“The Hate U Give” Review

THUG. The Hate U Give: Angie Thomas’ novel is the College of Charleston’s 2018 “College Reads” book. The students in the incoming class of 2022 were each given a copy of the book at their orientation sessions over the summer. They were all expected to read the book, complete an assignment, and come prepared for a  discussion by the time Convocation rolled around in August.

The Hate You Give highlights social justice issues, such as racism, classism and police violence. Starr Carter, an African American seventeen-year-old girl, witnesses her childhood friend, Khalil, get killed by a white police officer. Starr struggles with the decision to stand up and demand justice for her friend, or remain silent in fear of backlash. Starr also resorts to code-switching between her black, neighborhood, Garden Heights, and her white, prep-school, Williamson High.

The film for Thomas’ novel was just released, October 19, 2018. Director, George Tillman Jr. and writer, Audrey Wells, made a few tough decisions and were forced to remove a few characters and alter several scenes in the film adaptation. However, the movie managed to get a 97 percent positive critic rating as well as a 76 percent positive audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  


What’s different in the movie from the book?

The opening scene. The movie begins with the a flashback of the Carter family sitting around the table. Maverick is teaching his children, Starr and Seven, what to do if they are ever pulled over by a policeman. He also introduces them to the Black Panther Ten-Point Program and tells his kids to memorize the points.

The scene with Khalil and Starr driving home from the party. In the movie, Khalil pulls the car over while driving Starr home so the two can take a second to catch up. They reminisce on old childhood memories and Khalil even moves in to kiss Starr. Starr lets him, but then reveals that she has a boyfriend. This section was not incorporated in the same nature in the book (i.e. this described kiss did not exist), because through Starr’s narration, readers were able to obtain more background about her relationship with Khalil. However, in the movie, time goes by faster, and the need to expedient the story was evident, so this addition and alteration made since. Kisses also just add more drama and suspense, and audiences always love these components.

DeVante and Nana are not included. In the book, Maverick makes sacrifices for DeVante, a teenage boy who gets caught up in the “drug game.” However, in the movie, Seven is seen more as Maverick’s protege and almost takes on this role of the missing character of DeVante. By not including DeVante and Nana in the movie, this allowed more room to expand on characterizing the more central ones in more depth.

Sekani and the gun scene. When the cops come to break up the tussle between Maverick and King, near the end of the storyline, the movie shows the youngest Carter son, Sekani, grabbing the handgun out of his dad’s pocket. He points at the policeman and suspense is high, until Starr steps in to diffuse the situation. The book did not include the young boy getting ahold of the gun. This change enabled the movie to more powerfully portray the idea of what “THUG” truly represents.

Starr does not forgive her friend, Hailey. While the conversation Starr has with her mom about weighing the good versus bad in people shows up in both platforms, the end result of a friendship differs. In the book, Starr decided to forgive Hailey. In the movie, she realized that she did not need someone who brought her down and did not support her in her life, so she stuck to a more close-knight friend group (that did not include Hailey).

The Carter family stays in Garden Heights. In the movie, Starr and her family decide to remain in Garden Heights, while in the book, about midway through the novel, they moved to a more stable, wealthy neighborhood. However, the movie’s ending shows the family in a happy, stable place, hoping to enact change around them.

Thomas will be visiting the College of Charleston to discuss her book and the issues surrounding it with students on January 14, 2019 in Sottile Theater at 7 p. m.


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Laurie Fogleman, a Freshman Communications major calls Norwood, North Carolina home. Aside from writing for CisternYard, Laurie is also on the Cross-Country and Track team for The College.

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