The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give. Angie Thomas. 2017. Balzer + Bray. 469 pages. [Source: public library.] Ever so often, a book’s hype will precede itself in a way that makes it impossible to ignore, no matter how oblivious I am. The first I’d heard about The Hate U Give was when news of its film adaptation came out.  That Amandla Stendberg would play the protagonist piqued my interest. But it wasn’t until everyone around me – book lover or not — started buzzing about it that I picked it up. My bad. I’ve since learned my lesson. The Hate U Give is centered on Starr, a 16-year-old black teen who straddles the line between two worlds: Garden Heights Starr is the daughter of a former gang member who struggles to find her place in her urban neighborhood and Williamson Starr is a popular scholar-athlete at a prestigious private school across town where nobody knows her family backstory or home zip code.  She has to constantly balance being black enough to navigate her neighborhood in the shadow of her dad’s past while being palatable enough for her suburban peers to accept her as one of the “good ones.” It’s a precarious balance, but…

One Night

One Night. Eric Jerome Dickey. 2015. 370 pages. Dutton. [Source: public library.] I consider myself an Eric Jerome Dickey fan that’s fallen off the wagon.  I began reading his novels in my early 20s, and after I read Chasing Destiny, Genevieve, and Pleasure, he could do no wrong in my eyes. I’ve since expanded what I read, so it’s been a few years since I checked for him.  I was surfing my public library’s audiobooks when I came across One Night and was completely intrigued by the description. Two strangers, one night, murder, lies, etc? I was sucked in immediately.  Unfortunately, the book failed to live up to my lofty expectations of EJD. One Night is a few hours short of a day in the life of former actress Jackie and The Man from Orange County.  Seriously, that’s how he is referred to throughout the book.  The book chronicles their introduction and parting in painstaking detail, giving minute-by-minute accounts.  It starts with Jackie trying to scam the wealthy, attractive man at the gas station into purchasing a iPad. It ends with a body in the trunk of a luxury car with sirens approaching.