The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is divided into five parts of different lengths. Part 1 is titled “When it happens”, while Part 2 is titled “Five weeks after it”. “It” refers to the killing of Khalil in chapter 2, which is the event that kicks off all the action in the novel. The story unfolds chronologically, and the title of each of its five parts describes how it falls on the timeline surrounding Khalil’s death. 

The effects of structuring the novel around Khalil’s death at the hands of the police officer One-Fifteen is that this event is clearly established as the main focus point in the story. All other elements of the plot are in some ways related to it. The increasing lengths of time that separate the later sections from each other also emphasize how difficult the waiting period is for Starr and all of the other people who have an interest in the outcome of the case.    

The novel begins in medias res with a direct statement from Starr, th...

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