Author: Jennifer Brown
Amount of Pages: 416
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Geared Towards: Teens
"Was I the bad guy who set in motion the plan to mow down half my school, or the hero who sacraficed herself to end the killing? Some days I felt like both. Some days I felt like neither. It was all so complicated"
Summary (From B.O.B): 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.
Wdebo's Review: All I can say is that this is such a powerfully, wonderfully written book. There is such a powerful message in the book, just like all the others about school violence, that just makes me look around and feel grateful that this has never happened to me before. That I have all my friends around me (plus my blogger buddies of course :) )
The story is tied together with the past, present and newspaper clippings about all of the victims. When it goes back and fourth there is none of that confusision that sometimes comes with books that go, well, back and fourth between various stories and/or past and future.
Sometimes, I cheered Valerie on but sometimes she just really bugged me. First she would be all strong, sticking up for herself, and suddenly she would become a weakling under all the pressure from her peers, which made me want to scream at the book saying, "What is wrong with you? Fight fight!! Where is that fighter spirit that was just there like five seconds ago?"
I did feel bad for Nick though, even though I hated him for killing all those people, but there is just one aspect of books like Hate List, those about school shootings, that annoy me is that even though I know the shooter does something wrong but they have to acknowledge that those killed were also in the wrong, they can't just keep these people hung up as martyr, they have to show them that they were mean and this caused it. (As part of the newspaper clippings)
Cafe Cover Chat: (New Feature!) Hey what can I say, I like my alliterations! This is a pretty good cover, even though the black does show the feeling of the book, I still don't really like it, the blackness is what draws me into the book, but also kinda repulses me. Though the tear does look cool and how the title is in it. But not my favorite cover. (B-)
All in all, a really great book, for those who are not afraid of getting sad (I even got a little teary eyed when I read it) and not afraid of violence, an amazing book that teaches us not to tease people, for you never know what is going to happen after embarassing/hurting someone during school.
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Thanks to Little, Brown for sending me a review copy~