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.”


SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair

Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair
Published by: Simon & Schuster BfYR
Publication date: September 3rd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

leap of faith

synopsis

Can true love be built on lies? A teen on the run seeks relief and redemption in this gripping, romantic read.

Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in peace, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is one of the best parts of her new life, the only person who’s ever made her feel safe. And now that she’s found him, there’s no way she can tell the truth:

Her real name is Faith, not Leah. She’s seventeen, not nineteen. And the baby isn’t hers—Faith kidnapped her.

Faith’s history catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions and Chris’s aunt spots her picture in the newspaper. She knows it’s time to run again, but if Faith leaves, she’ll lose Chris. If Chris is in love with a lie, though, did Faith ever really have him in the first place?

excerpt

Halfway to 356 Maple, a black pickup truck pulls into the driveway.  Music blares from the open windows.  Chris’s hair blows around in the breeze.

My heart jumps to life.

How have I become so hooked on a guy I met yesterday?  But watching him park his truck and hop out, I know how.  Nobody’s ever done half as much for me, and he doesn’t even know me.  He’s a good person, and I haven’t known many of those.

On his way to the front door, he stops when he spots us.  “Hey!” His smile’s genuine, and fills his whole face.  He jogs across the yard to meet us.

After seeing his room, I half-expect him to be wearing a superhero t-shirt, but there’s none today, just a plain white t-shirt covered in dirt.  He’s filthy.  “All moved in?” he asks.

“Yeah.”  I watch his tall frame moving toward me, his jeans shifting with each stride, his shirt hugging his chest.  I stop the stroller as he reaches us.  “I love the paint color and the privacy wall.  Thanks.”

He bends down, leaning his head in the stroller.  His fingers wrap around Addy’s arm. “You’re welcome.  Listen, I’m really sorry about what happened.  My dad can be…I don’t know what’s wrong with him sometimes.  Do you need help moving anything in?”

I ignore the jab in the pit of my stomach at the mention of Chris’s dad.  “No, we’re good.  We don’t have much, so it wasn’t difficult.”

He unbuckles Addy and lifts her out of the stroller. “Is it okay if I carry her in?”

I cringe at the dirt on his shirt, but he’s already got her pressed against his chest.    “Sure.”  I can always give her a bath.

She turns her head toward his neck and snuggles into a ball.  Somehow she feels what I do with him.

Safe.

Secure.

Home.

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meettheauthor
Jamie blair
Jamie Blair spent most of her teen years choreographing moves for her dance team routines, kissing boys on the couch after her mom went to bed, and pondering the mood enhancement qualities of Lemon Heads when consumed with Diet Coke. Writing under Kelli Maine, she’s the USA Today bestselling author of Taken. Leap of Faith is her debut New Adult novel.
links
thegiveaway
Prizes (open US only):
10 winners:
–5 prize packages of a signed hardback, a t-shirt and a guitar pick,
–5 e-books with an autographed Leap of Faith notecard, a guitar pick and stickers

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SPOTLIGHT: Sia by Josh Grayson

Sia by Josh Grayson
Publication date: November 20th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

sia

synopsis

When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

excerpt

By the time we return to the bakery, it’s ten o’clock. We stand outside the door talking for a while.

I glance at my wristwatch. “I have to head home,” I say reluctantly.

“Let me drive you,” Kyle offers.

“You have a car?”

He offers a little shrug. “Not exactly. Wait here.” He disappears into the store, leaving me to wait on a bench outside. A few moments later he returns via a side alley, astride a small, beat-up motorcycle. Exhaust rattles against the alley’s brick walls. Kyle grins at me and holds out a white helmet. “Climb on!” he shouts over the noise.

I look at the bike, hesitating.

Kyle laughs. “What? You’ll take on the psychos of LA at night, but you’re afraid of a little bike ride?”

Determined not to appear weak, I garner my courage and climb on behind him. He tugs his sweater over his head and hands it to me.

“It’ll be cool once we get going,” he warns. “You should wear this.”

“But what about you?”

He shrugs. “I’m used to it.”

There’s already a chill in the air, and I have no doubt the bike ride will be freezing. As much as I want to refuse, I decide the sweater is a necessity. “Okay, thanks.” I pull his sweater on and can’t resist inhaling as it slides over my head. I think of Amber complaining about him, but again my nose is graced with that doughy, cinnamony sweet smell, and I don’t see how she could insult him. I hug my soft, woolly arms around my body, feeling absurdly pleased. Being with Kyle is making me happy. I start to wonder if he feels the same way about being with me. Could he? After everything I’ve done in the past? Probably not. I mean, really, we have nothing in common. Until a few hours ago he couldn’t stand me. There’s no point in getting interested in him that way, I tell myself.

“Do you know where I live?” I ask.

He rolls his eyes. “Everyone knows where you live, Sia. Helmet.”

I slide it over my head.

Kyle looks back. Once he sees that it’s on right, he gives me a thumbs up. “Hold on,” he suggests.

Battling an insane rush of shyness, I lean against him and wrap my arms around his waist. He’s lean, I discover, but not as skinny as I’d originally presumed. Muscular, not weak. When he pulls into the street I squeeze my eyes shut, expecting a crash at every turn. But after a while I relax and start to enjoy the ride. And though I know I have no right, I secretly relish the strong, solid feel of his body within my arms. By the time we get close to my house, I wish we could just keep on driving.

meettheauthor

josh grayson

 

Josh Grayson was born in Mexico, raised in Massachusetts, and now lives in Martinsville, Virginia. It was his move to the South that stirred his imagination and gave him the courage to start writing. During his free time, Josh enjoys reading, jogging, swimming, and watching YouTube videos.

Josh currently works as a medical driver, shuttling people all over Virginia and North Carolina. He has also worked as a machinist, film sales rep, administrative assistant, and telemarketer (he apologizes if he called you).

Sia is his debut YA novel.

links

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18070248-sia?ac=1

http://joshgrayson.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7132257.Josh_Grayson
https://www.facebook.com/joshgraysonauthor
https://twitter.com/josh_grayson
http://instagram.com/joshgraysonauthor

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