Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Review - Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: September 2009
It started off as a way to vent. Just a list of people and things that high school student, Valerie Leftman, hated. What Valerie didn’t know was what her boyfriend, Nick, was planning to do with it. On May 2, 2008, Nick pulled out a gun and opened fire on his classmates. In the mix of the chaos, Valerie threw herself in front of another student, inadvertently saving their life, and getting herself shot in the process.
Five months have passed since the shooting at Garvin High. While the newspaper say one thing, tensions and emotions are still running high for the students and faculty. Valerie hasn’t seen or spoken to any of her classmates. But now she's back. Whether she wants to or not, has to face what happened.
Is there forgiveness when this kind of tragedy happens? And who do you blame? Nick? Valerie? The students who bulled them both? Or should you blame their parents? Possibly even the group of friends they hung around? Shouldn’t someone have noticed something wasn’t right?
The Hate List is one of the best examples of how words and actions affect others. From the kids at school and how even Valerie and her parents are living with what happened – nothing in this book was sugar coated. The author never tried to make me sympathize for anyone. Instead she gave a wide look at who each of the students were and what events had taken place to lead up to that May morning. Basically the story is what it is. Because Jennifer Brown's writing about this horrific tragedy is so realistic, it made the book absolutely chilling.
While this was more character driven than plot driver, I still wasn't able to put it down. It literally brought me to tears and stuck with me for days. It feels odd saying it was wonderful and is now one of my new favorite reads due to the context, but it is. I recommend it to everyone.
Posted by Just Your Typical Book Blog at 9:08 PM