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Book Club Discussions > May 2018: The Hate U Give

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message 1: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (ratedcee) | 34 comments Mod
Happy May, everyone!
This month's book discussion will be led by Hawa :)
Hope you were able to get started, don't be afraid to join the discussion!

Here's more about Hawa:

My name is Hawa. I’m 24 years old. I’ve always loved reading but last year was when I started really getting back into it and began building a personal collection of books. My goal is to read 34 books by the end of the year. Follow my book journey on Instagram at @hawa.reads 🤗

message 2: by Hawa (new)

Hawa Jalloh (hawareads) | 10 comments Hi everyone! Welcome to May!

I hope you all are at least half as excited as I am about this month's choice as I am. This book has been on my TBR (to be read) list for a while now, so I am excited to get the chance to read it and discuss it with you all!

This book is a bit lengthy compared to our past reads but I hope you all have at least made it through chapter 4.

The book starts off following our main character, Starr, as she attends a Spring Break house party in her Garden Heights neighborhood with her friend Kenya. Starr doesn't really care to be at the party, but she eventually catches up with an old childhood friend Khalil. The party gets cut short when gunshots go off and Starr and Khalil run to his car for safety. He then offers to give her a ride home. They get pulled over by a police officer who fatally shoots Khalil after he makes a sudden move. This scene sets the premise of the entire novel.

Before we learn that Khalil gets shot, the second chapter begins by Starr saying how her parent had "two talks with her" when she was 12, the usual "birds and bees" talk and "what to do if a cop stopped [her]". (page 20)
Her mother expresses that she believes that she is too young for her father to have such a talk with her. Given the events that have taken place in the novel and in real life, do you agree or disagree?

Starr discusses how when other Black lives are lost, she signed petitions, retweeted and reblogged RIP and said "I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I'm too afraid to speak." (page 35) Do you think the she will continue to stay silent or will she speak up?

After the loss of her friend Natasha when she was 10, her parents moved her to the fancy suburban prep school (Williamson) that she now attends. (page 35) Starr seems to live a double life between her home life and school, when do you think those worlds will collide?

Those are just a couple of questions I wanted to pose after reading the first couple of chapters. I know I said up through chapter 4, so feel free to share anything that stood out to you and another questions you may wanna pose to the group as well!

message 3: by Naomie (new)

Naomie | 10 comments hey hawa,

I have made it through to chapter. As soon as I opened the book up, I just kept reading! It started off great. The book was relateable, energetic, and definitely current to today's time.

I do not think Starr was too young to have that talk with her father at all. Unfortunately, I know this is true especially in certain urban areas where interactions with police are very typical. She is young, yes, but if she can get even a little bit prepared as to what to do if she should ever get stopped, that's great. And she got stopped at a young age, so I'm glad her father had that talk with her.

I don't think Starr will continue to stay silent. But her reaction of being silent at first as all this is happening to her for the first time (versus just hearing about it) is understandable. She's frightened and shocked. Someone else may have handled it differently, but we are different people so everyone is not going to have the same responses. As time goes on, I think she will find her voice. I, however, wonder how and when things will unfold.

As far as when her worlds collide, lol, I think they already have. They collided the moment Khalil died and the fact that she was present at the time of his death. Now we will see just how she handles both worlds intersecting together.

I do wonder how her boyfriend and friends from her prep school will respond and how comforting they'll be. I also wonder about her older brother's father. I'm interested in seeing her father and his father continue to react towards each other. There's definitely some tension and history there.

message 4: by Hawa (new)

Hawa Jalloh (hawareads) | 10 comments Thanks for sharing Naomie!

Just in the few chapters that we have read so far, it makes me wonder how people who witness such events of police brutality in real life feel. I can definitely see why her first reaction isn’t to speak up. Often times it seems as though the deceased are put on trial as they try to look up every single “negative” thing about that person’s past. I’m interested to see how they will try to spin the fact that Khalil was a drug dealer.

I’m also interested in seeing how her prep school friends and boyfriend will react. I wonder how long before she even tells them. Especially her boyfriend. I know at this moment they’re in the midst of a “fight”, but that’s not something she can keep from him forever.

message 5: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (ratedcee) | 34 comments Mod
first off, this book is like reading/watching a movie... i was immediately drawn into it and didn't want to put it down, this is the first time I've had this type of reaction to a book in awhile haha

Hawa - I don't agree with Starr's mother when she states the she was too young to have the talk. As you we can see it end up working in her favor because she recalled a lot of advice and tips her dad gave her in regards to dealing with the police. Specifically in this generation I think it's essential to have the talk with the "birds and bees" talk because both scenarios are being exposed to the youth at an earlier age versus 10 years ago.

I think as the story line builds she will slowly find her voice and create an action plan to help ensure justice for Khalil. Right now, I think she is harboring a lot of pinned up angry and other emotions that she hasn't had the proper time to heal, grieve or just be angry and let it all out.

I believe the Williamson Starr and Garden Heights Starr will collide when she starts to voice her opinion and speak more about the shooting with Khalil. I think her friends at Williamson won't fully understand the everyday struggle Starr face in Garden Heights.

message 6: by Hawa (new)

Hawa Jalloh (hawareads) | 10 comments Hi everyone! Just checking in again. Where is everyone in the book so far?

message 7: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (ratedcee) | 34 comments Mod
I just want to say the whole premise of this read is soooo interesting... like it's so many stories and everyday battles that many African American women face and we aren't even halfway through. Actually, I think different nationalities can relate to some part of Starr's story or at least get a better understanding of the battles we face as a community when it comes to police brutality and finding your voice as a woman.

message 8: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (ratedcee) | 34 comments Mod
I’m at Chapter 10!

message 9: by Hawa (new)

Hawa Jalloh (hawareads) | 10 comments Thank you for sharing Courtney! I think we posted both our comments at the same time so I initially didn’t see yours. But I agree with what you said. Sounds like I’ve got a bit of catching up to do lol.

message 10: by Kayla of TRBG (new)

Kayla of TRBG (kaylaray) | 2 comments Hey everyone!

I’m starting Part 2 (chapter 16) and I cannot put this book down! From the nuances of black lives matter to being able to relate to the characters, Angie Thomas did a fantastic job. Reading this novel reminds me of why I loved reading in the first place: the literature transports you into the story.

I think the author so far has done a great job of describing today’s racially charged climate from the point of view of 16 year old girl who’s trying to find her own identity in a confusing environment. Starr is an intelligent young girl who’s innocence has yet again been violated by the death of a childhood friend. Watching her come to various realizations of the state of black America, strained police-community relations, as well as the broken justice system touches us all as we remember when we had those same realizations.

Thomas makes us think (and YA readers) about the truth of living in poorer black neighborhoods. What challenges both adults and children face, how hard it can be to fit in, and how the government affects the people in these areas. This is definitely a book that I’ve been excited to read and I haven’t been disappointed.

I’m hoping not only that Starr will continue to speak her truth of the unfortunate situation, but also work to set the record straight for young Khalil. I think Thomas allows the reader to even challenge themselves by asking, “What would you do? What is the right way to handle this as a young person?”

Anyway I am so excited to finish this book. I started on May 10th and I’m pretty sure I’m halfway done. Looking forward to more discussion!


message 11: by Robbin (new)

Robbin (curlqueenreads) | 11 comments I started reading the book a lot later than I intended (TODAY). Now that I've started I can barely put the book down. As Naomi said the book is relatable and definitely relevant to today's time.

I feel that Starr's response is more one of shock. She's only 16 and she's already seen more than any child should see. That's the reality for a lot of black children. I hate the fact that parents even have to give their children the "if you get pulled over" talk. But its necessary. This talk is the difference between life and death in a lot of situations. I do think she will eventually find her voice and do whatever she can to help get justice for Khalil, but she has to do this in her own time and after she sorts through her own emotions

I also agree with Naomi's comments about Starr's two worlds colliding the moment Khalil was shot. Theres no way for her to possibly keep her school life and home life separate at this point.

I also feel that somehow through this experience that Starr will become more comfortable with her "black identity." I feel like right now she's not really sure where she fits in. She's cool at her school because she's one of the only black kids but yet the kids in her neighborhood don't particularly care for her because they feel like she thinks that she's better than them. I'm curious to see how this situation might help her find herself.

So far I'm on chapter 4!

message 12: by Hawa (new)

Hawa Jalloh (hawareads) | 10 comments Thank you for sharing Kayla and Robbin!

Kayla, I agree. I love how relatable the author makes the book, even if it’s just through certain song or clothing references.

Robbin, I’m glad you were able to get started! Hopefully none of our posts were too much of a spoiler for you.

This book definitely is a page turner. I’ve been trying to pace myself for discussion purposes though.

Based on where you’re at in the book, do you believe that they will get justice for Khalil?

Please feel free to share any other thoughts you may have about the book based on where you’re at.

message 13: by Robbin (new)

Robbin (curlqueenreads) | 11 comments I’ve made it to Chapter 7 now but no Hawa unfortunately i don’t think there will be any real justice for Khalil. Not for a lack of trying on Starr’s part. I think this situation will probably play out exactly how it does in real life.

The conversation at the police station reinforced my feelings of this:

Whoa, wait one second,” Momma says. “Are y’all putting Khalil and Starr on trial or the cop who killed him?”
Wilkes looks up from his notes.
“I- I don’t quite understand, Mrs. Carter?” Gomez sputters.
“You haven’t asked my child about the cop yet,” Momma says. “You keep asking her about Khalil, like he’s the reason he’s dead. Like she said, he didn’t pull the trigger on himself.”
“We just want the whole picture, Mrs. Carter. That’s all.”
“One-Fifteen killed him,” I say. “And he wasn’t doing anything wrong. How much of a bigger picture do you need?” Pg 103

message 14: by Hawa (new)

Hawa Jalloh (hawareads) | 10 comments Hi everyone! As the month is coming to an end, I just wanted everyone to come together and share their final thoughts about this month's read. I hope you all have gotten a chance (or are coming close) to finish the book.

The Hate U Give is one of those books that I had seen all over Bookstagram and I had been wanting to read it for a while so I was really excited when Courtney revealed it was the read for this month. I definitely believed that the book lived up to it's hype.

In case anyone hasn't finished the book yet, I will post the rest of my thoughts under a spoiler tag. So click to read more.

(view spoiler)

I hope you all enjoyed this book as much as I did! To keep up with me and other books that I've been reading, follow me on Instagram @hawa.reads (#shamelessplug)

message 15: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (ratedcee) | 34 comments Mod
Amazing thoughts everyone... this book is amazing and I think men and women can get a lot from this read. I am so happy a lot of you suggested this upon signing up for the book club. I am on my last few chapters so I will post by final thoughts this week. Thank you Hawa for the not dropping the spoiler haha! I am going to revisit it on Friday and drop some of my thoughts about it.

I've gained ALOT of life lessons in this book so far, but the biggest one would have to be finding power in your voice no matter the situation, age, race.... whatever.... never be afraid to have thoughts and feelings towards something and sharing those thoughts or feelings. While Starr is a young girl I still think a people twice her age struggle with finding their voice and believing in a cause. We saw older characters throughout this entire book battle between speaking out and playing it safe and in a lot of those circumstances I believe Starr help them gain confidence in themselves.. specifically Uncle Carlos.

message 16: by Robbin (new)

Robbin (curlqueenreads) | 11 comments I finally finished the book yesterday and I was so sad that it was over ! Definitely a good read. Kept me very engaged. At some points I felt like I was watching a movie.

(view spoiler)

This is my favorite book that we've read so far :)

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