Book Review: Hate List

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Released: September 1, 2009
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 405
Rating: 5 stars
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.

Wow! This was one very powerful and very riveting story!

The actual shooting occured in May, but the story begins the following September as Valerie is preparing to head back to school for her senior year. Focusing more on Valerie and the after affects of the shooting, makes Hate List more of a character driven novel and it worked really well for this particular situation. I loved how Brown also incorperated clippings of the newpaper articles from the shooting into the first half of the story as well. Definitely making this a memorable novel, even long after finishing it.

It was quite heartbreaking to read about Valerie's very emotional roller coaster - her struggle with her guilt and trying to understand her true feelings for Nick.

This was a brilliantly written, fantastic debut. A must read!!



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7 comments:

Book Crazy Jenn said...

Awesome review, me thinks I NEED to read this one, I have it...but have yet to read it...I need to :)

Hilary Wagner ~ Writer said...

I agree with Book Crazy Jenn, this is going on my "I can't wait to read" list!

xoxo -- Hilary

Nikki @ Bookizzle said...

Ooh, I agree, definitely a read that tugs at your heart-strings. Loved this book!

...MY NAME IS ELENI AND I AM A BOOKAHOLIC... said...

I completely agree! I <3 this book :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

lovely review. I have this and need to read it. I'm always interested in books that deal with school shootings. I'm just so behind on certain books. :(

I don't know if you entered the Holey Donuts giveaway or not, but if you could check out this post and do so for my blog, it would mean a TON for my family and you can enter for the book afterwards too if you wish (White Cat by Holly Black ARC)!:

http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/2010/02/giveaway-white-cat-arc-250-holey-donuts.html

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I can't believe I haven't read this one yet, but I absolutely need to. Great review!

Becky said...

I want to read this even though it sounds heart-breaking.

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