The Hate U Give Book Review

Image result for the hate u give bookThe Hate U Give Book Review:

The Hate U Give was published earlier this year (February 2017) by Angie Thomas. It is a fiction book about a teenage, African American girl (Starr) who is somewhat forced into becoming an activist after witnessing her friend get killed by a White police officer after leaving a party. The story follows Starr’s reactions and experiences after her friend’s death – but Starr didn’t want her friend to just become a hashtag, she wanted and eventually made her friend’s life matter.

This book also tackles something that some Black Americans do every single day – code-switching. For those of you don’t know what it is, code-switching is defined as the practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation. But in the Black community, I believe it’s a lot deeper than language, it includes mannerisms, tone, behaviors and more. (See this very interesting Ted Talk about The Costs of Code Switching – here. )  So with that being said, this was the first book I’ve ever read that accurately portrays this “code-switching” as a Black teenager. Starr has to balance how she behaves (and ultimately how she wants to be perceived) at her predominately White prep school with her “poor, Black”  neighborhood and upbringing. In the book, she struggles with keeping her two worlds separate. I remember literally living in this world (and still living in it if I’m being honest) so it was super relate-able for me.

This book is labeled as a Young Adult book, but really you should ignore that label – this is literally a book for ALL ages (well, maybe not too young because the book conquers some heavy themes that an 8 year old might not be able to handle). I believe that this book was very well written with a lot of character development. I really enjoy the style the book was written, entirely first person and revealing Starr’s inner thoughts. I also really enjoyed how the author moved time in the story – often times, I find with young adult books that the entire story took place in basically a few days which to me is too short of time to cram everything in. One of the main things that really gripped me about this book was its literally about what’s going on in America today, not a few days or years ago, literally today, right now. This book echos the messages of the Black Lives Matter movement and honestly gives a voice to so many people that experience the effects of police brutality in a way that was utterly unforgettable.

This book hit me in ways that I was not expecting. It made me confront my own feelings about my dear friend’s death (If you really wanna know about that – click this link here.). Many times Starr is riddled with the guilt of not being able to save her friend, I literally felt it. I don’t know if I was really feeling these things because the author did amazing job writing it or because I still have some unresolved hurt and issues surrounding my friend’s death.  Either way, this is a book you are going to feel deep in your heart. I would honestly just grab some popcorn, warm blankets, tissues (just in case) and maybe some wine if you’re of age and spend a day reading this book. It changed me… and hopefully it will change you too. I recommend this book to literally everyone! and I give it a 5/5 Stars! 🙂

What books are you currently reading – share below in the comments (I’m always looking for new books to read!!)

XOXO,

– Tanesha Renae

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Growth.

Growth.

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The crazy thing about growth is that it is almost inevitable. There are very few things in life that stay exactly the same from birth till death and most of them aren’t even alive. August it’s the eighth month and I’ve heard that means it’s the month of new beginnings. I’ve seen so many posts about I’m ready to grow, this month is going to be all about growth, growing and glowing, etc.

However, I haven’t seen very many posts about people being ready to be stretched in in unimaginable ways or being uncomfortable for seasons (not just one but for multiple seasons). In your season of growth you may have to let go of some things that you have been holding onto you so that you’ll be able to grow. These are things such as friendships, relationships, outdated goals and even your comfort zone. Holding onto a negative relationship or friendship stunts your growth. You won’t be able to grow in the way that you need to by holding onto what you want – you need both hands to be open to accept this newfound growth.

I think about a flower, if the flower is in a bad environment it won’t bloom. This is the same for you if you’re in a bad environment or surrounded by bad things or people you won’t be able to bloom to your fullest potential . Sure you might grow a little but it’ll never be as much as you could’ve. The conditions have to be just right for that flower to bloom, and even then the little seed is stretched and expanding in ways that were previously unforeseen. You could even think about a little caterpillar in the same way.

I have personally just came out of what I believe to be a tremendous season of growth. Growth seemed cool until I was actually going through it. I’m not gonna lie and say that my season of growth was perfect. I was praying for God to grow me in “tremendous ways,” but when I was actually being stretched and growing – I was low-key miserable. I was upset and I felt like things were not getting better and that my situation was actually getting worse. But as soon as I accepted the fact that this was a type of growing pain, things started to change for me. My outlook on the situation changed immensely. I started looking for things to push me more outside of my comfort zone than I already was. I figured since I’m already out of this box I might as well keep going.

The hardest part was actually realizing that this season of growth was not going to kill me. As much as it hurt, as uncomfortable I was, as unhappy I was – THIS WAS NOT GOING TO KILL ME. I think once I realized that I wasn’t going to die things started to turn around for me. I really had to realize that some of the best things are born of the struggle. And honestly if I had been given them, the first time I even asked for them – I wouldn’t have been appreciative of it. I would have just looked at it just another thing.

Basically to summarize, if you are looking to grow, be prepared for the growing pains that come with them.

Are there some areas in your life that you are looking to grow in?? What are they? Share below in the comments! I would love to hear about them!

XOXO,

– Tanesha Renae

21 things I’ve learned since turning 21.

Happy June 2ND, also known as MY HALF BIRTHDAY!! It is official – today at 1:50ish am, I have been 21 years old for entire 6 months! Crazy right? Normally I don’t celebrate this day, however I thought with June being “Love Yourself” Month here at the site, I would talk about some of the things I’ve learned in the last six months as a form of self-reflection.

  1. Not everyone has the same moral code and values as you were raised with.
  2. Do not expect anything from anyone, so you’re not disappointed.
  3. It’s OK to do things alone.
  4. Breaking out of your comfort zone, is addictive.
  5. “And if not, God is still good.”
  6. You won’t get every opportunity; give others a chance to be great.
  7. I am not ready for children yet: babysitting is enough. And that is okay.
  8. It’s okay to be an introvert and extrovert!
  9. I will not and cannot make everyone happy, while maintaining my own happiness.
  10. Life is hard, but I am BARELY more than equipped to handle it.
  11. I deserve more than I give myself credit for.
  12. I am not ready for a real adult 9-5-work life. I have to work my own hours, or at least not work until after 10 AM.
  13. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I am the beholder.
  14. People are always going to have something to say about your goals and life plans – remember they are your plans not anyone else.
  15. Just because everyone is doing “more real life” things such as having kids, getting engaged, and married, and having jobs, does not mean that you are not where you are supposed to be in life.
  16. Don’t be discouraged by critics of your goals – there are so many critics without credentials.
  17. Continue to be great, and let your light shine on the world.
  18. WORK HARD – at every single thing you do. Give no less than 100% to everything you do.
  19. Always behave kinder than you feel, you never know what someone else is going through.
  20. Love fearlessly.
  21. God loves you, no matter how short you fall, or how badly you mess up. He still loves and cares about you.

Keep It Classy, 

-T.Renae