Book vs. Movie Review: The Hate U Give


Anoushka Singh and Reyna Ahuja

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives in two completely different worlds: the poor African American neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban high school that she attends. The balance she once uneasily sustained between the two parts of her life shatters when she witnesses the shooting of her best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer.

Not long after, people call Khalil out for being a thug or even a gangbanger, unknowing that he was unarmed. While it becomes clear to Starr that the police have no intention of arresting their coworker, her neighborhood becomes a war zone.  But what Starr does or even says could destroy her community as well as maybe even her life. When conflicts between a gang, the King Lords, her neighborhood, and the police rise, Starr must decide whether to stand up or back down.

I was pleasantly surprised that the movie was similar to the book–often using the exact words from the story. This is very different from most book turned movies and I was expecting the same for this movie.

However, the movie touched me a lot more than the book did. My friends and I were quite literally sobbing into our popcorn the whole time! There was just that special something about watching the story on a screen.

Clearly, the movie is a deeply emotional film, because it touches upon the issues that the African American community are still facing today. The movie was entertaining, and it also taught me about how racism still exists, even in 2018. The book was fantastic as well, with exactly the same plot, except for the ending!

I was truly conflicted when I had to choose between the book and the movie. Normally, I would choose the book over the movie, but this time, I just had to go with the movie. I chose the movie because it was just more powerful than reading it. Also, the ending of the movie helped enforce the THUG LIFE concept, which is reiterated throughout the book and movie.

I recommend the book for all middle schoolers, but the movie is PG 13, so I advise viewer discretion. Unfortunately, the Bow Tie Cinemas in Millburn is not playing this film (for reasons I can’t explain), but other nearby theaters are playing it, so go and check it out! You can also order or borrow the book from a library.