With the movie adaptation of Angie Thomas’s best selling novel, The Hate U Give, hitting theatres in a matter of weeks, the countdown to its release has well and truly begun. Here are five reasons you need to watch it.
It’s based on a best-selling novel.
Published in February 2017, Angie Thomas’s debut novel, ‘The Hate U Give’, hit the number one spot on the New York Times best-seller list instantly, where it remained for 50 weeks.
‘The Hate U Give’ follows Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black girl who’s life is split between two worlds: Garden Heights, the poor neighbourhood where she lives, and Williamson Prep, the predominantly white, fancy private school she attends. The book follows Starr during the aftermath of her being the soul witness to the fatal, unprovoked, shooting of her unarmed childhood best friend, Kahil, at the hands of a white police officer.
Kahil’s death becomes national news. The reaction is huge but divided. Some people are calling him a thug and a drug dealing gang member, others are taking to the streets and protesting in his name. With some cops and the local drug lord trying to intimidate Starr and her family, and the world asking what really went down that night, Starr has a difficult decision to face. She’s the only person who holds the answers but whatever she does or doesn’t say, holds the power to turn her community, and her life, upsides down.
Since its release ‘The Hate U Give’ has won countless awards including, but not limited to, Goodreads’ annual awards vote in the categories of Best Young Adult Fiction and Debut Author and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. It’s also been recognised by the American Library Association with the William C. Morris Award for best debut book for teens, the Odyssey Award for best children’s audiobook, the Coretta Scott King Award for the best novel by an African American author for children and the Michael L. Printz Award for best novel for teens. On top of that, Fox optioned the movie rights just one month after Thomas signed her book deal with HarperCollins. It’s safe to say, ‘The Hate U Give’ took not only the Young Adult world by storm but the publishing world in general. It’s success has been phenomenal and rightly so.
It features a star studded cast.
Featuring the likes of Amandla Stenberg (Everything, Everything, The Hunger Games), Regina Hall (Girls Trip), Russell Hornsby (Seven Seconds), Anthony Mackie (Avengers: Infinity War), Issa Rae (Insecure), Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World), K.J. App (Riverdale) and Common (Suicide Squad, Selma) The Hate U Give movie is full to the brim with hugely talented and exciting names. It also shines a light on newer talent, such as Algee Smith (Earth to Echo), Dominique Fishback (The Deuce) and Lamar Johnson (Kings).
It’s painfully relevant.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, ‘The Hate U Give’ is undeniably relevant to todays political and social climate.
Angie Thomas originally penned the novel as a short story after the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant, an unarmed 22 year old black man, who was fatally shot on New Years Day by a police officer, and ‘The Hate U Give’ doesn’t hold back in its raw honesty and powerful message. The story sheds light on the deeply embedded, systematic racism, prejudice and discrimination that is unfortunately still ingrained in today’s society and does so in an incredibly accessible and moving way. No matter the colour of your skin, where you live, how much money you have, your gender or your age, you will undoubtedly take something away from ‘The Hate U Give’ and its empowering, topical narrative.
It supports black creators.
‘The Hate U Give’ highlights the importance of lifting marginalised voices. Angie Thomas is a black woman, who at six years old, witnessed a shootout in Mississippi, where she was born and raised. Starr Carter is a young black teen who also witnesses a shootout. Thomas was the first black student at Belhaven University, a predominantly white, private Christian college, to graduate in creative writing. Starr goes to a predominantly white prep school. With only 7% of children’s books published in 2017 being written by black, latino and native authors combined, there’s no denying that the lack of diversity in publishing leaves much to be desired. So while ‘The Hate U Give’ is an important story for many reasons, those reasons are made all the more important by the fact that they’re told by a black woman. The films director, George Tilman Jr., is a black man and a majority of the cast itself are also black. With the popularity of films such as Crazy Rich Asians, Black Panther, To All The Boy’s I’ve Loved Before and Love, Simon abolishing the ridiculous notion that ‘diverse stories don’t sell’, now is as good a time as ever to continue to uplift and support diverse creators.
It already has raving reviews.
If the first four reasons haven’t already convinced you to pre-order your tickets and grab your popcorn, a few initial film reviews are in and they’re glowing.
“The Hate U Give Is The Kind Of Complex, Nuanced Film We Need Right Now”
“The Hate U Give’ Is An Oscar-Worthy Masterpiece”
“The Hate U Give is the teen movie everybody needs to watch”
Don’t forget to catch ‘The Hate U Give’ in cinemas on October 22nd in the UK and October 5th is the US.