One of my goals for 2017 was to spend more time reading. Unfortunately I haven't spent as much time as I hoped reading in January but I think I got off to a good start. At a glance I managed to read 6 books, 4 of which were YA books. with only 1 book written by a male author. I had a couple of 5 star reads and I'm nearly on my way to giving my 3rd of the year. Not too bad!
The majority of the books I read were either debuts or by authors I hadn't read before. It was refreshing to hear some new voices in the book world and with most of them not released yet, I can't wait to tell customers and friends about them all.
Out of all the books I read this month, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was by far the best. 2017 may still be in it's infancy, but I think I've just found my book of the year already. It's definitely the book that everyone will be talking about.
"Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed."
The Hate U Give is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and as soon as it arrived at my work, I added it to the top of my reading pile. It did take me a few weeks to actually pick up and read, but I knew I needed to be in the right frame of mind to do so. Once I picked it up I could have easily read it in one sitting. The book leaves you hooked from the very beginning.
I don't want to spoil too much of the story but it looks at the relationships between poor communities and drugs, the perception that the media gives these communities and how young people can help make a change and have their voices heard. It's a powerful book that kept me up until 1am just to finish it.
It looks at how one moment can change the lives of everyone and how it can have a ripple effect on communities such as Starrs home of Garden Heights. How prejudging someone because of their appearance can have devastating effects and how you will sit there saying ‘‘A hairbrush is not a gun.’’ over and over again.
It's a heart wrenching book that is going to be a ground breaking and powerful one. A book that shouldn't need to be written in the first place, but is much needed all the same. One that will make you want to put it in the hands of everyone you know and not stop talking about it ever.