Our Seventh #TsundokuSquad monthly book (July) was ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas. As usual we split the book into parts and discussed as a group on Saturday evenings.
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.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
Week 1 – 3rd July
A couple of us were sceptical about this book before picking it up as it was a YA and we didn’t know what to maker the synopsis. We initially found the American dialect took a little bit of adjusting thinking we were finding it hard or relate to but most of us very quickly became invested and gripped by the story and characters.
We all think the family is brilliant and are expecting a high takes emotional five star read. It’s already such an eye-opener and provoking some really good discussions within the group.
Our words for week 1 are as below and our ratings are currently at 4 people on a 5/5 and the rest of us at a 4/5.
Week 2 – 10th July
We are all still enjoying this and are totally gripped by it – excited to see what happens next and where this is going.
We had a good conversation this week the assumptions people often make, which is in part fuelled by language used by the media.
We all also acknowledged a blast from the past with surprise that Chris, a young dude, was wearing Old Spice!
Our words for this weeks part can be summed up below but in summary we are all currently enjoying this book. Current ratings have two on a 4, two on a 4.5 and two on a 5.
Week 3 – 17th a July
This weeks part felt especially hard hitting and raw, we are all really feeling for Starr and her family. She has so much already going on at that age… We are all also scared that something is going to happen to Seven.
We discussed (the ones who have children or who are planning to) that this would be a great book to start the conversation when age appropriate.
We are all still interested to see where the story is going and what will happen…
Our words for this week can be seen below and our ratings based on this week are 2 people at a 4/5 and the rest with a 5/5.
Week 4 – 24th July
The same themes of conversation are continuing within our group which is excellent and totally the point! We were saddened by the reaction to her being the witness and think she was incredibly brave for doing the course case.
We noted how exhausting it must be for her to effectively live a double life and how tricky it must be, again really feeling sorry for Starr.
We loved the quote form Starr’s mum that says: brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.
We are all wondering how it’ll end as there isn’t much left now… and still worried about seven and something happening!
Our words for this week are as below and our ratings were the same as last week; two people on a 4/5 and the rest still at a 5/5.
Week 5/Last Week – 31st July
So this is the first book where we are all in agreement that we enjoyed it and either gave 4 or 5 star ratings!
A couple of us felt the ending was a little flat but still thoroughly enjoyed it and a few of us went on to buy the next book by Thomas.
Overall there was a great balance of seemingly trivial teenage stuff and larger injustices. It was a great medium (YA) of getting across such an important topic.
It also had a careful balance of humour and gave an real insight into a community that we collectively as a group don’t tend to know much about. We also loved the idea of your voice being your weapon.
Our words for this week and the book overall are as below. Ratings wise we had one person at 4/5, and everyone else as a 5/5.
Our overall group rating: 5/5
My individual rating: 4/5
You may love this book, you may hate this book – the only way to find out is to read it (if you want!). As a group we recommend this book and the important content it brings to the surface, we hope you enjoy!
…our August book is ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ but as I’ve already read this one I’ll be sitting this month out, so my next group round up will be in September.