Angie Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give, became an instant success, topping The New York Times best-seller list and earning multiple literary awards shortly after its release in February 2017. The book addresses the ills of modern day racism and police brutality as seen through the lens of a 16-year-old black girl named Starr Carter. Throughout the story, Starr grapples with living in two vastly different worlds: the low-income community of color where she grew up and the predominantly white prep school she attends. Her life, however, takes a tragic turn when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend—an unarmed young, black man—at the hands of white police officers.
Thomas also acknowledges that the strong social context may be triggering for some audiences, especially those who have been directly affected by police brutality or are fighting against it.
“I hope that the young black girls who go into the theater or pick up my book see themselves in it and see just how amazing they are in a world that so often tells them that they’re not enough. I hope that the movie and this book shows them that they are perfect just the way they are.”