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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized3 Comments

Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: 01 Sept 09
ISBN: 0316041440
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 416
Jennifer Brown – Official Site
Jennifer Brown – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to: unspecific setting

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Hate List by Jennifer Brown is one of those books that I find hard to sum up. Its just so raw and filled with emotion and so this time I think that I’ll rely on the book flap:

What if you wished someone would die and then it happened?

What if the killer was someone you loved?

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.

Watch the Trailer:

I wasn’t entirely sure what to think about Hate List when I first picked it up all I knew was that all the buzz about it said that it was amazing. When I first started the book I was doubtful of this buzz because for me it started off a bit slow. But that slowness what short lived. Before I knew it I was staying up into the wee hours of the morning sheading tears as I rushed to finish this amazing book. Hate List deals with a subject that is sure to strike fear into the hearts of everyone who reads it. Its a book that immediately brings to mind images from other school shootings like Columbine and Virgina Tech. And its those images that help make this book so powerful. But Hate List isn’t about the actual shooting its about what happens next. How do you move forward from the horrible events. How do you deal with the fall out? This is Valerie’s story. She’s returning to school after her boyfriend did the unthinkable and she has to face her role in the events that occurred on that fateful day.

Its a wonderful story about redemption and the journey of self discovery. Of learning to overcome some pretty serious issues & events and coming out stronger on the other side. I found all the characters to be believable and was lost in their stories. A few years ago I read Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes, which is also about the after effects of a school shooting. It was a story that I really liked at the time despite its difficult subject matter. But when I compare that book to Hate List, it only seems to scratch the surface of emotions that such an event would bring. Brown has this powerful writing style that takes you to the heart of the matter. This was such a great book that if you haven’t read it already then I strongly suggest you run to your nearest bookseller and pick up a copy. Its just that good.

Date read: 05 Sept 09

3 Responses to “Hate List by Jennifer Brown”

  1. bermudaonion

    I’ve seen all of those amazing reviews, too, but I’m just not sure I can handle this book since Vance was at Tech when the shootings took place there – I’m afraid it might hit too close to home for me.

  2. Irish

    Which is completely understandable. If it helps the bulk of the book deals with what happens 5 months after the event. But there are a few chapters that deal with the events immediately before and during.

  3. Michelle

    This was a fabulous book that I gush over regularly. I though Brown’s writing was phenomenal and the characterizations were equally outstanding. I’m so glad you enjoyed it as well.