Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review - Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: September 2009
Pages: 416

Grade: A+

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.



A Passion For Books said...

Fantastic Review! I'm glad you like it and I can't wait to read this. I ordered a copy last week so it should be here it time. Yay!

Bookgeek said...

Thoughtful review. Really want to read this. Especially as this summer my brother and I made a list of random things we didn't like (and we did nothing with it - honest!)

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Glad you enjoyed it - I've actually just ordered a copy of it myself and I can't wait to read it! :)

suzie townsend said...

wow, great review - this looks interesting. I'll have to put it on my list!


I'm reading it right now. I'm only 2 chapters in, and it pains me to stare at it instead of pick it up off my desk and devour it. Stinking work!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Great review! I have this on y TBR pile and I can't wait to read it. So far, most people seemed to appreciate it!

Debbie's World of Books said...

I've seen so many good reviews of this. I'm going to have to move it to the top of my TBR pile.

Okapi said...

I'm glad you like this book! I finished it yesterday, and I adored it. I agree; it's more character driven than plot driven, but that's what makes the books special. It's an emotional voyage for everybody. Thank you for reviewing this book! I hope more people also read it.