Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

The Hate U Give –
Balzer + Bray

When I was twelve, my parents had two talks with me.
One was the usual birds and bees. […]
The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me.
Momma fussed and told Daddy I was too young for that. He argued that I wasn’t too young to get arrested or shot.
— Chapter 2

Once upon a time there was a hazel-eyed boy with dimples. I called him Khalil. The world called him a thug.
He lived, but not nearly long enough, and for the rest of my life I'll remember how he died.
— Chapter 26

If there was one book this summer that everyone was talking about, chances are that it was this one. Movement books and especially books like this one with such an important topic and message are at the same time so very important and also often cursed to fall short on their promises. Yet every once in a while such a book emerges and not only meets all those important parameters but basically shatters them and leaves them in the dust. And while I’m not the first (and not the last I suppose) to say so, this book more than delivers. The buzz was so great that I was a bit hesitant at first but that was completely unwarranted.
The scary thing is that the story itself is a short tale while everything around this seemingly basic plot is what makes this book so exceptional: On the way home from a party a girl and her friend are stopped by the police. The girl’s friend is shot and dies. The surrounding circumstances: The girl and her friend are black, the officer is white. The shot boy didn’t have a weapon nor did he do anything wrong. And the girl, Starr, is the only witness. It seems easy to say that she should speak up for justice but how can you trust a justice system where similar incidents had no consequences? Do you endanger the precarious balance in your community? And also your own exposed position, especially when you are one of only two black students at an all-white school? The punch line in all of this is that this is not a fictional world or a historical setting … it is so solidly contemporary it hurts. And the characters while fictional seem so real you want to meet them.
I liked how there are actually quite a few topics in this book apart from the big one. Maybe it is a bit tightly packed but this also begs the question of when did life and reality ever agree to give someone a break just because things got messy in one part? I want to argue that this adds to the feeling of reality that pervades the whole book.
Of course, with such an amazing source there is a movie coming. And again I am quietly hopeful that it will do the book justice. Not just because the author seems genuinely happy but also because of the overall importance that this is done just right. Otherwise, the riots towards the end of this story might be considered slight disturbances in comparison to possible reader riots.

What are your thoughts on buzz books? Has such a book kept its promises to you or were you disappointed? Share your experiences and teasers in the comments!


Kathy Martin said...

I keep hearing about this book. I will have to read it someday. My book this week is Killman Creek by Rachel Caine. Happy reading!

Laura said...

Definitely heavy reading. Sounds like it had a lot of important things to say. My Teaser is from a humorous cozy.

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