Starr Carter is the main character and narrator of Angie Thomas’ novel The Hate U Give. She is an African-American sixteen-year-old girl who lives in Garden Heights, a poor neighborhood controlled by gangs.
Starr doesn’t feel she fits in in Garden Heights. This is emphasized by the fact that she looks different to the other girls in her neighborhood at a party in the first chapter: “Girls wear their hair colored, curled, laid, and slayed. Got me feeling basic as hell with my ponytail.” (Chapter 1, 0%). She is wearing sneakers and a hoodie to the party: “My Jordans are comfortable, and damn, they’re new. […] The hoodie’s way too big, but I like it that way. Plus, if I pull it over my nose, I can’t smell the weed.” (Chapter 1, 14%).
This early description of her look and her clothes stress the fact that she feels out of place, and no longer knows how to navigate the social life of young people in her own neighborhood.
Starr feels split between two versions of herself
Starr comes from the poor, African-American neighborhood of Garden Heights, but she goes to Williamson, a private school in a wealthy area where she is one of the only black students. As a result, she does not feel like she can fully be herself in either place.
In the opening lines of the book, Starr suggests she feels out of place at the party in Garden Heights: “I shouldn’t have come to this party. I’m not even sure I belong at this party. That’s not on some bougie shit, either. There are just some places where it’s not enough to be me. Either version of me.” (Chapter 1, 0%)...