Guys, I think everyone needs to read this book. It was such an emotional ride. The author will put you in Starr’s shoes, and you will feel when she’s feeling (her anger, her fear, etc). The part where her friend is murdered by the cop was pretty terrifying and devastating, but the aftermath was rage-inducing and just as terrifying. It was actually written in 2017, starting as a short story by Thomas after the murder of Oscar Grant, but I’m reading this in 2024, four years after the murder of George Floyd, so I was comparing the aftermath (activism, riots, vandalism, looting) to the aftermath of Floyd’s murder. When people were saying it’s ok that Khalil died because he was a “thug” reminded me of how people kept justifying Floyd’s death was ok because he was on drugs. And guys???? Even rapists and murderers get fair trials.

Also toward the end of the book, Starr lists a number of police brutality victims, including Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and last but not least Emmett Till (killed in 1955).

Also on a less serious note, there is a portion where Starr describes her dad’s theory about the Hogswarts houses being street gangs:

Okay, so it is a good theory. Daddy claims the Hogwarts houses are really gangs. They have their own colors, their own hideouts, and they are always riding for each other, like gangs. Harry, Ron, and Hermione never snitch on one another, just like gangbangers. Death Eaters even have matching tattoos. And look at Voldemort. They’re scared to say his name. Really, that “He Who Must Not Be Named” stuff is like giving him a street name. That’s some gangbanging shit right there.

The Hate U Give

And if you’re a sci-fi nerd like me (of Star Wars and very specifically, of The Acolyte), Amandla Stenberg, who portrays the twins, is Starr in the movie version.