About the Book

Book Protagonist: Starr Carter
Publication Date: 2015
Genre: Coming of Age, Teen and Young Adult


The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

'The Hate U Give' is a bestselling book of Angie Thomas. It has a lot of memorable quotes that we all can learn from.

The Hate U Give‘ brings up vital discussions for a society wrestling with a lack of empathy, understanding, and tolerance. The youths are raising their voices with a cinematic megaphone, and it’s our turn to listen. Here are some memorable quotes from the book.

The Hate U Give Quotes

Things can go wrong no matter your plan

Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.

In the book, we see Lisa tell this quote to Starr when she was blaming herself for the Garden Heights strife after the first night of riots. Lisa shared the story of her birth with her which was comforting. Lisa let her know that despite taking such care during pregnancy, Starr couldn’t breathe when she was born. There is only so much a mother can control during her pregnancy. In the same way, Starr has very little control over what those in the judiciary decided to do after hearing her testimony.

At first, the police refused to press charges against One-Fifteen. That is a perfect example of the many failures of justice throughout the book, and Starr cannot take personal responsibility for all of them.

Bullets go where they wanna go.

Starr says this when she was talking about Kenya, though it can be seen as a foreshadowing of Khalil’s fate. It also shows that violence is difficult to control once it’s in motion. That is why there are laws to protect people from dangerous bullets. If only it will be enforced very well.

 Pac said Thug Life stood for ‘The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. 

This quote was taken from rapper Tupac Shakur’s “Thug Life” philosophy which Khalil explained to Starr. In essence, this means that institutionalized racism is a system designed to oppress African Americans. And he is also saying that the hate spreads and touches everyone in a bad way.

We know the truth, that’s not what we want … We want justice. 

Uncle Carlos and Maverick do not always agree on many things, especially on police procedures. Uncle Carlos, being a cop, is conditioned to place more confidence in the police and their work because he knows how hard the job can be. Maverick, on the other hand, doesn’t trust the police at all and so assumes they will try to cover up any wrongdoing and maybe even find a way to blame Starr.

Society is to blame for drugs

It’s easier to find some crack than it is to find a good school. 

According to Maverick, it was the dearth of opportunities for African Americans that created ghettos full of violence and drug dealing. When America, which is majorly white-controlled, refuses to invest in jobs and education in African American neighborhoods, the people in these neighborhoods suffer.

Nobody likes selling drugs.

At a point in the story, DeVante lets down his tough persona with Starr and admits he never wanted to get into a life of crime. This shows that most of those who do drugs don’t really do it. They get into it through peer pressure or necessity, which, of course, is not an excuse. Angie Thomas shows that most drug dealers are merely trying to survive, even though there are exceptions like King. 

I didn’t know a dead person could be charged in his own murder. 

Starr made this statement during her television interview as a way to get to the truth of the matter. She knew that she could use her voice to fight back against those who wanted to paint Khalil as a thug. So she made a good choice of words and some powerful words. Starr calls Khalil’s shooting a murder, she is directly challenging the narrative presented by white people.


My anger is theirs, and theirs is mine. 

Starr is a witness in many ways in the book. She is a witness to her community’s anger, Khalil’s murder, and her people’s oppression. She understands that the movement is bigger than her, being just a single. Yet she also knew that a single person can affect a movement.

You can destroy wood and brick, but you can’t destroy a movement. 

The burning of Ms Ofrah’s headquarters did not concern her that much because she knows activism starts and lives in people’s hearts and not in buildings. That’s why she said that wood and even brick could be destroyed, but a strong movement like the one in the book can never be shattered.

We ain’t gotta live there to change things, baby. We just gotta give a damn. 

For a long time, Maverick didn’t want to move out of Garden Heights. This is because he does not want to abandon the people in the neighborhood. You can live anywhere in the world and still contribute your quota to support a movement. When he finally realized that it is his active commitment, not his passive presence, that will cause things to change for the better. 

To every kid in Georgetown and in all “the Gardens” of the world: your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be roses that grow in the concrete.

Being silent doesn’t help

I’ll never be quiet. I promise.

Starr realizes her fight is not yet over even though the grand jury acquits One-Fifteen. So she decided that she will continue to fight as an honor to Khalil’s legacy and continue to use her voice to bring about awareness and change.

Don’t never let nobody make you be quiet.

Starr Carter, the protagonist of the novel, is inspired to become a Black Lives Matter activist after a policeman kills her best friend, Khalil. She had a lot of pressure from different groups. But she had to be strong and not bow to pressure and quit. Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right, no matter the cost and the pressure.

What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?

This quote is telling us to be strong and stand up for what is right. It doesn’t matter who is involved or the pressure we might be feeling. After all, we were our voices to be used for good, and voicing out for social change is one way of doing that.

Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared, Starr,’ she says. ‘It means you go on even though you’re scared. And you’re doing that.


What is the conflict in The Hate U Give?

The Hate U Give shows many conflicts, especially in Starr’s life. There’s a conflict inspired by her witnessing Khalil’s murder. Another conflict is her half-brother and friend living with an abusive father who is the neighborhood’s most dangerous gang leader. Then there was a conflict when her friend got into a dangerous situation.

How many inappropriate words are in The Hate U Give?

The inappropriate language used in the novel isn’t constant but includes one “f–k,” word and a few uses of “s–t,”. Teens talk about sex, but no more than kissing is done. There’s also a little bit of drinking and smoking by both teens and adults and a discussion of drug dealing.

What challenges does Starr face in The Hate U Give?

Starr faced the challenge of integrating into her two worlds. First is her neighborhood, the poverty and violence of Garden Heights, and second is her school environment,  the wealth and respectability of Williamson Prep. She doesn’t know how to speak about Khalil’s death, as the story will affect how her white friends will see her.

Who does Starr dry snitch on?

Starr dry snitches during her television interview when she says Khalil only sold drugs to help pay off his mother’s debt to the “biggest drug dealer and gang leader in the neighborhood.” Though she does not mention King by name, she understands that anyone familiar with Garden Heights will know who he is.

What traumatic event did Starr go through in The Hate U Give?

The police stop at the beginning of Chapter Ten illustrates how Khalil’s murder traumatized Starr. The flashbacks and panic are classic signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental condition commonly associated with soldiers returning from war or someone who has witnessed a very traumatic incident.

Ugo Juliet
About Ugo Juliet
Ugo Juliet is a passionate lover of books. For over 10 years, she has written books and articles for various organizations. She continues with her passion for literature as an expert analyst on Book Analysis.
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