Learn about the “Black Lives Matter” movement from an unforgettable cast of characters with this summary of The Hate U Give.  Get everything you need to know about reading this bestselling, award-winning must-read, unputdownable book.

And because this is a book pairings blog “where books meet lifestyle,” I have also provided some recommended lifestyle companions for you to pair with the book.

The hate you give by Angie Thomas in front of bookshelves.
  • 8 starred reviews
  • Goodreads Choice Awards “Best of the Best
  • William C. Morris Award Winner
  • National Book Award Longlist
  • Printz Honor Book
  • Coretta Scott King Honor Book
  • #1 New York Times Bestseller

Summary of The Hate U Give

T-H-U-G L-I-F-E. Meaning what society give us as youth, it bites them […] when we wild out. Get it?

– Angie Thomas

Quite simply, The Hate U Give lived up to every accolade it has received and remains one of my favorite books since I read it in 2018. 

It’s the story of Starr Carter, an African American teenager who lives in a “thug” neighborhood but goes to a private school in an upper-class, white neighborhood.  After witnessing Khalil, her unarmed African American male friend, be shot and killed during a routine traffic stop by a police officer, she struggles with navigating the aftermath while living in two distinct and different worlds, particularly because of her identity as the “witness” is hidden.  

The Hate U Give begs for a young female heroine, and Starr is IT.  She is authentic, brave,  honest, resilient and multi-dimensional.  She comes from a healthy, realistic family, with siblings who poke at one another yet protect each other, a mother who is often the voice of reason and a father who is a Black Panther, instilling African American values in her. 

Living a dual life, however, Starr also has a white boyfriend at school, who bonds with her over reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  She is often tangled between these worlds, especially in dealing with Khalil’s death and its effects on her communities. 

The Hate U Give is a politically-charged social commentary coming-of-age story.  It touches upon issues of race, class and police brutality, but in the voice and eyes of likable Starr and the vibrant characters in her life, and it feels like a fresh perspective and not forced or preachy or overly dramatic.  The reader truly cares about the characters and their growth, as well as learning more about walking a mile in their shoes.

The Hate U Give is a story that needed to be told and to be told this way.  It tells what happens when marginalized societies meet corrupt systems and nobody wins.  It’s also about using your voice in the face of adversity. 

What Angie Thomas did in this book is a remarkable thing. The Hate U Give is billed as a Young Adult novel, but anyone over the age of sixteen can, and should, read this book.  By the way, the Audible version was one of the best audiobooks to which I have listened (and I listen to a lot). Each character has a distinct voice that radiates, and it almost feels like watching a movie.

I consider this to be one of the best books of the 21st century.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Book Pairings

For more like The Hate U Give:

  • The movie of the same name was really great, and Starr was perfectly cast. 
  • I also loved the diverse teen voice in With the Fire on High for a lighter read or Just Mercy (the book / the movie) for a heavier (but real, and shocking) story.

That concludes this book summary of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas with recommended lifestyle pairings.

Buy The Hate U Give:

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