Dear Gossips,

Back in March I read a book and even though we weren’t even at quarter of the way through 2017, I called it the Book of the Year. That would be Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, which made it to the top of the NY Times Bestseller List in its first week but only after 13 publishing houses bid on the manuscript the year before. It’s hard to live up to the hype. The Hate U Give is that f-cking special. So it’s time for me to harass you about reading it again. Because it’s becoming a movie, with Amandla Stenberg in the lead as Starr Carter and now they’re rounding out the rest of the cast.

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that Regina Hall, coming off the success of Girls Trip, will play Starr’s mother, Lisa. Russell Hornsby has been cast as her father, Common (!) is in as Uncle Carlos, and just yesterday it was confirmed that… Issa Rae has joined the team! Issa is going to be April! It’s like when everything you love is in the same room at the same time.

And this is a story for these times. Not to get too corny about it but there can’t be change if we don’t understand each other. This is one of the values of art – it offers perspective, and with perspective there can, hopefully, be empathy. Which is why The Hate U Give is essential reading, not just for young people. Like many of you, when I love a book, I love it HARD. I love it so hard that I want to share it with everyone I love. Share it like it’s dinner. Read it like we’re all at the same table, bonded together by that warm magic you feel when you’re surrounded by your people, connecting over a meal. It’s a corny ass sentiment, and I’m sorry for the cheese. But isn’t that the power of a great book? That it compels you to reach out and get closer?

Yours in gossip,