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Audible Editor Reviews

 

Why we think it's Essential - Every now and then a book comes along that speaks to your soul. Angie Thomas' debut novel, The Hate U Give, is one such book. Each editor here has listened, and the feeling afterwards is unanimous - this is one of the best performances we've ever encountered. Thomas' message is both timely and transcendent. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this book is important, necessary, fearless, and, quite simply, stunning. 

Narrator Bahni Turpin manages to give voice to such a broad and rich cast of characters, each with their own authentic perspective, demonstrating the power of performance to bring new depth to a complex social issue. 

We believe this is truly the definition of required listening. 

--The Audible Editors

Publisher's Summary

Eight starred reviews ∙ William C. Morris Award Winner ∙ National Book Award Longlist ∙ Printz Honor Book ∙ Coretta Scott King Honor Book ∙ Number-One New York Times Best Seller!

"Absolutely riveting!" (Jason Reynolds)

"Stunning." (John Green)

"This story is necessary. This story is important." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"Heartbreakingly topical." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"A marvel of verisimilitude." (Booklist, starred review)

"A powerful, in-your-face novel." (The Horn Book, starred review)

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. 

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. 

But what Starr does - or does not - say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

And don't miss On the Come Up, Angie Thomas's powerful follow-up to The Hate U Give.

©2017 Angela Thomas (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What the critics say

"[Narrator Bahni] Turpin's portrayals of all the characters are rich and deep, environments are evocatively described, and Starr's fraught struggles to understand life's complexities are believable." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about The Hate U Give

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A must listen

My teenage son and I listened to this book together and loved every minute of it. At times we held our breathe, knowing a situation was going to end badly. At other times we laughed, and others we cried. Starr, Daddy, Seven, Mama, Mr Lewis and all these characters will live with us for a long time. They helped us understand our white privilege, feel the injustice faced by minority groups and appreciate how deeply flawed the system is. Everyone should read this book.

5 people found this helpful

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Amazing Book!!!!!!!!!!

I don't usually read but I had to for school and I absolutely loved listening to it. The author's voice makes the chracters come to life.

3 people found this helpful

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amazing novel

This is a great novel and the narration makes the story come alive. Definitely recommended!

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unforgettable

Angie Thomas has nailed this story. I learnt so much and loved the characters, they were multi dimensional and so loveable. I was actually sad when the story ended.
The narration is incredible too, such a talented storyteller as she navigates with ease through the many character voices.

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Fantastic!

Fantastic! Everyone should read/listen to this book. The narrator was flawless, moving from one character to another. I highly recommend.

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Captivating

A timely read in this current world. Insightful and powerful. An important book study for students.

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Yes to this

Beautifully written. Just the right amount of description. Conveying important racial justice concepts through storytelling. Powerful. Enjoyed the narration too.

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One of the most important books you’ll listen to/read

If there’s ever been a time to read The Hate U Give, it’s now. While a fictional story, nothing about it is fiction. It echoes what most people have only opened their eyes to in 2020, but has been going on for hundreds of years. This book gives you a personal insight on what it’s like to be living along side a Black family and what society puts them through.
Truly heartbreaking and eye opening.

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  • nat
  • 2020-09-06

fantastic!

I really loved this book! The story, characters, narrator. It was really thoroughly enjoyable 🙂

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Interesting, relevant story

Interesting story based on events happening today. Well written, with good characters. I would recommend for younger adult as the characters are that age, and from their point of view.

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  • Catherine Saenz
  • 2020-02-21

One dimensional characters, lazy story writing

I just don’t get the hype - was hoping for a young female perspective Boyz in the Hood or Do The Right Thing, and so disappointed to find a totally predictable plot full of one note characters - from the “good cop” uncle to the “bad cop” shooter to the black pride dad to the white boyfriend, referred to in the book as a ”wigger”. No character evolved or did anything surprising, and since the entire book is written from a single narrator perspective, you don’t get any interesting insights from other characters. I struggled to finish it. The narrators voices, especially the “daddy” voice was annoying. like when your mom read you a bedtime story in a male character voice.

55 people found this helpful

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  • J Becker
  • 2019-10-06

Stereotypical Racism - Thank you BLM!

Unfortunately this is a well performed story that emphasizes stereotypical racism. 1) All cops are bad. 2) All whites are racist, whether they intend it or not. 3) Blacks can understand whites, however, none of the whites can understand blacks, black culture or racism. 4) Even the black gang-bangers aren't really responsible for their crime because they don't have a choice. This is a well performed, sometimes emotional evoking story that focuses on the worst in race relations to sell a racist BLM narrative.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Casey Villhauer
  • 2019-03-18

Exactly what I expected

This story was exactly what I expected. I was really hoping for a story about race to open my mind to a new point of view and put me in the main characters shoes. This was lazy, predictable writing. I've actually never been so disappointed in a plot. If I could give this 0 stars I would.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Kiwi
  • 2018-08-22

Truly a nice listen.

☀️
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
• • • •
“At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”
Quotes from: Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
——-
This book blew it out of the park in a lot of ways. I had the honor of experiencing my first time listening to an audiobook with it too! The performance was absolutely amazing and made me FEEL. Her voice made it so nice. So raw. So real.
I enjoyed this book mostly because I LIVE AND BREATHE for books that are from the perspective of a POC. It made my heartache- so much. There were moments where I had to stop the audio and take a break just to get myself together.
Instead of saying what this book is about and spoiling it, I’d like to say what I learned from it. That way, if you guys wanna read it you totally should!
I learned that there is power in my voice. It taught me that nothing will happen if you just sit there and take the beatings. You have to stand up for what’s right no matter how much you get knocked down. It made me realize that maybe I should also stand up for what is right instead of wishing for changes.
I enjoyed the way this book touched on the subject of police brutality. I genuinely believe it is a subject that needs to be talked about more.
In general, I didn’t give it the full five stars because I would have really liked to see a lot more of the characters interacting with each other. I feel like there could’ve been a lot more to Khalil’s character so the reader could’ve felt more personal with him. I fell in love with Starr because I learned about her personality. But I would’ve just loved to fall in love with Khalil’s personality as well. I guess that shows the sadness of the whole topic in a way... We see so many people get hurt and just wish we could’ve gotten the chance to know the person behind the tragedy. All in all, it was still a great listen!!! I need to pick up my own copy soon.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Wendi
  • 2018-01-14

This Book Changed My Entire Perspective

Tupac. THUG LIFE. 'The Hate U Give Little Infants F*&#@ Everyone.' Those are not a bunch of nonsensical words. There is great meaning behind them- a greater meaning that I ever knew.

This book touched my heart and opened my mind to a world I knew nothing of. The book made me think- and I don't mean 'ponder' for a few minutes. This book made me search my soul and look at the world differently. It made me discuss the message with my children.

Without going into too much detail, our heroine grows up in a world where drive by shootings, robberies, and drugs were normal. When tragedy strikes she has a choice. She can speak up or she can keep quiet and say nothing. Keeping quiet in an area where 'snitches get stitches' is probably the best idea, however breaking a long cycle of silence is a very difficult choice.

I think this book should be mandatory reading in high school. I consider myself quite conservative on the political spectrum, but this is a beautiful written and well thought out book that will make you think twice about everything you know when it comes to stereotypes.

5 giant stars- so grateful I listened to this audiobook.

-Wendi

473 people found this helpful

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  • Veronica
  • 2019-04-24

Amazing!

I haven't been this captured by a book since Sarah's Key. This author has earned my loyalty. There wasn't a single word that felt like fluff or filler. Every moment, every detail gives insight into a world that not everyone understands.

I really identified with this character. Although I'm not African-American, I did grow up in a gang infested neighborhood like the main character. I also went to a private school like the main character. And I spent a lot of my life denying where I grew up and denying the people I once knew like the main character. This definitely spoke to me and made me think about how I've reacted towards my start in life. For the first time in nearly 20 years, I felt like I missed my old neighborhood. This book hit that hard.

It is heavy. It will speak to you if you know this life or environment, but it will definitely carry you through the neighborhood if you have no experiences like that. I like the mix of characters that are used. Star learns, Seven is a caregiver, Devonte is the one that would get caught up in the hype, and Chris is the outsider looking in. Star's parents were also solid characters. I loved Seven's reaction to his momma. Ok-I'll stop because I can go on and on.

The one thing that I didn't like was the narrators voice for the white kids. Ha...it came off as cartoonish.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Shines
  • 2018-12-03

Hated it

Hated it.

What a missed opportunity by the author to present a book that challenges misconceptions....ON BOTH SIDES. This book was completely biased and 100% anti-police. So biased I almost quit halfway through but persevered at 2.0X speed on Audible just in case there was some redemption by the end. Nope.

Facts:

-The fictional victim and his friend have to quickly leave a party WHERE SOMEONE IS MURDERED during a fight. This is the neighborhood at the center of the story. It’s extremely dangerous. (Note that the characters in the book don’t ever discuss or consider that any police in the area that night are likely well aware that a shooting has just taken place at a party...and are probably a little on edge because of it)

-The victim was a drug dealer and was, at a minimum, affiliated with active gangs. (Later, they downplay this fact with a story about how he is only doing it to help his Mom. Well, apparently his Mom also wanted him to get those new fancy shoes and jewelry.) Yes, it would not be possible for the policeman to know he was a drug dealer during the traffic stop. No, it’s not directly relevant to the fact that he was shot. But again, context matters, and the context of this neighborhood is one where there are a relatively high percentage of gang members and drug dealers.

-Once pulled over the victim was evasive and refused to answer basic, standard questions that are not unusual for a traffic stop (“Where ya coming from” and he answers “Nunya (business)”. The policeman asked him to get out of the vehicle, he didn’t immediately comply and was pulled from the vehicle.

-The victim was unarmed

-It was nighttime

-The victim opened the car door and was leaning back inside while the policeman returned to his vehicle to check the ID

-The policeman then clearly overreacted and shot him multiple times.

The policeman overreacted. Yes. I think most people will agree with this. The problem I have with the book is the level to which he was proclaimed a Murderer with a capital M. The author doesn’t understand what murder means.

I can’t imagine a more dangerous situation for a police officer. It’s nighttime. You are in an area that is known to be extremely violent. Any interaction is going to be possibly dangerous and potentially deadly. All facts that are so well understood by the characters in the story that they MOVE OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD BY THE END OF THE BOOK DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS.

So we establish that the neighborhood is unbelievably dangerous. We also establish that the victim did not deserve to die at any level. But we should also the say that a police officer during a traffic stop doesn’t know a person’s intentions. A police officer doesn’t know who is in the car, doesn’t know what they are going to do. Especially under these circumstances...It is reasonable for me to understand that a police officer thought his life was in danger when the the driver suddenly reached back into his car unexpectedly.

The story was fine and the characters were mostly likeable. A lot of cliches. Bad writing (oh, the rose bush that the dad keeps tending to represents the family! ...Eye roll...)

It was an easy read. But I was hoping for a book that would challenge preconceived notions on both sides. Total failure.

At best, this is a book that should just be ignored. At worst, it is dangerous and furthers a broken mindset where police are the enemy. The central character is a hero at the end for throwing tear gas at the police? The police that are in her neighborhood trying to stop rioters from burning down businesses? Nothing in this book makes sense.

43 people found this helpful

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  • Michael - Audible Editor
  • 2017-06-14

What a story!

I'm not normally into YA, but I don't know if you would categorize this book as such, and you definitely couldn't pigeonhole into that one genre. It is something of an allegorical tale about the black lives matter movement, and racist police brutality.

But it's not just a diatribe about what is wrong with the world, and the way things should be. That's where Angie Thomas shines, she doesn't sacrifice her story or sense of character development to send a message. This is a real, holistic story about a young woman's coming of age in a fulcrum of racial and political strife, all while confronting the standard and not-so-standard complications of teenage life: communication issues, identity, family, and responsibility.

Bahni Turpin does a miraculous job giving these characters the voice they deserve. There is a lot of style behind the dialogue that I could see might be hard to pull off, but she does it with ease and it draws you that much more into the story.

258 people found this helpful

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  • The one and only Michelle
  • 2018-10-21

I hate this book!

This is the perfect good cop/bad cop, good black people/bad black people narrative, that so much of white America can get behind. I hear the movie, namely the ending, is worse than the book!

First, the shooting. Star (our black teenage girl protagonist), witnesses the shooting of her black friend. In both her inner monologue and dialogue with Kahlil, she victim blames him 4 times as the whole thing is going down, by saying the following: “Khalil breaks a rule. He doesn’t do what the cop wants”, Star says, “Khalil, do what he said!” “My parents haven’t raised me to fear the police, just to be smart around them. They told me, it’s not smart to move while a cop has his back to you; Kahlil does. “It’s not smart to make a sudden move; Kahlil does.” And then POW! Kahlil is shot. All of this happens in 6 minutes audio time.

The author, Thomas, then decides it’s a good idea to give Khalil a back-story as a drug dealer. This serves to further victim blame, as evidenced throughout the rest of the book by several characters. She tries, and fails, IMO, to explain why Khalil sold drugs. If she had stayed on that point and went deeper into the societal reasons, like racism, capitalism and white supremacy, and how the system is designed to work exactly as it is, then the book might have been somewhat redeemable. Yes, Mav, Star’s father, says something similar in the book, but that short dialogue goes no where with no context or explanation as to why the system is the problem and what ACTIONS we must do to begin to dismantle the system.

Moving on… sigh, the Black Panther Party, BPP, mischaracterized once again. The BPP would have HATED this book. I encourage everyone to look up “What we want What we believe”, by the BPP. See the original ten-point program and the amended ten-point program six years later. It’s crucial that you read the, “What we believe” part! Also, read Shirley Williams’, “Black Child’s Pledge”.

The BPP was a social change movement that sought to dismantle the existing power structures of the United States. They felt the underlying structures of the U.S. government and corporations were racist and systematically oppressed and exploited the poor, the working class and minorities. The BPP was a revolutionary movement whose agenda was to seek true economic and political equality achieved through mass, grass roots organizing and community programs. This book is not revolutionary in any way. In fact, it’s regressive.

Examples of success by the BPP: They correctly identified the source of their oppression and worked towards solutions. They took care of their community, implementing survival programs that offered such things as free health care, clothing and home repairs. They used guns for self-defense, showing up whenever cops did in their community, with a gun and a law book, ensuring the cops followed the law. That tactic was so successful that the NRA teamed up with then governor Reagan to pass the Mulford act, which repealed California state law allowing citizens to carry loaded firearms. And most famously, the BPP created the free breakfast program, which our current National free lunch, and more recently, free breakfast programs, are modeled after.

The government was terrified of the BPP. The FBI developed COINTELPRO and vigorously targeted the BPP, as J. Edgar Hoover deemed them to be, “the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States.” The FBI infiltrated the group, planted agent provocateurs intending to create division within the BPP. They carried out targeted assassinations like the one on Fred Hampton and flooded BPP headquarters and poor black neighborhoods with drugs, which in turn created and increased violence and deaths in these communities Yes, Huey P. Newton became addicted to drugs. That doesn’t mean, however, that what he and Bobby Searle started became irrelevant or didn’t work. So much panther ideology and action did survive and we are the beneficiaries of that today. But this book rejects that much needed ideology.

Then we have the good cop, Carlos, her uncle. Why the need for this? It appeals to a much wider and whiter audience. The institution of policing was set up to protect the property of the ruling class (slaves were property). And they’re doing a mighty fine job of that today! Where was all the dialogue on this?

Would Tupac Shakur have loved this book? His famous Aunt, Assata Shakur, a former BPP member and 20th century escaped slave, would not. Read her autobiography.

What would have made this book better - have Khalil do everything the cop demanded, like Philando Castile, and still be murdered. If Thomas set it up this way, then it would have been much harder for people to say he deserved to get shot because he didn’t follow orders. That character didn’t deserve to get shot whether or not he talked back, whether or not he sold drugs. But I guarantee you there are people reading this book who feel he deserved to get shot.

In reality, Star should have been shot. When she ran around to the other side of the car after Khalil had been executed, she would have been shot, multiple times and killed. Here, Thomas had the chance to showcase two real world examples of white cops shooting unarmed black people. First, the white cop shoots Khalil who “didn’t follow the rules” and then he shoots Star, who did follow the rules (edit out her trip around the car). Instead, she chose to confirm other people’s negative biases as to why so many white cops are fearful of black people in general and will execute them without due cause.

Thomas also blew a golden opportunity to educate ‘X’ number of people, about black radicalism, and revolutionary social change movements. Instead, she chose to mischaracterize both Malcolm X and the BPP ultimately as failures that had little value to contribute. In her words “Intentions always look better on paper than in reality.” Thomas needs an accurate education on the black power movement.

Of course a book and/or movie that actually centered on revolutionary change would never be made, not by huge corporate conglomerates like Fox, nor would mainstream audiences praise it. This book should come with warnings: Respectability politics ahead! A book about black people that white people will love! All cops aren’t bad, plus, for added fun, we victim blame! The Protagonist learns nothing of value by the end of the book!

Bhani Turpin is a wonderful narrator! But for the content of this book, just 3 stars.

PS: There’s a critique of the movie worth reading at the LA Sentinel by Melina Abdullah and Patrice Khan-Cullors, “Why the Hate You Give “is not a Black Lives Matter Movie.




7 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 2017-03-22

Amazing, powerful novel for teens and adults

This book starts out with the feel of a Young Adult novel. If it was written for that genre, it quickly transcends it. It is the story of a 16 year old girl, Star, who is a witness to a police shooting that results in the death of her friend. It is narrated by Star, a girl who straddles two worlds - her dangerous inner city neighborhood and her elite, mostly white private school. Star is so believable, as is Star's family and friend groups. The story is riveting, disturbing, sweet, and hopeful. I feel like I have been part of her special and totally believable family. The reader is great. I can't say enough good things about this book. I love coming-of-age novels, and this is a great one. I recommend it for teens and adults, male and female. I am an older white man, and I chose this book because I teach a diverse student body. I thought it might give me better perspective. This important book did do that, and so much more.

122 people found this helpful

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  • Katrin Conway
  • 2020-10-16

Absolutely brilliant

The story should be read by everyone. Angie Thomas wrote a masterpiece and the performance was out of this world. I got a copy of the book for my boys to read.

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  • Huyge girls
  • 2020-09-22

Pour avoir une autre vue

Livre lu en anglais...le début est un peu difficile avec des accents bien costauds et de l'argot...mais on s'adapte vite et on est rapidement dans l'histoire...une belle lecture pour avoir un autre point de vue.

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  • Lascina
  • 2019-02-18

Une petite merveille!

Après avoir vu le film, j’ai lu ce livre et je dois dire qu’il mérite amplement les éloges. Superbe histoire, complètement en rapport avec le mouvement Black Lives Matter, des références culturelles importantes et une narratrice excellente. Je recommande +++ M’a réconciliée avec la lecture.

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  • Perez Mattison
  • 2018-10-28

Amazing story and very well written!!

Amazing story and character development! The story lines fit perfectly and the build up was excellent. Great story!

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  • Aluna
  • 2018-07-22

Very good book

I loved that book. The narration was excellent and real, the story was interesting despite a lack of action or suspense, the characters were really touching. I recommend it.

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  • Samassa Fatoumata
  • 2018-05-17

Intense..

Quel écoute...Ce livre est un appel. Un appel à la conscience, au rappel et à la résistance!#blacklivesmatter

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  • Mathieu CERALINE
  • 2017-10-01

Just Amazing ❤️

I’m not used to writing reviews around here but I had to say something about this book.

This book is the perfect combination of an amazing story and an amazing narrator/performer. Bahni Turpin gave so much « life » to this story, so much emotions. At some point I didn’t even want to stop listening because I was so attached to it.

I don’t have a lot of experience in audiobooks, but I can already tell that this one is my absolute favorite. Thank you Bahni Turpin and thank you Angie Thomas !