. There have been many conversations about writing, the craft, advice and encouragement from her to me.

3.  Darby has a genuine heart for what she does- I follow her on Facebook, and I have talked with her about multiple aspects of writing. Not just as an author to an aspiring author. But as an author is interested in her reader and their concerns. We have shared deep thoughts on diversity in writing, on being authentic in writing characters different than ourselves.

2. Darby Karchut is a friend. I don’t remember how this blossomed into a friendship. I think I may have sent her the link to the review that I had done for her first two books, Griffin Rising  and Griffin’s Fire, (something that I did and still try to do when an author/publicist has sent me a request to review a book). And she responded with more than a thank you.

1. I need more people to help me convince to write a fourth Griffin novel……

In all seriousness, Darby Karchut is an amazing author and even better person. So if you still haven’t started reading her books, now is the perfect time to start.  Not sure which series to begin with? Let me know what kind of books you like and I can make a suggestion. (But, full disclosure – it will be completely biased.)

 

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: Netgalley

(This will probably become a routine feature.)

You guys I have a problem, I like books. I like free books even more. So this year my main focus is to read my own books, both in the print and digital formats. To assist in this I have been added my digital titles to their respective shelves on Goodreads, as a way to have a visual representation. Upon doing this I have discovered that I have an obscene amount of digital books. So many that I am overwhelmed with deciding how to pick books to read This is what I decided (and we will see how it works.) I’m just going to start from the top of the list and read down. Now, I will pause on books that are like the third or fourth of the series to catch up, so in that case titles might be rearranged.  But, to help me track my progress and for some accountability, I am going to make TBRs. But these are not monthly, they will be ten books that I will read and review (if they are Netgalley titles) as quickly as I can. I will be deleting all titles off of my kindle except for the ten titles (unless I am catching up). I will do a separate post for my personal kindle library books later. But here is the first 10 of my Netgalley TBR:

Souldwood Series by Faith Hunter-  I have the first three books in this series, and they are all review books. I have already started the first one so that should make this first round a bit easier.

Blood of the Earth (Soulwood, #1) Curse on the Land (Soulwood, #2) Flame in the Dark (Soulwood, #3)

Things you should know about this series: It is set in the same world as the Jane Yellowrock novels. I have not read those novels. This series actually begins with an anthology of stories from that world, Blood in Her Veins: Nineteen Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock that I have also not read. I will be going back to read Jane Yellowrock and will read the anthology in order of that series.

Bones Don't Lie (Morgan Dane #3)           Andrew Jackson: The Making of America          Boy Bites Bug          Nothing Happened

 

Smoke Eaters         Oath of Honor (Blue Justice #1)    Troubled Waters (Montana Rescue #4)

What you should know about these books: If you click on the pictures you can read the Goodreads summary. If you do that, you will see that three of these books are part of a series, one is the beginning and the other two are titles in the middle of series.  I will be focusing on the series that I don’t have to catch up on after I finish the three Soulwood novels (which I am enjoying so far).

*I should also note that books that I dnf, or find difficult to get through will not be given second chances in any way that matters. Meaning I will write a dnf review and move on to the next book.*

So am I alone in this Netgalley addiction? I am trying to work on it and not just have the record of most accumulated unread books, promise. Tell me about in the comments?

Have you read any of these titles (or authors)? Tell me about in the comments.

Want to Netgalley/TBR shame me? Well if I cared that much, it wouldn’t be this ridiculously out of control.

 

Look for my Personal Library TBR soon(ish)!

 

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!