Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life. 

Wow, what a timely read!!! At this moment I can’t even adequately put into words how I feel about this book. I experienced anger, sadness, understanding, empathy, and so many other things. There’s no way it should have taken me a week to finish this book, but sometimes life gets in the way. 

In the spirit of Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murray and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, The Hate U Give gives us a perspective into racism from a point of view we rarely see in the news. This time we hear from the eyewitness of a police shooting. The short premise is that Starr saw one of her childhood friends get murdered by a police officer and we see the media attempt to dehumanize/criminalize the friend so Starr wrestles with the decision of testifying and having her memories of the night turned around. My heart truly went out to her and I can totally see why this book is already being turned into a major motion picture. It is THAT good and it is a story worth telling. 

I could say so much more about this book, but I’ll simply end this with a passage:

“It’s about Oscar. 

Aiyana. 

Trayvon. 

Rekia. 

Michael. 

Eric. 

Tamir. 

John. 

Ezell. 

Sandra. 

Freddie. 

Alton. 

Philando. 

It’s even about that little boy in 1955 who nobody recognized at first – Emmett. 

The messed up part? There are so many more.”


Blitz: The Voice by Jennifer Anne Davis

the voice cover

The Voice by Jennifer Anne Davi – YA Contemporary novel – Publication date: January 29th, 2013
During her abduction and assault, Audrey begins to hear a voice. She hopes she’s not going crazy, because after what she’s experienced, that’s the most logical explanation. However, as she begins to listen to the voice, Audrey realizes that someone may be telepathically trying to help her.

Unfortunately, rescue isn’t all she needs. In order to leave behind the constant reminders, she flees to her Aunt Kate’s house in San Diego, and assumes a new identity. It works—until the eighteen-year-old twin boys who live next door threaten to break through the protective walls she’s worked so hard to build.

Between Caleb going out of his way to befriend her and Justin avoiding her at all costs, Audrey doesn’t know if normalcy will ever find her again. But one thing is certain: When a familiar danger resurfaces, it’s the same voice that she turns to—a voice that is not only real, but a lot closer than she realizes.

Gripping and tastefully told, The Voice is a story of healing, trust, and courage. 
 
Chapter 1 Preview
Lying in the dark cabin, I tried not to think about the foul smell of body odor mixed with the stench of urine. I tried not to think about how hungry I was, or when I would eat again. About the plastic zip ties cutting into my wrists, or the spider crawling up my arm. I kept trying and failing. There was nothing to do but think.

Audrey? he spoke in my mind.

“Here,” I replied, still not understanding who or what the voice was, hoping I wasn’t going crazy. Though, after what I had been through, crazy wasn’t too far off. Instead, I focused on what the voice was saying. After weeks of being stuck here, he was the only thing keeping me grounded and giving me hope.

I need you to do something for me.

He sounded drained. “Are you okay?” I asked.

Scream.

“What?”

I need you to scream as loud as you can. Now, Audrey! Scream!

Bill had left the cabin only five minutes earlier, and I was afraid to make any noise. What if he was still outside and heard me? Would he come back in? I was so sore and bruised that I couldn’t handle anymore.

Scream! he urged.

Finally trusting the voice, I sucked in a deep breath, closed my eyes, and screamed as loud as I could. At first I sounded like a cat that was being strangled, the sound barely audible and grating on my ears. But I kept trying, and the noise transformed into something loud and fierce.

Yell the word “help.”

“HELP!” My throat was raw, but that didn’t stop me. I took all of my hurt and anger, and used those emotions for the energy needed to sustain the scream.

Then a thumping came from the other room—maybe the front door. My body shuddered. Shimmying to the edge of the mattress, I tried to stand, but my legs gave out, and I fell to the rough, wooden floor, landing on my knees. With bound hands, I inched my way to the corner of the room, as far away from the door as possible.

Keep screaming!

I wanted to curl into a ball and disappear, but I did what the voice said and let out a shrill, loud cry for help. The sound bounced off the walls, echoing.

Wood shattered in the other room. I kept yelling, wishing that I had the power to destroy Bill with my scream.

The doorknob twisted. Please don’t hurt me again . . . please don’t touch me . . . no more, please. No more.

The door exploded open. Instead of Bill, there stood three hunters dressed in camouflage and bright orange vests. One held a shotgun, and another held an axe. I froze in horror. The men looked at one another and then back at me.

Audrey, tell them who you are. Your name.

“I’m Audrey Marshall. Please help me.”

“The kidnapped girl?” the older guy on the right asked. I nodded. “I’m calling 9-1-1. You’re going to be all right now,” he said reassuringly, his cell phone already at his ear.

“Thank you,” I whispered to the voice. But he didn’t respond.

AUTHOR BIO
Jennifer Anne Davis 
the voice author
 Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she married her high school sweetheart, worked as a legal assistant, and taught high school English. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids’ creativity.
The Voice is her first novel.
Visit Jennifer online at www.JenniferAnneDavis.com

COVER REVEAL: The Only Exception by Magan Vernon

The Only Exception by Magan Vernon

 

The Only Exception by Magan Vernon — April 9th, 2013
Fiercely liberal Monica Remy prefers to blend in. Despite her tattoos, piercings, and outspoken personality, she transferred to Central to escape—before she finds out that her next door neighbor is the uber conservative governor son, Trey Chapman.

No matter how hard she tries to avoid Trey, he still finds a way to get under her skin. Monica can’t stand his crisp white shirts or his staunch views on women. But she can’t help counting every freckle on his face and wondering what it would feel like to have him stop talking politics and kiss her.

A class debate project forces the unlikely pair to work together, and the political lines are blurred in late-night make out sessions. But despite their fiery chemistry, Trey’s politics threatens to smother their relationship for good.

 

AUTHOR BIO
Magan Vernon
Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.
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