Sunday, 5 August 2012

Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown - Leona

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

When I found this book while making a search for my sister I was enticed by the synopsis. For some reason I find school shootings fascinating. I always wondered if the shooters had any good in them at all. Jennifer Brown shows us that Nick had some good in him. 

Valerie has always seen the good in him. Even after he goes on a shooting spree she stills remembers the good that he did when he was alive. Valerie was a like-able character, most of the time. There was times when I wanted to hug her and other times when I wanted to shake her and tell her that Nick was a bad person. But then I thought, Nick wasn't always a bad person. To Valerie, he was the person she loved and of course she wants to remember all the good times they had together.

When I was reading this I found it almost comical that I hated Valerie's father more than I disliked Nick. I know from reading others reviews  that I am not the only person that dislikes him. He turned out to be more of a bad guy than Nick because he didn't support Valerie when she needed him. 

The sad reality is that school shootings do happen. Jennifer Brown approached the subject with great respect. I, myself feel great respect towards Jennifer and Hate List. I really couldn't believe how good this book was. 

Jennifer Brown has a wonderful and strong writing style that allows us to feel emotions intensely. I found myself crying, uncontrollably towards the end of the book. It was an intense scene towards the end. 

A wonderful, thought-provoking and powerful novel that deals with real life issues in a respectful manner.

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