Tuesday 31 July 2012

Book Review - Hate List

Hate List
Author: Jennifer Brown
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 1st September 2009
Publishers: Little Brown Books
No. Pages: 405
Source: Borrowed
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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 didn't really know what to think at the start of this book. I've only ever read one book where there's a high school shooting which was Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, she's one if my favourite authors so as you can tell this book had a lot to live up to in my eyes from the very beginning.

I felt sad for Valerie through out the whole book. Always second guessing herself unsure if she did force Nicks hand, missing him even though it wasn't acceptable to because everyone just expected all the love she had for the boy who was her rock to fade away the minuet he killed those kids. He wasn't a monster, he cracked up after all the abuse he had suffered at the hands of the kids at school though I'm not justifying what he did, not by a long shot, anyone who had ever been bullied knows how it feels to have just had enough. To ask yourself why they can't just leave you alone for one day. And even though you may not have made a hate list you had those people that you would be okay never seeing again.

It reminded me a lot of my own high school experience which allowed me to connect more with the book. No, we didn't have a killer out my school but isn't every school the same?, the kids who walk around thinking they are better than everyone else even though others have done nothing to warrant being treated the way they do. I was bullied relentlessly through out high school because I was different, a lot like Valerie. Everyday I would wish for it to stop and the only time I was happy was break where I had a chance to escape and chose who I wanted to be around. If you had a similar experience or not Jennifer makes you connect with the book in one way or another. Maybe you had parents like Val , who were slowly drifting apart and resented/blamed you for it. Even though all you ever did was want the pain to stop.

I thought was a very well written story, my only problem was I feel like there wasn't enough about Nick. I know that is was from Valerie's point of view but there should have been more about Nick. He was painted as a monster, and even though some students stopped referring to it I felt like no one never truly believed it. I know he killed people, but we never got to see his reasons why. If anything I felt the blame for his bad behaviour was put on his friend (who I've forgotten the name of, sorry).

Its defiantly worth a read and if you have and your looking for something similar then go read Nineteen Minuets by Jodi Picoult.

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