Image via @Walkerbooksya
Written by: Khushi Arora @lonevixen_ka
What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be? // Angie Thomas.
Young adult novels have always been labelled as books to be read for the sole purpose of leisure, and mainly by teenagers. The thirteen-year-old me would’ve nodded her head in agreement, though with a tinge of guilt in her eyes, because she knew she should've been reading Dickens or Brontë.
But the nineteen-year-old me wouldn’t.
It’s true that most people pick up a YA novel expecting it to be a light, entertaining read. But every once in a while, a novel like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas hits the market and demands people to become woke.
The book explores the life of sixteen-year-old Starr, who lives in a poor neighborhood and attends a fancy suburban prep school full of whites. Despite having the nicest friends, the entrenched institution of racism continues to prevail. It surfaces when she witnesses the murder of her childhood friend Khalil, who is shot by a cop without any reason concrete enough.
The Hate U Give was my first glimpse into American racism, and even though I read it two years ago it’s still one of those novels which not only entertained me but taught me so many things along the way. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, it’s only fair that this book should be read by everyone.
The uproar that followed the murder of George Floyd demanded every one of us to check on the prejudices and stereotypes which exist within us, unknowingly. It has opened our eyes to diversify the information we process everyday. I, personally, have felt the need to include diverse authors in my reading list. Starr's struggle and fight for justice in the book is inspiring. It makes you introspect and be a better person by loving and accepting every kind of human being, irrespective of their color, caste or religion.