Review: The Hate U Give

April 6, 2017 in Book Reviews, Contemporary, YA

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Published by Walker on 6th April 2017
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

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.

There are times when I am just at a complete loss for words upon finishing a book (handy for a book blogger, I’m sure you’ll agree). This is one of those times.

The Hate U Give has been out in the US for a month or so now and everything I’d been hearing from readers over there is this book is a “must-read”. Could it really live up to this hype? The simple answer is YES!

In truth, there is no way that I can do this book justice, but I will try to share some of my thoughts with you.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is such an incredibly important novel. It deals with racism, police brutality and life in the inner city. It also brings strong messages of love, family and community.

It’s an emotional read – knowing that this is based on reality, that these events actually happen makes the emotion all the deeper.

The characters in this book are incredible and so well written. Starr is an immediately likable character whom we root for from the get go. I loved her family and their relationship, I found it was particularly refreshing for a YA novel.

Even the peripheral characters in this story are memorable. Thomas has a way of writing that makes you feel like you’re in there with her characters, not just on the outside looking in.

This is a hugely relevant novel, that not only tells a story but educates the reader. It’s a unique book written by someone who truly knows what she’s talking about – an #ownvoices author, of which we need many more.

This book will tug at your heart, fill you with anger, make you sob with sadness and yet it’ll also make you laugh. It’ll open your eyes, make you really see the world and make you look upon the reporting of crimes in a new light.

It’s a book that will stay with you forever and I urge you ALL (young and old alike) to read it.

five-stars

Review: Here I Stand: Stories That Speak For Freedom

August 4, 2016 in Book Reviews, Charity, Short Stories, YA

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Here I Stand: Stories That Speak For FreedomHere I Stand: Stories That Speak For Freedom Published by Walker on 4th August 2016
Genres: YA, Short Stories
Format: Hardback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Did you know that ... government spies can turn on your phone and use the microphone to listen to your conversations? ... that lesbian and gay relationships are illegal in 78 countries and can be punished by death? ... that Amnesty recently recorded the highest number of executions globally for more than 25 years?

Through short stories and poetry, twenty-five leading authors and illustrators explore the top human rights issues facing young people today.

Contributors include:

*Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell
*Newbery and Carnegie Medal winner Neil Gaiman
*Scottish poet laureate Jackie Kay
*Costa winners Frances Hardinge, AL Kennedy, Christie Watson and Bryan and Mary Talbot
*CILIP Carnegie Medal winners Sarah Crossan and Kevin Brooks
*Australian author Tony Birch
*Irish Book Award winner John Boyne
*Waterstones Prize winner Sita Brahmachari
*Graphic Novel of the Year winner Kate Charlesworth
*Newbury Honor winner Jack Gantos
*Much-lauded Ryan Gattis
*Multi-award-winning Matt Haig, Elizabeth Laird, Bali Rai, Tim Wynne-Jones and Sabrina Mahfouz
*Best-selling Liz Kessler
*Performance poet and singer Amy Leon
*Betty Trask Award winner Chibundu Onuzo
*Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning, currently serving 35 years in US military prison
*Prominent human rights lawyer Jules Carey

Amnesty International have teamed up with Walker Books and numerous bestselling authors to publish a compilation of stories and poems that explore human rights.

Within the pages of this book, you’ll find poems and short stories addressing a huge range of issues from race, identity, exploitation and bullying, to slavery, refugees, beliefs and FGM. This little book packs a huge punch!

Before I go on, I have to first mention the stunning cover of this book, illustrated by Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. Believe me when I say it’s even more stunning in real life and absolutely captures the contents.

As is the case with any short story collection, I had my favourites, stories that I found incredibly powerful. However every single piece in this book makes an impact. Had I to pick three stories to share, Matt Haig’s The Invention of Peanut Butter, A Suicide Bomber Sits In The Library by Jack Gantos and The Colour of Humanity by Bali Rai would top my list.

This is a truly thought-provoking, emotional collection of works. For a relatively short book this covers a vast amount of ground.

While it may be more aimed at a YA audience, there is absolutely no reason adults shouldn’t be reading it. Indeed, in our current society, where hate is on the rise, I implore all to read this!

I can’t praise this book enough. That such high profile authors contributed to this book speaks volumes about its importance and Amnesty International as a whole.

All royalties from the sale of this book go to Amnesty International, which, personally, I think adds yet one more reason to buy it. For more information about the book see here.

 

five-stars