Monday, June 4, 2012
Review: Hate List
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.
I was only one month away from graduating high school in 1999, when the Columbine shootings happened. I can remember the news clearly, even though I was no where near there. It still shocked me. I bring this up only to say that I never really thought about the OTHER people that were effected by the tragedy. I'm sure that the shooters also left behind friends and family, just like Valerie, that had to pick up the pieces and deal with all the what ifs. The guilt that they might have been able to do something. That's a pretty powerful what if.
Hate List is a lot of things. I just finished the book, wiped the tears away, and started to write this review. I loved the brutally honest way that Jennifer Brown writes. Valerie isn't perfect. She's a kid. She did a LOT of dumb things, ignored some very important things, and loved the wrong person. She's real. She also did some selfless things too. She stopped a bullet for a person that she thought she hated. She went against her boyfriend and tried to stop him. I liked her. Not instantly but I liked her.
Valerie is a character I won't forget for a very long time. Seriously, you should read this book.