I could wax lyrical about Angie Thomas’s debut novel The Hate U Give (T.H.U.G.) inspired by the #blacklivesmatter movement. I could literally use every word possible to convey just how deeply moving this tale is – if I knew all the words possible, hahaha.
Something about this book stained my soul. This is why we read. To be torn apart so we can be made anew with each story we read. This is how we assess great stories, they not only change us, they don’t just recreate us but they break us and they cling. Sometimes they cling so intimately to even try and articulate them to someone else is an injustice, a robbery, a crime. You’d no sooner gift the person a copy of their own so they too can have a shot at experiencing the magic you felt while reading it.
Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give was one such story for me. There’s something in the way she crafted it, the care she took, the characters she imagined that drove the message home. There is something about an adult world seen through the eyes of a child that melts any stubbornness right out of you.
By nature children are filter-free depicters of truth. For an adult narrator or writer to steal from them that innocence and bring it to the fore to tell such an important story is to me profound for a first novel.
I attempted an awestruck review of the book on my channel over here:
This is in no way a review but an attempt at telling you why I loved this book. Here are 10 reasons.
- It was realistic and true to real life experiences.
- It was a tale of the ‘black man’s struggle’ in a modern globalized world.
- It was based on true events that were dumbed down by a lot of frenzy.
- It was narrated through a child trying to figure out a racially segregated world.
- It had a sense of family and community at its center and showed who we are together rather than apart.
- T.H.U.G. was something poetic, an ode to those how lost their lives at the hands of police brutality and a hope for young people whose tomorrow is only just dawning.
- It was a clarion call to check yourself first and to equip your children for an unjust world that should never change them.
- Angie Thomas is just so amazing. Her talent is unparalleled. She didn’t need the fortress of a fantastical world to craft such a profound piece of art.
- It’s a love letter to every black child trying to navigate and find their feet in a cruel world. Head up kid, look around you, we are each other’s keepers.
- Should you see none of this in the book, you will surely see the underlying message in the father’s story – everyone deserves a second chance, and contrary to popular belief, people can change.
Every time I talk about this book I’m afraid I haven’t said it all, or I could say it all and still not say enough. It is truly my desire that everyone gets a chance to experience it in the way that I did. Be willing to be honest and vulnerable in the reading process and let Angie’s craft preach to you about a thing or two.
Well worth the hype. Angie deserves each and every accolade she has received. I’m yet to see the movie. I’m almost scared to even watch it. If you’ve seen it and you’ve read the book, please share your thoughts on the movie below.